During the setup process of a new or freshly restored iOS device, select “Restore from iCloud Backup” and enter your account information.
iCloud Backup is a wonderful thing. It helps protect your pictures, videos, text messages, and any other data on your iPhone and iPad by making a carbon copy every 24 hours to Apple’s cloud storage. You can check out our article explaining iCloud Backup if you don’t know what it is or how it works.
While iCloud Backup is great, it’s not so obvious how you actually retrieve your data out of it. We get a lot of questions about this, so know that you aren’t the only one confused!
Here’s how you can restore your stuff from iCloud:
Make sure your device is in an erased state, meaning that it must be reset to factory default. iCloud Restore must happen from the initial setup of an iOS device or after you’ve erased by going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings or by restoring your device using iTunes.
During the setup, you’ll get to a screen that asks you if you want to A. Set up as New, B. Restore from iCloud, or C. Restore from iTunes. We want to do an iCloud Restore!
When prompted, type in your Apple ID and password of the account you want to restore from.
Select the time/day of the backup you want to restore.
Wait as your phone installs the backup!
That’s it! iCloud will do the rest. Your device will reboot once during the process, then it will load up your home screen where it will start downloading your apps, photos, videos, and anything else you had on there.
A Couple of Notes
You might have to type in any iTunes or App Store account IDs or passwords that you’ve used to download any apps or media at any point in the backup you’re attempting to restore from.
Also, you might have to update your iOS before you can restore. This is because you CAN’T restore a newer iOS backup onto an older iOS system.
You CAN restore an older iOS backup onto a newer iOS system.
This process is the same for any iOS device, including the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that supports iOS 5 or later according to Wikipedia.
iCloud backup does not restore any passwords, UNLESS you have Two-Factor Authentication enabled.
iCloud backups are not encrypted unless you have Two-Factor Authentication enabled.
iCloud Restore FAQ
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about iCloud Backup that we see in our appointments with our clients.
Can I restore an individual file or photo?
You cannot restore individual files like Time Machine. It’s all or nothing. 😢
[UPDATE: Actually, Apple just released a new feature allowing us to recover individual files! You can read more about this new feature here.]
When can I restore from and iCloud Backup? How to I get my device ready?
Your iPhone or iPad has to be in an erased state in order to Restore. You can follow our instructions to learn how to erase your device or put it in recovery mode.
Why does my device say, “You must update the software before restoring from this backup?” I can’t update because I can’t get past this part of the setup!
You can’t restore onto older software than the backup was made. This one is tricky: we’ve seen sometimes where someone gets a new iPhone and tries to restore a backup to it and it fails, saying the software was too old. That means the new iPhone had older software from the factory than your old iPhone! You need to put it in recovery mode and do an update first using iTunes or complete the initial setup “As a New Device”, run the update, then Erase All Content & Settings by going to Settings > General > Erase All Content & Settings.
Can I see which photos, videos, or other individual files before I restore?
You can’t see individual items before you restore, you can only see the kinds of things stored. For example, you can see, “There are 2GB of photos and videos,” but you can’t actually look at each picture until you do an actual restore. However, you can do a restore to see what’s in the backup, but then start over again if you pulled from the wrong one!
How can I see what iCloud backups I have already and what time they last backed up?
To see what’s in your current iCloud Backup, head over to Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage where you can see which devices are being backed up. Click on whichever device is in question and you can see the latest backup time. NOTE: You can only see the content of the backup if you’re on the particular device in question. Otherwise, you can only see the backup time and size. (Kind of a bummer).
Make a Genius Bar appointment and take your broken charger and Apple will give you $20 off a new charger.
You’re here because something happened: your MacBook charger got chewed by your cat, dog, child, or couch. It might even be lost.
You’re also here because you don’t want to pony up $80 for a new MacBook charger, and I totally understand that, it’s a steep price for something that we take for granted.
Here’s how you can make $20 by spending a little time to get a new MacBook charger:
1. Make a Genius Bar appointment
Head over to Apple’s support online tool here — getsupport.apple.com. Then click on Mac > Mac Accessories > Other Peripherals > Accidental Damage > Bring In for Repair then sign in with your Apple ID and password.
Quick tip: as of Oct 2016 you can no longer book appointments through the Apple Store app directly, it sends you to the same website as above.
You should then be presented with dates and times you can book a Mac repair.
Be sure to select the Mac option because only the Mac technicians are authorized to replace MacBook chargers. The iPhone technicians will punt you to the Mac queue and you may end up waiting longer.
2. Bring your defunct charger with you to the appointment AND your Mac’s serial number
Apple has a $20 off a new replacement if you go through the Genius bar if you trade in your old, broken charger. That way you end up with a brand new charger.
Be sure to bring your Mac’s serial number in when you have the visit because they link the replacement to your Mac. If you don’t know how to find your serial number, check out Apple’s guide.
Absolutely NEVER buy a non-Apple MacBook charger because Apple has not licensed the MagSafe connector, the magnetized tip that goes on the end of all of the MacBook Air and Pro chargers Apple has made for a really long time.
The 12″ Retina MacBook charger uses USB Type C for the charger and you can easily find a new cable. It’s safe to get a third party USB-C cable, but not the actual charger brick. Get your new charger brick straight from Apple.
1. Check the contact of the person for any linked contacts without phone numbers.
Open up the person’s contact and scroll to the bottom. If there are more than one contact that have similar information, your iPhone will link them together. It seems that after iOS 10 Siri is unable to navigate multiple linked contacts.
2. Add a phone number to the linked contact
2. Remove the linked contact if it’s a duplicate
Following these easy steps should solve your issue where Siri won’t text message people because she can’t find your number.
I hope this helps relieve some of your stress! Let me know if I need to add anything in the comments. 😊
Buy the right adapter, case, or dongle to convert the lightning port to the traditional headphone/aux jack and allow simultaneous charging. 🎧🔋
The iPhone 7 removed the headphone jack. I get it, it’s inconvenient. There have been a few times already where I was denied music because I didn’t have the proper equipment to plug into an aux jack or headphones. You’ve probably had a similar situation if you’re reading this article, so you feel my pain.
Apple was kind enough to include a short Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter that converts the Lightning port in the bottom of your iPhone 7 into an aux or headphone slot.
My recommendation would be to purchase one of these adapters for each place you consistently plug into for music. Aka one for the car, one for your speakers at home, and one for your go-to headphones. Switching this bad boy back and forth between spots is how it will get lost.
It is super small, maybe ~2″ long. You can purchase another adapter for only $9 if that happens, so all in all it isn’t a terrible solution.
Belkin announced their Lightning Audio + Charge adapter recently that splits your Lightning port into two different slots so you can charge in one and use the included dongle at the same time. It’s a little bit of a bummer because you now have to use two different adapters, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. It’s a little steep at $40, but desperate times call for dongles.
Purchase a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) — $$$
The Verge covered the A-2SE, which is a high-end audio converter plus a battery for your iPhone 7. At $299, it’s not easy on the wallet but it will sound amazing and includes a 3000mAh battery which will recharge your iPhone while also converting your audio.
Listen to Bluetooth wireless headphones — $$$
Because wireless headphones don’t suck anymore, there are plenty of good models to choose from.
My recommendation would be to purchase a pair with Apple’s new high-powered, battery efficient W1 chip. It pairs your headphones instantly with your device when you need them and can dynamically switch between your iPhone, iPad, or Mac depending on which one you’re playing audio from at that moment.
Here’s a list of Bluetooth wireless headphones that include the awesome W1 chip along with my general summary of each.
There are other great Bluetooth headphones, but if you’re bought into the Apple ecosystem, I wouldn’t buy any that don’t have the magical W1 chip.
In the Car
Use the Bluetooth or USB connection your car has now — FREE
If this is your situation, consider yourself lucky. You can listen to audio and charge your iPhone at the same time without having to purchase anything. Yay!
Purchase an adapter if you already have an aux jack in your car — $
This converter from IlDock will split your single Lightning jack into a charging port and 3.5″ audio port for the aux in your car. Problem solved! Plus it gets the job done for an affordable price, as of 11/28/16 the IlDock is on sale for $10. Great for those who have a traditional aux jack already hooked up and don’t want to have to buy a new car audio system.
Are your iPhone message effects not working? I’m so sorry! No worries, I’ve got the quick fix here. 😊
iOS 10 brought along some hilarious and fun new message effects like fireworks, confetti, and stickers, but there are a couple of possible reasons you could be missing out on the fun. 🎉🎊 Here are the steps to get you back to the party.
1. Update your iPhone to iOS 10
Head over to Settings > General > Software Update and check for update
If iOS 10 is available, press Download and Install or Install. Your iPhone will download the update, which could take a while depending on how fast your internet speed is, then it will ake 15-30 minutes to complete the update.
The new iMessage effects are only available for iPhones on iOS 10 or newer. If you have iOS 7, 8, or 9 you will not be able to partake in the new iMessage goodness.
A couple of possible snags when updating:
If it says you are up-to-date but you are still on iOS 9 or earlier, it means that your device does not support iOS 10 and never will 😢
If you are able to get iOS 10 but your iPhone is full, you’ll need to free up some storage before you run it. Go to Settings > General > Storage and iCloud Usage > Manage Storage (under top section) and you can see a list of items on your iPhone that are taking up the most space from greatest to least. This will help you decide what to remove from your iPhone to update it.
Navigate to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and make sure the switch is turned off (grey, not green)
The new iMessage effects only work if you have the “Reduce Motion” option disabled in your iPhone. Many people have reduced the motion of their iPhone out of the false belief that it boosts speed and battery life. Apple has optimized iOS to handle these transitions just fine. This is probably the reason your iPhone message effects are not working!
[Plan C] Delete the iMessage conversation that isn’t showing effects
If steps 1 and 2 don’t resolve your issue, go to your list of conversations in iMessage and slide left on the conversation you want to delete, then tap the red delete button. You will lose your entire texting history with them, just FYI.
[Last Resort] 🔥 Reset All Settings 🔥
If you are truly desperate and nothing has worked so far, resetting all settings will most likely resolve your issue.
Head over to Settings > General > Reset > and press Reset All Settings
Reset All Settings is the step you take before completely erasing your iPhone. You will not lose photos, email accounts, calendar accounts, contacts accounts, text messages, apps, or app data, but you will lose the following:
Saved Wi-Fi Networks
Anything in Settings, basically
[Rock Bottom] 💥 Erase and set up as new 💥
This is the nuclear option. Only use it if you are in dire straights. You will lose everything and completely erase your iPhone. You’ve been warned.
Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings
Again, this will completely erase your iPhone and start you over, so please only do it if necessary!
I hope this article helped you out. 😊 If it did, share it on social media or comment below to let me know!
Oh, and if you have another fix, please let me know in the comments. If you want more articles like this, sign up for your newsletter!
Questions answered in this article:
Why can’t I see iMessage effects in iOS 10?
Why does my iPhone say “sent with fireworks”?
Why does my iPhone say “sent with balloons”?
Why does my iPhone say “sent with confetti”?
Why does my iPhone say “sent with lasers”?
Why does my iPhone say “sent with slam”?
Why does my iPhone say “sent with loud”?
Why does my iPhone say “sent with gentle”?
Why does my iPhone say “sent with invisible ink”?
What are these balloons in my iPhone messages?
How do I get lasers to show in iOS 10?
Setup your Apple ID correctly by signing into all of the appropriate places with the correct email address and password.
The Apple ID is becoming more and more powerful these days with the onset of new Apple services: iCloud Drive, iCloud (in general), iMessage, etc. But at the same time, it’s becoming more confusing.
Random messages pop up asking for our password, which one do you type in? iCloud password? Apple ID password? This article is designed to make that process a little bit easier to understand.
The Apple ID Wears Lots of Hats
Here are the different services that are completely interchangeable with the Apple ID:
If you are prompted for one of these passwords, keep in mind that each of these are really the same account! The key is to pay attention to which email address they are prompting you for.
“But what if I have a Gmail?” you may ask. Well, your Apple ID doesn’t necessarily have to be an Apple email address (@me.com, @mac.com, or @icloud.com). If you get a prompt that shows your email address on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, it’s always your Apple ID. If it was asking for your password for your email, it would simply say, “Enter your password for the account, Gmail.”
The Five Homes of the Apple ID
I’d like to walk through all the places your Apple ID should be signed in for correct configuration. This assumes you have your own Apple ID that you aren’t sharing with anyone (that’s a whole other topic or appointment). Just know that you can technically use a different Apple ID for each of these places. If you’re not sure which Apple ID should go where for your family, that would be a fantastic appointment.
On iOS: Can be found in Settings > iCloud.
On the Mac: Go to System Preferences > iCloud.
Make sure you don’t sign in with a shared family Apple ID here, or contacts and calendars could get merged together and take hours to pull apart. iCloud is a very individual service and should be used by only one person per account.
2. iTunes & App Store
On iOS: These settings are combined in one place, Settings > iTunes and App Store.
On the Mac: These are found in the individual apps for iTunes and App Store. Open iTunes and click Sign In in the top right of the window. For App Store, click on the Menu Bar item “Account”. If you see an email address there, you’re signed in already. If not, Sign In to your account here.
Note that it’s okay to use a shared/family iTunes account here, nothing bad is going to happen if a lot of people use this Apple ID. If you have kids, you may want to consider setting up Family Sharing so that your kids can take their purchases with them when they leave the nest, all while still using your payment method. That would also be a great appointment.
On iOS: Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
On the Mac: Open the Messages app and go to the Messages preferences (in the top left of your screen click on Messages > Preferences) and go to the Account section. Sign into iMessage there. You’ll be prompted to sign in if it’s your first sign-in.
On iOS: Settings > FaceTime
On the Mac: Open the FaceTime app and sign in!
Confusing, but not impossible
Even knowing where everything is supposed to go doesn’t clear up other Apple ID issues like multiple IDs per family, forgotten passwords, or having an Apple ID with an email address that doesn’t exist anymore.
We do a lot of Apple ID appointments because it’s important to have this stuff straight! The more crucial the Apple ID becomes, the more important having the right passwords and IDs becomes.
Recently in Apple Mail on Mac OS X El Capitan I received a strange error message when trying to add a Charter email account for a client: “Mail account already exists”. I followed the steps that Charter recommends but I could not get the account to add. After some troubleshooting, here’s how I finally solved it.
Before you implement this fix, verify you have the correct email and password by logging in to your email providers website (for Charter, it’s charter.net). Once you’ve done that, head to the solution below.
Head to the Apple logo in the top left corner > System Preferences
Select iCloud (third row, first icon)
Sign out of your iCloud account by clicking Sign Out
Re-add your mail account
Sign back into your iCloud account
Why this works
I believe iCloud Keychain causes the problem, which syncs lots of data, including internet accounts, across multiple devices. The email account in question is somewhere in the iCloud data trying to sync, but it’s stuck in limbo. However, disabling iCloud Keychain by itself does not fix the problem, leaving the only solution to be to sign out altogether.
Mac OS X Versions this affects
This bug affects all versions of Mac OS X El Capitan — 10.11.0, 10.11.1, 10.11.2, 10.11.3, 10.11.4, 10.11.5, and 10.11.6.
If you find that this bug affects other versions of OS X or have a better workaround, please leave a comment below.
Did you know that if you close iPhone apps it can actually hurt your battery life? I mention it in my guide to solving every battery drain issue for the iPhone, but I thought I’d make it a little more direct in it’s own post.
You heard me, stop quitting those apps! Here’s why:
Reasons You Shouldn’t Close iPhone Apps
The apps in your multitasking aren’t actually running in the background. The system freezes them so they are ready to go when you next need that app.
When you quit an app, it unloads the app from the RAM (short term memory), and when you need it again it has to load it from scratch. All of that unloading and reloading causes more drain than simply letting the iOS system do it for you.
iOS will automatically purge apps from the background if it needs more memory, so you’re doing something completely redundant.
Apple has allowed certain kinds of apps to run in the background, but they did so intelligently with a setting called Background App Refresh, which you can read more about in our simple explanation of Background App Refresh.
You should be the user of your device, not the janitor! Just use the dang thing, don’t worry about cleaning it up. iOS was designed with this in mind.
It’s annoying as heck to close iPhone apps all the time, like a really boring game of whack-a-mole.
How do I know this? I was a Mac and iOS technician at Apple for 22 months at the Apple Store in Birmingham, AL (R225, woot!). I made it my mission to solve iPhone battery life issues and dug deep into the internal knowledge-base documents that Apple makes available to technicians. Somehow I managed to figure out how to solve every iPhone battery problem.
So don’t close iPhone apps, just use them and enjoy them! You bought an iPhone to use it, not be the janitor.
Check your warranty, backup your device, and use Apple for your replacement screen to preserve your warranty and the quality of your iPhone or iPad screen.
Need to know what to do with a broken iPhone screen? Here is everything you need to know to get a broken screen replacement without voiding your warranty, further damaging your device, or hurting yourself. I worked at the Apple Store for almost two years and saw many people do this the wrong way and end up with a ruined iPhone and a voided warranty. Many tears were shed.
If your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch screen is broken, all hope is not lost. Fortunately, Apple makes it extremely easy to get a broken iPhone screen replacement if you do it the right way. As someone who used to work for Apple but doesn’t anymore, this is the best advice on the Internet for how to get your screen repaired.
If you are out of warranty, don’t freak out. You can still get a replacement at the Apple Store, and I strongly encourage you to let Apple handle it. I’ll go into that more later.
1st Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
If you’re under the manufacturer’s warranty, you still have to pay the same replacement cost as being out of warranty, as the 1st year warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage. Listed below is the replacement cost by device model.
If you have AppleCare+, go you! You payed $99 with your device and can get a replacement at an Apple Store or through AppleCare for $50-80, depending on the device. I have a full list of repair costs listed below.
Note: Apple Covers Hairline Cracks Under Warranty
One type of break is actually covered by warranty if you go to an Apple Store — a hairline crack. As of 2014, Apple considers a hairline crack to be a defect in the glass and will replace the device for free within the first year, or within the first two years if you purchased AppleCare+ (Apple’s extended warranty plan).
The way you know if you have a hairline crack is that it is a single line. If there is any other sign of damage or an obvious place of impact, the Family Room Specialist (the guys/gals who service iOS devices in Apple Stores) will not cover it under warranty.
If your device has multiple cracks or a spider web crack, you will have to pay the full replacement cost.
2. Backup Your Device (If Possible)
Make sure that you are backed up to either iTunes or iCloud so that when you take the step to get your device replaced, you are also able to get your photos and personal data back as well.
To backup to iTunes, plug in your iOS device to a PC or Mac with iTunes installed and press “Backup” on the device summary screen.
Tip: If you encrypt your backup, you do not have to enter your passwords again. Just don’t forget your encryption password, or you won’t be able to get your information back!
To backup to iCloud, go to Settings > iCloud > Storage and Backup (iOS 7) or Backup(iOS 8) and press “Backup Now“. If you don’t have enough storage, you can always buy more iCloud storage, which I highly recommend doing.
Most importantly, Apple can replace your device all day long, but they can’t replace your photos or memories.
3. Use Apple for your replacement
Take your iPhone to Apple for repair, it will be
Do not take it to the mall kiosk guy, the iRepairFixBreakYouFixit place, your local gas station that does iPhone repairs, or some whizz-kid that can do it in his lair. Here’s why:
Apple will replace your device for a reasonable cost — while maintaining your current warranty status. If you are out of warranty, Apple will actually give you a 90 day warranty on the new device.
Tip — Mixed Warranty Repair
If you are still under AppleCare, AppleCare+, or the 1 year manufacturer’s warranty and you have a broken screen AND another issue that is covered under warranty, Apple will actually replace your device for free — IF the other issue is not in any way connected to the screen break.
For example, if your lock button is jammed (top of device) and the bottom of your screen is cracked, it’s up to the Family Room Specialist to make the call on whether or not the lock button issue is or is not related to the screen break. A good FRS likes to make customers happy, and will actually look for opportunities to do this. It’s really fun to make someone’s day. They just need to justify it.
There is no use in trying to push through to management or by throwing a fit and being a jerk to get your way. In a well-run Genius Bar, the management will always take the side of the technician unless the technician is acting outside of the spirit of Apple service, which is to do the best thing for the customer at all times.
Apple Washes Their Hands Of Your Device If You Go Somewhere Else
Apple recognizes this as taking service into your own hands and voids your warranty. Your only option, if anything else goes wrong, is to go back to the person who fixed it on the cheap, buy a brand new device (for $500-700 — ouch!), or buy a used one on eBay.
As a result, I saw countless customers who had their screen replaced somewhere else come in because it wouldn’t turn on anymore, and had to tell them that we wouldn’t repair it.
Furthermore, on the iPhone 5 and newer Apple performs a semi-complex calibration process that must occur on the MultiTouch, Proximity Sensor, and Display that uses a special machine built by Apple. Therefore, using a third party vendor hinders your iPhone’s functionality.
Apple will void your warranty
You may think, “Oh, they’ll never know I got it done somewhere else.” Kindly, you are wrong 🙂
The Apple Store iOS technicians see hundreds of devices every week and sniff out third-party screen replacements like a blood hound.
Realistically, I’d say about 1 in every 1,000 would get through. Realistically.
Please do not repair your device anywhere else. Pony up and let Apple handle it. You will be much better off for it.
Don’t Do It Yourself
You can literally die if you try to replace the screen of an iPhone or iPad yourself and you don’t know what you’re doing. I’m not kidding.
Apple created the battery without a protective shell to save room inside, because of this, if you so much as barely dent the battery or puncture it, it will burst into flames and spew poisonous gas into the room. Lithium-Ion batteries are extremely volatile when disturbed.
You can burn down your house, injure yourself, and/or die. You know how those Samsung Galaxy 7’s are exploding in peoples’ pants? Yeah, that’s what will happen.
Don’t do it.
4. Mail it in to AppleCare if you live far from an Apple Retail Store
In addition to taking your iPhone into a store, if you are far away from an Apple Store, help is still available. You can set up a mail-in repair through AppleCare by calling 1-800-APL-CARE (1-800-275-2273) or go to getsupport.apple.com.
Apple’s GetSupport site is amazing. I highly recommend going there for more information.
One thing to note is that if AppleCare sends you the device first, they will charge you the full cost of the device as collateral until they receive your broken device in return. It’s kind of a bummer, but it’s the way the world works.
Broken iPhone Screen Replacement Cost
Finally, here are the prices that apply if you replace your device through an Apple Retail Store or mail it in through AppleCare. These prices are competitive with what the guy on the street does it for.
Here’s a breakdown of each device replacement cost.
Background App Refresh allows your apps to check for new information in the background in an intelligent and controlled manner. Because of Background App Refresh, apps do not get a blank check to run in the background, but instead are only able to refresh at certain times, locations, and battery levels.
I absolutely hate blogs that tell people to disable Background App Refresh. Most of these “How to Fix Battery Drain” articles are designed to get clicks and are not very concerned with accuracy. Well I’m here to set the record straight about Background App Refresh. I happened to have written an article about how to fix iPhone battery drain that has received over 2 million+ hits in the last two years.
BAR [^1] does not give any app a blank check to run whenever it wants. It actually adds a layer of _intelligence _to the way your phone handles apps in the background. I believe that in some cases, it could actually increase energy efficiency of your iOS device. To get a better understanding of what Background App Refresh adds to the iOS experience, here is Apple’s own definition of Background App Refresh.
…Apps can continue to run for a short period of time and are then set to a suspended state so they are not actively in use, open, or taking up system resources. They will instantly launch when you return to them. Certain tasks or services can continue to run in the background. To lessen the effect on battery life, normal app background refreshing is scheduled for efficient times, such as when your device is connected to Wi-Fi, plugged into a power source, or being actively used. When Background App Refresh is on, apps that take advantage of this feature can refresh themselves in the background.
For example, an app can check if new content is available and download the updates, or retrieve the updated content in the background when it receives a push notification, so the new content is ready for viewing when you launch the app. Apps can also schedule background refreshing based on your location. If you force an app to quit by dragging it up from the multitasking display, it won’t be able to do its background activities, such as tracking location or responding to VoIP calls, until you relaunch the app. iOS learns patterns based on your use of the device and tries to predict when an app should be updated in the background. It also learns when the device is typically inactive, such as during the night, to reduce update frequency when the device is not in use.
To summarize Apple’s definition, BAR adds a layer of intelligence and efficiency to the way your apps act when you are not using them. It allows apps to temporarily open in the background, receive an update, and then freeze again so it cannot use system resources or drain your battery. The cool thing is that it will plan these little update pow-wows around times you are already using your device, in good Wi-Fi, or in a location you normally check those apps, which can make your iOS experience much smoother. Instead of opening an app you use constantly and waiting for a few seconds for it to update, you open the app and it’s already ready for your eyes to feast upon. Now you have to answer two questions when enabling or disabling Background App Refresh:
Do I check this app enough/is it critical for me to have this app up-to-date?
(optional) Do I trust the developer of this app to implement it correctly and not abuse it?
Question 1 is pretty straightforward. Do you absolutely need or want an app to always stay refreshed with current information? If you answer yes, then enable BAR for that app. Question 2 is a little harder to determine unless you follow the current tech blogs and trends. If you have absolutely no idea how to answer question 2, forget about it. Stick with the first question. For me, question 2 eliminated any Facebook and Google-related app I have installed on my phone.
I simply do not trust Facebook or Google to have my best interest in mind because I am not their customer. Both companies see me as a set of “eyeballs” to show me ads, and because our interests don’t align, I’m disabling BAR for any app written by them. Simple as that.
A good example of an app that meets both criterion is the best Twitter app for iOS, Tweetbot. I trust the developers at Tapbots, Paul Haddad and Mark Jardine, because of their track record of making fantastic apps, and I check it often enough that I would like for it to be up-to-date when I check it. I have BAR enabled for Tweetbot, and it is usually ready to go when I open it.
Background App Refresh is a great feature of iOS 7+, and I hate that fear and misinformation have caused so many people to disable it. It adds a level of efficiency that other devices or operating systems do not possess. These types of thoughtful features is what makes me love my iPhone, and Background App Refresh is a great addition to the iOS feature set.
[^1] A term coined by my friend, Rick Stawarz, who founded the great Apple consultancy, Appinstructor.