iOS 13.2 closes background apps so quickly, it may have broken multitasking

iOS 13
iOS 13 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Numerous reports suggest that iOS 13.2 is causing problems with multi-tasking.
  • Many users seem to think that background apps are being killed off too quickly.
  • Marco Arment even suggests at iOS "effectively doesn't offer multitasking anymore."

Multiple reports across Twitter, Apple Community support forums and Reddit are piling up, suggesting that Apple's iOS 13.2 is very aggressive when it comes to killing off background apps.

A report from MacRumors notes:

A growing number of iPhone and iPad users have complained about poor RAM management on iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, leading to apps like Safari, YouTube, and Overcast reloading more frequently upon being reopened.

Several MacRumors users have claimed that they have experienced problems when multitasking with Youtube, Safari, Messages and more.

Over on Twitter Marco Arment said:

Arment again highlights the reports that iOS 13.2 appears to be extremely aggressive in killing off background apps. The reports have also been noted by blogger Michael Tsai.

As mentioned Twitter is absolutely awash with reports of poor performance, memory management, and multitasking issues.

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Over at Apple's Communities support forums, one user said:

It seems to be an issue I too have encountered, I read a lot using Safari and since 13.2 update if I briefly switch to other apps and go back to safari it refreshes all the pages like its run out of memory. Wasn't an issue with any of the other 13.x updates, hopefully a fix will be had soon cos' it's annoying to keep losing my reading place!

The news seems to continue a theme of poor, bug-riddled performance in iOS 13.

The underlying issue seems to be that Apple may have bitten off more than it can chew. in iOS 12 Apple took the time to relax its frantic feature release model and optimize what it already had in front of it. With iOS 13, it looks like Apple is back to shovelling out as many features as possible, without checking that they all work.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

  • Still happily running 12.4.1 here. No iPadOS either. Looks more and more like I will be skipping 13 completely. Maybe 14.2.2 will be useable. Seriously, this is what happens when you release version 13. What could possibly go wrong? The fact that 13.1 was in beta BEFORE 13 was even released told me all I needed to know. This thing is a turkey.
  • Agree, wish could go back to 12.2
  • 13 will get fixed eventually, I don't think you need to skip it completely, but it's probably best waiting a few months just to be safe
  • Yep, I've definitely seen this, most often with Mail. I'll get a notification about a new message, tap on it, and the mail app just hangs for a few seconds like it is doing a cold start. And it is definitely new with 13.2.
  • I got this in 13.1 as well, maybe not as bad though
  • Chrome is the worst affected, along with touch being really wonky when scrolling through Twitter on my XSMax. I'll slide my finger to scroll and suddenly I'm all the way back up at the top instead of the tweet I was reading.
  • It sounds like Twitter jumping back to the top might be Twitter's new auto-refresh feature (which I can unscientifically say no one likes.)
  • This is why I use Tweetbot, I've not used the Twitter app or website in years
  • Haven’t noticed any problems. Weird. And I use Overcast, too.
  • I switched on day one. Wonky as ****. Update to 13.1, worse. update to 13.2 WAAAAAAY BETTER. Everything is "apple'ish" again. Smooth, works as it should etc. No crashing apps, disconnects from my watch etc.
  • 13.2 still has issues with multitasking for me, and Spotlight sometimes lags when dragging down, but apart from that it's fine.
  • With every iOS update, I miss the days of "It just works" more and more.
  • You can have the "it just works" if you stay behind until around the x.3 or x.4 release, most people are eager to get the latest thing straight away