Switching between apps
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: On the iPhone 3G, is there a quick way to switch between applications in the same way that I use ALT+TAB on my computer? For example, if I am playing a game while listening to music from the iPod app and then receive a text message, when I select reply I am switched over to the SMS application. The only way that I know to get back to the game is to use the home button and then select the game again, which causes it to have to reload. Is there a way to toggle between open apps without having to start over?
A: Unfortunately, no. However, it’s a bit more complicated than simply not providing a fast way to switch between apps. The actual problem is that the iPhone development kit (SDK) that third-party developers use to write applications for the iPhone does not permit these applications to run in the background at all.
This means that as soon as you leave an application for any reason, it must save its state and shut down completely—there is no way to keep the application running in the background when you switch to another app. How well the application later returns to where you left off is entirely dependent on how the developer wrote that particular application. Some applications will return to exactly where you left off, while others will save your current state and give you the option of returning, while still others completely lose track of where you are entirely. We have discovered a wide variation in this behaviour between different iPhone games, so there are no guarantees that any given game will behave well when you exit it to switch to another application.
Note that some of Apple’s own built-in apps on the iPhone do have the ability to run in the background—or at least leave a portion of themselves running so that things like background mail fetching and iPod playback can continue to occur. However, this is the reason why other music playback applications such as Tuner and AOL Radio cannot continue playing once you have exited the application.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- ResearchKit study conducted using Apple Watch reveals new insights into seizures
- Instagram adds ability to include up to 10 photos or videos in a single post
- Facebook’s talks with MLB raise possibility that game streams could come to Apple TV
- Analyst claims wireless charging will be included in ‘iPhone 8,’ but rules out Energous as provider
- Apple claims EU made ‘fundamental errors’ in calculating $14B Irish tax ruling
- Analyst: ‘iPhone 8’ to feature ‘revolutionary’ front-facing camera with 3D sensors
- Apple releases third betas for iOS 10.3, tvOS 10.2, and watchOS 3.2 to developers
- Happy Presidents’ Day from iLounge
- Apple plans to begin iPhone manufacturing in India starting with the iPhone SE
- Rumor: iPhone 8 to eliminate Touch ID in favor of Facial Recognition
- PureGear PureSwitch HomeKit-enabled Wireless Smart Plug
- 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones
- Revogi Smart Lightbulb, Smart Lightstrip, Smart Candle + Smart Meter Plug
- Audeze iSine10 In-Ear Headphones
- MOCACARE MOCACuff Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
- Apple AirPods
- Elgato Eve Motion
- Olloclip Core Lens Set for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10