Steve Jobs on iOS multitasking: ‘Just use it as designed and you’ll be happy’

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!In response to a MacDailyNews reader who asked whether iOS 4 multitasking was difficult to understand for the average user, Apple CEO Steve Jobs offered up one of his signature quick, short email messages:

“People shouldn’t have to understand multitasking. Just use is [sic] as designed, and you’ll be happy. No need to ever quit apps.” – Steve Jobs’ email, June 29, 2010

MacDailyNews Note: We gave this one the thrice-over and the email definitely seems legit. As we explained yesterday and Jobs seems to reiterate much more concisely above, “The basic point is: Don’t worry, not all of these apps are ‘running.’ In fact, most of them are not. Those 42 apps are the last 42 apps you used, they’re not churning in the background, sucking up your battery life. Think of them sort of like Han Solo encased in carbonite; they’re in suspended animation, so they spring back to life right where you left them when tapped. So, that app list is there for your convenience, not to stress you out, so don’t worry, be happy! You’re running iOS4 on an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, you lucky son-a-ma-batches! Your iPhone is taking care of multitasking, so you don’t have to.”


  1. even they claimed battery life would be fine as much as 3Gs. but unfortunately, it sucks juice very faster. I don’t have iphone 4. but iOS 4 seems to drain so much battery, and gets phone slowing down as well. comparing to previous version of os 3.1.3, it eats up to almost twice much. sometimes, apps are crash. I really hate it. Apple must make iOS 4 for optimization. it’s a big problem now. multitasking is fine. I don’t really need that task. I still believe that it’s usually for computer. not mobile device. maybe ipad is different story.

  2. @samiam, @Krioni

    Enjoyed your conversation. I guess the question is, why call it a “multitasking” tray when it is actually a “recents” tray (if I am getting what you are saying)?

    Is there something like an Activity Monitor for iOS, so people can learn which Apps use bandwidth or battery?

    A user

  3. @Ned:
    It does do that, but the app has to be updated to work with the new “background streaming audio” feature in iOS4.

    You are absolutely right – we shouldn’t call it a “multi-tasking” tray. It is “recent apps” (some of which will activate faster than others).
    But, you are making an incorrect assumption about using bandwidth or battery: any app that is “in the background” is actually not doing much, if anything, because of the way the backgrounding works. They can only run specific functions (VOIP, playing audio, etc). So, you’ll probably know when they are running and it will be fairly obvious how much battery/bandwidth they affect.

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