This is a concern that comes up frequently when I’m working with clients or just talking to other iPhone users and I was reminded of it today while reading an article over at Daring Fireball.
If you’re not already aware of it, those running iOS 4.0 or higher have the ability to quickly move between previously used apps. Double-tapping the home button will bring up a list of your previously used applications, allowing you to quickly switch between recently-used apps without having to hunt them down on your home screen every time you want to launch them. There is a misconception however that these apps are “running” in the background.
There is one iOS “tip” that I keep hearing and it is wrong. Worse, I keep hearing it from supposedly authoritative sources. I have even heard it from the lips of Apple “Geniuses” in stores.
Here is the advice – and remember it is wrong:
All those apps in the multitasking bar on your iOS device are currently active and slowing it down, filling the device’s memory or using up your battery. To maximise performance and battery life, you should kill them all manually.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. There are caveats to this but anyone dispensing the advice above is clearly uninformed enough that they will certainly not be aware of these subtleties.
A lot of people hold the belief that those icons you see in the dock are “running” in the background and slowing down their phone. While this might be true for other smartphones, this is not the case with iPhones or iPads. When you exit an app, your the iphone essentially creates a “snapshot” of the current state of that app and the phone returns the app to that state when the app is re-launched. The app is NOT constantly running in the background, they essentially go into a hibernation state.
So stop worrying about “apps running in the background”. Occasionally I’ll run into someone who has an iphone glitch and closing out all the apps in the multitasking tray fixes the issue, but this is a rarity and usually only happens when people have had multiple apps open in the tray for over a year. iPhones/iPads are designed to be simple, don’t worry about them too much.
TextExpander allows you to create snippets of text and then create shortcuts to quickly expand those snippets. I most commonly use this when placing orders for stores through email. I always include the store name and address in email orders to ensure it gets to the right account. I’ve set up many of my store addresses in TextExpander with appropriate and easy to remember abbreviations.
For example, I have say Market of Choice no.9 set up in TextExpander with the following snippet:
Market of Choice No.9
67 W. 29th St.
Eugene OR 97405
This is set up to the abbreviation of MOC9. Whenever I type MOC9 anywhere on my computer, the store’s name and address automatically gets inserted along with a return and a bold “Order” text so I can immediately start typing in the order.
You can use this for products as well. Say you have to input product descriptions in your email orders and you have a product like “Vanilla Protein Powder – large”. You can include that description and its item number, price, and any other information you’d like and attach it to an abbreviation “prtnvan-L”.
As of right now it’s Mac-only. Sorry Windows users.
Textexpander is a great piece of software to add to your toolbox and helps to save time and effort in your workflow. It’s on sale for the next 10 hours so get on it!
So before we head into some of the bigger posts I wanted to describe my workflow environment. I am very much an Apple person; I work from both a Macbook Pro and an iPhone. That being said, the majority of my technology-related posts will be coming from a mac perspective. So those that work on macs or use an iphone will be best served by this blog. Whenever possible I will try to mention if the software I discuss is compatible on other computer platforms and/or smartphones. If not I will try to offer alternative suggestions if available. If you know of something that you prefer more or would make a great alternative on another computing platform, let me know in the comments.
I’d also like to mention that I have been a natural products sales rep for over 2 years and am by no means an expert in the field. I am eager and willing to hear any thoughts or suggestions on tools or methods that you find useful. Hopefully this website will be a place where we can all learn a few things together.