For those of you who have jailbroken iphones, and have read my top ten reasons to jailbreak, know about backgrounder.

This is a great jailbreak app that allows you to run applications in the background.  And its one of those apps that I have a hard time living without.  Yes, I have a feeling it could be making my phone slower by getting in the way of memory garbage collection, but the jury is out on that.  And even if that was the case, its still worth it.

So now we have iOS4 available for download.  So far I have not heard anybody complaining yet, but I’m going to hold off for a week and see if those on the 3g with the slower processor feel the difference.  But that is not what I want to talk about.

Instead, I’m going to explore the question of whether we need backgrounder anymore with mutitasking on the iOS4.  I read a good review on Artstechnica talking about what iOS4 multitasking will and will not do.  Here is a quick bullet point summation.

  • Streaming Audio: You saw in the demo how streaming audio can continue in the background.  This is a Major win.   I have tested with AOL Radio or Stitcher, but I would assume they will update their apps if a new call is needed.
  • VoIP: Like streaming audio, you can run your VoIP in background as demo’ed with Skype.  Another MAJOR win.
  • GPS : Apps can keep calling GPS while running in the background.  This is fantastic, BUT what if its a driving app?  Like GPS Drive?  Will voice commands still work in the background?
  • Kind of multi threading:  I think we all know now that iOS4 does not support multithreading as we think about it on the desktop or WebOS. (At least I have the impression the WebOS supports it), but it does let some tasks that have been sent to the background to finish up.  But when you are ‘fast app switching’ what you are really doing is setting one app to ‘pause’ while you run the other app.

So this all sounds great right?  What could be the issue?  Well, the problem is, as I understand it, that the apps still do not have full access to all API calls that iOS4 offers.  In other words, you have a limited set of functions that can be allowed to run in the background, so if your app relies on just one function that is not on the background white list, then your app will not run in the background.  Perhaps you want to film something on the camera while reading something off the web. Or perhaps you want an app that is always checking for SMS message in order to read them to you while something else is running.  (This is an actual case btw).  So since only a select few apps will be able to fully take advantage of running multitasking, I’m thinking there is still a case for the jailbreak version of backgrounder.

So based on what I have read, I think I still want my backgrounder, and thus until I hear of a good reliable jailbreak for 4.0, I’m going to hold off  because that is really the only interesting new feature iOS4 is offering.

22 comments on “Will multitasking on the iOS4 make backgrounder on jailbreak redundant?

  • I have 3g IOS4 jailbroken and Backgrounder works great. I have 5 apps in the background with no slow down and increase load time for my favorite apps. I did try APPLE multitask on my 3g and it was total garbage. It slowed my phone down. Backgrounder is better for the 3G.

  • Unfortunately many of my favorite Cydia Apps do not function properly on iOS 4 (yet). Backgrounder seems to be working, but SBSetting w/ Pro Switcher is not, MobileTerminal is not, etc..

  • I got mobile terminal working thru installing the updated .deb file manually.
    Check iClarified for instructions and Google the mobileterminal updated deb.
    I can’t seem to get backgrounder working though on my 3G with IOS4.

    • ProSwitcher keeps putting my iPhone into Safe Mode. Tried Circuitous also same results. Removed Activator, Backgrounder, and ProSwitcher (from BigBoss I think). Added BooleanMagic repo (JB was from redsn0w so that repo wasn't automatically there like it was with Spirit.) Resprang (sprung? :O) and installed the BooleanMagic version of Activator and tried installing the alpha for ProSwitcher (from BM) in Safe Mode and still no go. It says I need to remove libraries (like SQLLite) that are required in order to install it. Guess I'm stuck with IOS4 Multitasking. Grrrrr

      • Hmm.. could be the order you are installing the apps. Perhaps clean everything off and put ProSwitcherin first. Although I have never used ProSwitcher so I'm sure that would be the solution.

      • i had the same problem… i love that app from 3.1.3 and i tried to use it with 4.0.1 and it keeps putting mine in safe mode so i completely uninstalled the package from cydia and no problems… im just angry we cant disable the iOS 4 multitasking so we can get a better one

        • you can i think its in sinful reop or something it disables multitasking i still dont think pro-switer will work im autcholy useing backgrounder set when i just tap the home button and when i dubble tap it brings up the apples folder thing and i switch between apps from that

  • I just did this today, and got the same results. ProSwitcher and Circuitous both caused my phone to go into safe mode repeatedly. I couldn't even get it out of Safe Mode with ProSwitcher. Are thaer any other Application Managers that work with Background successfully in iOS4.0.1 on a 3G?

  • I had ios4 running on my 3GS for a week or so, I found the native multitasking was sending every app to the background once the home button was pressed. After a day of continuous use the phone was becoming very slow and I had to go and manually close every app I had opened over the course of the day. It annoyed me so much I downgraded the firmware. It didn't occur to me to try and install backgrounder while I was running IOS4, I am wondering if it will override the way apps are sent to the background, if perhaps we can gain control and have apps background on a double press of the home button rather than the single press currently being used?

    Does anybody know if this is the case, or if it will be happening?

    • I dont know for sure, but I doubt backgrounder will override iOS4 mutti taking. I have heard that if you run JUST backgrounder and no other multitasking type apps, that it mostly works, but until this is all sorted out, I have no plans to go to iOS4 and recommend to everyone I know to avoid it.

      • I found a comment on the MacRumors forums about this last night. The user (sOwL) Has described his set up using Remove Recents and Backgrounder. Am I allowed to post a link to it here?

        I may try it out over the weekend and see how it goes.

        • Go ahead and share it. And Remove Recents looks pretty interesting. I'll have to post that up and share it soon.

  • works a treat, just setup a override on backgrounder and and turned 'enable at launch' to off for any app I don't want to be backgrounded. If I want to send an app to the background I just hold the home button until backgrounding enabled appears. Either use the native double click, hold and hit red – to quit app, or hold the home button when app is open.

    It's not perfect, but it's better than apple alternative!

    Only been testing it for 5 minutes tho, will see how things go over the next few days :)

  • So i have a 3gs iphone and recently installed the ios4… like many of u said.. multitasking on ios4 FAIL… so i installed a package from cydia which eliminated the IOS4 multitasking (i got the double home button taping ipod controlers again 😛 ) and i installed backgrounder. IM HAPPY AGAIN!!

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