There is no need to close out of apps on an iPad or iPhone. This is a common misconception that many people have. Some people believe that they need to force quit out of the apps in order to save battery and speed up their device. This is not true, you must unlearn what you have learned!
Don’t believe me? Check out this great post from John Gruber that showcases everyone from Steve Jobs and Apple’s current VP for software to five different journalist talking about why there is no need to force quit apps. So, don’t take my word for it, take there’s!
Let’s talk about what having the app in the app switcher actually is.
When you hit the home button on the iPad, the app that you were using gets told that it will be put into a standby mode soon and that it should save whatever data it has. While in standby, the app doesn’t take up battery, doesn’t connect to the network and isn’t actually running (unless it’s a special type of app that has background privileges that you have explicitly given it — music streaming, location services, etc. Even then, it’s just those components of the app) ! You can test this by restarting your iPad and then going back to the app switcher - all those app previews are still there, right where you left them.
So does it hurt to close out apps?
Maybe. When you immediately close out of an app, you have the potential for data lose if you force quit it before it can save its state to the disk. It can also hurt battery life. Instead of just waking the app up from standby, now it has to go through the full app boot process that can drain more battery!
Is there ever a time when you should force quit apps?
Yes. From Apple’s own tech support page: “When you double-click the Home button, your recently used apps appear. The apps aren’t open, but they’re in standby mode to help you navigate and multitask. You should force an app to close only when it’s unresponsive.
All in all, unless an app is causing problems, leave it alone!