Quickly terminating an iOS4 multitasking iPhone app

I’ve always hated the way it takes several taps to close a web page on the iPhone browser. Apple takes a similar approach with handling multitasking apps in iOS4, but introduces a much bigger problem. The problem is to truly close (i.e., terminate) a background application, you have to switch to the Home screen, double-click to open up the task menu, long-press an icon and then select the app to terminate. That’s a lot of steps and a pain if you always want to truly close a particular app.

So far apps running in the background don’t seem to impact battery life too bad, but the big exception for me is the Tom Tom GPS app. This baby sucks juice like crazy. Anyways, with a little searching I came across this gem of a posting 30+ Super Secret iPhone Features and Shortcuts. Most of this stuff I already knew, but the sixth one down entitled “Hold Home for Five Seconds to Quit the Current App” was just what I was looking for.

Just hold the Sleep/Wake (aka Power) button until the power off screen appears. Then hold the Home button (the big button on the lower-front of the iPhone) until the app closes. Works perfectly!

You will notice that the icon will still appear in the tasks list, but as far as I can tell, it isn’t running and if you select it, the app boots like it is the first time and doesn’t return you to the state it was in last.

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