iPhone Jailbreak 101: What Are Those Swirly Black Badges on Mail, Phone, iPod?


Confession: Jeremy can't believe we're posting this, but after a bunch of forum questions, email queries, and a mini Twitter 'splosion, we figured we'd put this up as a public service message to the Jailbreak community.

First: don't panic.

Second: those strange little black icon badges that have suddenly popped up on your Phone, Email, iPod, and perhaps other apps? Yeah, that's because you installed Backgrounder, and that's how Backgrounder shows you which applications, built-in or user-enabled, are currently running background tasks (multitasking).

Third: enjoy.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone Jailbreak 101: What Are Those Swirly Black Badges on Mail, Phone, iPod?


That's funny, because I did run backgrounder on 2.2.1 and never saw those... neat idea though! I haven't been able to run it for a while since I went beta... :(

Bill the reason you didn't see them, and they took so many by suprize is that it was an update to Backgrounder that made them visable. The update came early last week, or late the week before.
If people had read the "more info" on what they were installing they would not have been taken by suprize. The "more info" is a really good thing. Some times it even has screen shots of what you're about to install might look like.
The fact that people don't read or investigate what they are installing on their devices makes me laugh, and scares me at the same time.

That's the last time I implement a user-requested feature :)
(Though it's my own fault for turning it on by default.)
Sorry for the trouble... at least the comments here have been kinder than the ones I've received elsewhere.
As I don't have access to the betas, I won't be able to port Backgrounder to 3.0 until 3.0 is officially released (and properly jailbroken).

For all of the negative posts that this feature has received, I like the principle behind it. I did not like it before when it was difficult to tell which were running in the background which would ultimately kill your battery and clog up all of the memory on the device. Something like the is perfect because I always know which apps are open. That being said, if there was a less glaring way to show which apps were open, I like the idea behind this new release. A big black badge is just a little bit too much of an eyesore for me personally.

No backgrounder for 3.0 but @ashikase the dev is aware it's broke and intends on fixing it when time allows.