paulfromstone's explanation sounds about right. What is causing our devices to be running constantly in a low-memory environment?
The thing that I'm confused about is: are there people running either an iPad or iPhone on iOS 7.x for whom this is NOT happening? There must be millions, or else this thread would be flooded and it's not, and all the tech writers would have been all over it since the day iOS 7 first was released, and they're not. What are they doing that we're not? If this were happening to everybody, it would have already been a major iOS 7 scandal.
Maybe helveticum has the secret -- some weird, unknownundocumented flag that no one knows about except a few Apple programmers got triggered for us at some point and that caused the problem, and we have to do a 'Reset All Settings' to undo it. The thing is, I've done so much customization -- most of which I can't remember -- that I'm kind of afraid to try it. But maybe I have to. But then again if it doesn't work...
Has anyone else taken this step?
The low-memory condition is a tempting route to explore but I'm using an iPad 2 (ie 512MB) and I no longer seem to have the same kind of problem. Well ... I didn't think so, but I went back into Spotify a few minutes ago and it reloaded itself which appears to be a symptom of the problem. Perhaps it's a function of the number of apps in the background and the time that the apps have spent there. I do feel my iPad 2 is more sluggish post iOS 7 and this would support the idea of memory issues. [Not all iPad 2 users report a slowdown which annoyingly suggests that some of these problems are pretty subtle.]
It might be interesting for those still with a serious problem to come up with a scenario that can easily be tested and reproduced. For example, kill off all background apps then load Safari then another universally available app, say Mail. Does swopping back to Safari immediately cause the problem or will it only manifest itself after a period of time, 10 minutes perhaps (though I would expect the memory problem to be more a function of the number of apps that have swopped in and out rather than elapse time on its own). Maybe only after 10 apps have been swopped will the problem appear. Do all apps get affected in this way? But initially it might be useful to minimise the variables.
Anyone up for an experiment?
Not having much luck, though I didn't strip down fully to bare bones. I usually have maybe a dozen apps running so I closed everything but:
- Photo Manager Pro
Anyway, I worked in Mail and Safari for 5-10 minutes, then came back to PMP and just as before, as soon as I switched to it the app reset itself so I was no longer looking at my individual photo but rather its initial screen of root folders. Wikibot was doing the same thing.
I'll do more testing later.
Rick7, I set up a similar test to yours using by closing all apps then opening Mail, Safari, PhotoMgrPro and iBooks. I opened up a photo in PMP and a book in iBooks.
I also worked in Safari and Mail for 5 to 10 minutes then switched back to PhotoMgrPro. As you reported, the open photo in PMP closes as soon as I switch back to it, leaving me at the set of root folders. I then found that when I switched to iBooks, the open book closed then rather laboriously reopened.
So I'm now a bit confused. I thought I didn't have the problem any more. Could it be a kind of memory leak issue where the problem gets worse with time but can be reset by in certain circumstances? I had been using iBooks to read a Python reference manual while customising the excellent Editorial app and so repeatedly frustrated by iBook doing its close-reopen thing every time I swapped back to look something up. I'm tempted to suggest that the problem isn't quite as bad anymore but now I'm doubting myself.
I tried jai_d81’s reset idea but it didn't work for me. I know that we don't have true multitasking in iOS but it can't be that hard to store enough data in a state table so that iOS knows where it should be when it switches back. Admittedly iOS/iBooks *does* know what book it had been reading and what page it had been on but the close/reopen is painful. Of course, the open page on iBooks has to go somewhere in memory while we are using other apps. Perhaps this cache size has been reduced in iOS 7.
jai_d81, do you have a moment to try and reproduce the test that rick7 and I have tried to see whether you can force an error again? If however, you have cleared the problem (at least until it comes back?), it begs the question why others cannot achieve the same fix.
This is all happening for me on an iPad 2, so if it has 1/2 mb of memory rather than the iPad 3's full Mb of memory, then paulfromstone's explanation makes sense. It's ironic: after really visually disliking iOS 7 for a month and a half I was just starting to kind of like some of its new "features". Now I'm back to really rueing having made the upgrade: if iOS 7 has now made decent multitasking dependent on having the hardware of the iPad 3 and later, that's lousy.
Just tried jai_d81’s reset suggestion and at first I thought it worked, and then it seems like it didn't, but then again maybe it did. I am still getting those unwanted app resets, but maybe less frequently, or only after a longer time in the other apps, or ....? I'm confused.
There always has been a certain grace period during which you can work in other apps and then switch back to the original app and it won't reset itself - two minutes? five minutes? Could it be time-related, or dependent on the amount of work you do in the other apps, or the number of other apps you work in before coming back? Maybe the more you do in your other apps, the more memory gets drained, until it reaches some kind of tipping point and then: bam...
It's so frustrating isn't it. I've been going round in circles as well on this. It could be any combination of the factors you mentioned. I too thought it had got better for a while at one point.
The cynic in me suggests that this is Apple's ploy to get us to upgrade but they are still selling the iPad 2 so one would imagine/hope that iOS 7 has been tested against this model.
We can only hope that the problem mysteriously goes away in 7.0.4. Interestingly, according to a recent study, the iPad 2 accounts for 38 percent of all active iOS tablets so I echo a comment I think you made earlier. Why are we not seeing more gripes?
Given that I carried out a full reset and I still have the problem, perhaps the only solution for the truly desperate is to backup everything, do a factory reset and then reinstall the apps you really need (I have a lot of dross on mine). This option does not fill me with the joys of Spring ...
Yeah you are right. It works only if you switch your apps within a certain time frame. iBooks and safari are the worst affected. If you log in to webpage like apple support communities and when you switch back it refreshes and logs you out. I suspected the background app refresh first and enabling and disabling it doesn't make any difference. you guys mentioned about memory and time frame and also to take note is, if I remember correctly from the keynote on ios(not sure if mavericks or iOS, need to listen to the apple keynote again) they talked about memory optimization where the OS compresses the memory of background apps. It might be a reason. I will listen to the apple keynote and keep you guys updated.
The memory management track sounds interesting.
I came across this (the highlighting is mine):
"Most applications, when you exit them, save their state and "go to sleep". So if you were playing a game or looking at Settings and then hit the home button or switch to another app, it keeps track of where you were in the game or what page you were on in Settings, then stops the app. When you tap the icon to launch the game or Settings again, it reads the state and returns you to the same place in the app. It only seems like it was multitasking -- it wasn't. If you haven't used an app in a long time, iOS might not even keep the saved state (you'll notice the app re-launched and shows you a splash screen instead of going back to the last place you left it.)" - http://www.imore.com/tipb-answers-close-apps-multitasking-dock
This was from 2011 and I cannot vouch for its accuracy, but it does appear to describe the issue in this thread and suggest our problem is a works-as-designed feature (isn't it always). Multi-tasking has undergone a major overhaul in iOS 7 and perhaps the "long time" referred to above may have shortened particularly on 512MB machines.
I think that over-simplifies the task management. An app can also be "suspended", where it's still in memory so can be reactivated without having to recover its state itself.
Because suspended apps can be terminated at any time, the app saves its state (e.g. URL in Safari) at the time it is suspended. If the app is then actually terminated, when it is reloaded it restores its state (e.g. reloads the saved URL). This is what I think we're experiencing.
I wonder if it's documented anywhere the amount of free RAM available (after the OS takes whatever it needs) on iOS6 vs iOS7...
Edit: Searched and found this... http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1618915 - post 3 says "On ipad 3 I used Battery doctor from app store and on ios 6.1.3 my ipad had 600 mb ram free but on ios 7 it had 200 mb free". I'm going to see what this Battery Doctor is...
Same issue here. Maybe more people don't mention it because it is hard to describe in a common way.
Using an ipad 2 here and have the same refresh delay when switching between all apps but especially noticeable in the eBay app, Twitter, iBooks, Safari & Kindle app but does it on all. The delay is frustrating. Losing form data & where is was in the app is infuriating!