The ability to switch between apps is a functionality that we’ve come to expect across the board. Windows does it. macOS does it. Linux does it. Android does it. And iOS, well, iOS used to do it pretty well.
But no more.
Must read: iOS 13.3 beta: Apple appears to be working on a fix for frustrating memory bug
iOS 13.2 is a pretty solid release. Performance is good. Stability is almost flawless. And battery life is OK-ish.
But when it comes to memory management, iOS 13.2 — and iPadOS 13.2 for the iPad — is bad. Really bad. Appallingly bad.
So, what’s the problem? Well, put simply, you fire up an app, do some work in it — perhaps load a page, or a document, or whatever function the app is supposed to do — and then switch to another app to do something. OK, so far, everything is fine. But now try switching to the first app and see what happens.
If you’re lucky, the first app fires up, and you’re back where you started. However, with iOS 13, more than likely the app will reload, and you’ve lost whatever you were doing. iOS was never really that good at multitasking between apps — it always had a tendency to forget what apps in the background were doing — but iOS 13 and iOS 13.2 has taken this and elevated it to new heights of awfulness.
Multitasking has gone from being sometimes annoying to a continual slog of frustration and irritation. I’ve had this happen across a variety of apps on a number of different platforms, so it isn’t limited to select apps or devices.
The problem appears to be across the board.
The issue appears to be down to memory management issues, with iOS not retaining the app’s information in memory long enough when it is sent to the background. This could be a bug, or it could be a feature and Apple being overly aggressive in maximizing the amount of RAM available for apps in the foreground so as to improve performance.
iOS now fails to deliver a basic feature that you have come to expect from any modern operating system.
On the iPhone, this bug is hugely annoying, but on the iPad, a platform that Apple boasts as being a replacement for a laptop — presumably one running Windows or macOS and is capable of multitasking correctly — it’s a huge, embarrassing failure. Not only that, but it’s a huge disappointment for those who have invested money in the iOS platform.
The fact that Apple hasn’t spotted and fixed this glaring problem hints that the company doesn’t take the needs of heavy, high-end and professional users seriously, and as such, it is becoming hard to recommend the platform to professionals looking to do real work with it.