True multitasking has been the Holy Grail of iOS for quite some time now. Among all major smartphone platforms out there these days, Android is the only OS that offers true multitasking. In iOS, you get the impression of multitasking, but the apps restart from scratch if they stay in the background for too long, or if the App Switcher has too many apps in it. In the past, we have seen tweaks like Backgrounder and InfinityTask that bring true multitasking to iOS, but the new Background Manager has clearly demonstrated that there is still room for a tweak that refines the concept and offers a certain level of control over true multitasking. Background Manager lets you choose different settings for each app, or configure true multitasking for all apps at once. The tweak even has options to let users keep an app running when the phone is rebooted or the app is manually killed from the App Switcher.
To choose your default Background Manager settings, head to the ‘Global’ section of the tweak’s settings menu. These changes are applied to all stock and third-party apps installed on your iPhone. If you don’t want to change the multitasking behavior of all your apps, keep the ‘Native’ option checked in ‘Background Mode’ section. Going for ‘None’ disables multitasking altogether, meaning that every time you exit an app, it will start anew even if you go back to it after a few seconds or without running any other app before it.
The ‘Background’ option is the one that does the real magic. In this mode, all your apps get launched in the state you left them in, as long as they are not killed from the App Switcher. The ‘Each app’ entry just below Global shows similar options, but those are directed towards individual apps. First of all, you have to search for the app you want to change, using the alphabetically sorted list presented by Background Manager. Although most of the options are the same as Global, there are a couple of additional app-specific features as well. These ‘Auto launch’ and ‘Auto re-launch’ options give Background Manager an edge over its competitors; using these features, users can make sure that app’s state is preserved even if it is killed from the App Switcher, or if the device gets rebooted.
Owing to the nature of the tweak, it can only be assumed that it isn’t exactly a friend of your device’s battery. If you only apply the true multitasking mode to a handful of apps though, things might not be too bad. The tweak works only with iOS 6, and can be installed from the BigBoss repo for $0.99.