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Reminders app: running or not?

Michael Graubart

Active Member
Nov 2, 2013
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London, UK.
I use the native Reminders app on my iphone SE (iOS 11.4.1). I have the following question, which, I hope, is not too naive: after I have set the reminder up, should I leave the app running in the background after I close the phone down?

With most apps, once I have finished using them and am shutting the phone down, I double-press the home button while seeing the home screen and then swipe up on the apps to close them. I have been doing that with Reminders, and it has not affected the punctual sounding of alerts when the reminder has been set to remind me at a day and time. But when set to remind me at a place, there seems sometimes to be a delay of up to 2 or 3 minutes. Could this be because I had closed the app? Should I leave it running even though the phone has been shut down?
Try leaving the app running in the background and see if it make a difference in location based reminders. It’s normally recommended not to force close apps as iOS has good memory management and will close background apps only as necessary.
Try leaving the app running in the background and see if it make a difference in location based reminders. It’s normally recommended not to force close apps as iOS has good memory management and will close background apps only as necessary.

Thank you very much for your reply, Scifan57. I have, in fact, been trying keeping the app running in the background, but there are so many variables (speed of approach or departure, walking or driving, route, etc.) that I have not got any definitive results yet, which is why I posted my question here.

What you say about not force-closing apps is very interesting. I had been advised (by a common-or-garden user of an iphone, not by a learned expert like you!) to force-close apps in order to save battery charge. Am I right in saying that this was bad advice?
In most cases it's not necessary. Re-opening a force closed app takes more time and CPU power. It also means that the app starts over from the beginning and not from where it left off when in the background. Force closing apps is generally advised only for apps that are misbehaving in some manner.
Thanks again, scifan57. But I have one further question about this. Suppose I turn my phone on, start an app like Reminders and set details on it, then put my phone back into my pocket and leave it alone for a while, so that it shuts down by itself. Do the apps that were running continue to run in the background even though the phone has been inactive for a while?
“Running in the background” doesn’t really describe what’s happening with most of the apps when you leave them to go to a different app. What’s really happening, is that they stay in a “frozen” state - the state they were when you left them. When you open them again, they continue from where you left them, and then start running again. The only exception I know that is really working in the background, is Facebook. That app should be closed after using it.

This means that shutting down the iPhone, whichever way it happens, has no influence on open apps.
You may also like to turn off Background App Refresh (selectively if needs be) under General Settings, to save your data.
That is really informative and helpful, J.A. and carolineM. Thank you. Curiously, Reminders is not listed under Background App Refresh on my phone; and the text at the top of the list of apps includes 'Turning off apps may help preserve battery life', which on the face of it (though it may, misleadingly, refer only to turning off Background App Refresh for apps rather than to tuning off the apps themselves) seems to contradict skifan57's advice earlier in this thread — advice which I have also seen confirmed in articles such as Don't swipe away apps on your iPhone since posting and reading in this forum on this topic. Thank you all again.
You’re very welcome. Reminders wouldn’t need to be under Background App Fresh, because, unlike a news app for instance, it wouldn’t refresh anyway.
I return to the Reminders app. I have followed advice and left it (and other apps) running in the background. What has transpired is that a reminder when leaving a location is totally unreliable: sometimes an alert will sound some minutes after leaving the circle defined in the app; more often it will not sound at all until I turn the phone on. When approaching a location, the app usually, but not always, works correctly: the alert usually sounds as I leave the specified circle, but sometimes (like when leaving a location) the alert does not sound until I open the phone. So I would again welcome and be grateful for any help.
I have to return to the Reminders app and its behaviour when set to remind at a location. I have been testing it some more, with the app running 'in the background' (I know now that that is the wrong description, but I cannot describe it any other way) and it seems to have got worse!

Set to sound an alert when leaving a location, it is as before: when I have left the defined circle, the alert will sound if I wake the phone up — or, sometimes, without waking it up, but after 2 or 3 minutes have elapsed.

Set to sound an alert when arriving at a location, it has most times stopped working altogether.

I now have two questions;

1. Can it be that the app only works reliably when set for a location if one crosses the perimeter of the defined circle at speed? I have been testing it when walking towards or away from a location, not when driving.

2. Could the app have become corrupted? Would it be a good idea — and is it safe — to delete it and re-install it from the App Store?

Once again, I shall be very grateful for advice.