I am sure you have heard from people, read an article, or even been told by someone working in Apple’s Genius Bar that clearing the iOS multitasking bar is a good habit to get in to. I know for the longest time I would make it a daily ritual to clear my multitasking bar before going to bed thinking that it would help conserve battery life and make my iPhone more responsive.
According to numerous sources around the web such as John Gruber, however, this is a total lie. When you clear your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad’s multitasking bar you are simply deleting your application launching history and nothing more. This is because your iOS multitasking bar is not like a command tab switcher on Mac or Windows. It is not a list of currently “running” applications. It is simply a list of your most recently used applications, whether they’re running in the background, suspended in memory, or completely inactive.
If you don’t believe me then I have a quick test for you to do to prove that this is actually the case. First take note of what applications are in your iOS multitasking bar. Then restart your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and take another glance at the iOS multitasking bar. You will notice that the same applications are present; proving that the iOS multitasking bar is not an actual list applications running in the background.
Apple has designed the iOS multitasking bar to be smart and always stop applications if they are taking too much memory up or are consuming too much battery life. Apple would never design a multitasking system that would require you to manually remove applications from running in the background, that would be too much work for the user.
If you would like a more technical explanation of how the iOS multitasking bar works then you can click here. The bottom line is, however, that clearing the iOS multitasking bar is a waste of time and is of no use to actually do. That is unless you are doing it purely to delete your application launching history.
Please share any questions or thoughts in the comments section below on this topic of how the iOS multitasking bar really works.