Backgrounder Allows iPhone Applications to Run in Background

February 6, 2009 — by Simon Ng11



Backgrounder Allows iPhone Applications to Run in Background

February 6, 2009 — by Simon Ng11

As usual, there are lots of speculations around about the features of the upcoming iPhone firmware update. Yesterday, MacRumors reported they’ve heard from a source that Apple will allow third party iPhone applications to run in background in the next firmware update.

What does this feature mean to you?

Probably you are unaware. But actually, you’re already enjoying this feature on iPhone. Think about that, while you’re listening music using iPod application, at the same time, you can browse the Internet with Safari. This is a perfect example showing iPhone runs two applications in parallel or what so called “multi-tasking”. And, in this case, iPod is the background application (it’s running in background) and Safari is the foreground or active application (you’re actively using it).

Till now, Apple restricts this feature to its original application like iPod and does not allow third party iPhone applications to run in background. That means, at one time, you can launch and use a single application only. If you have ever used any Internet radio application on iPhone, you’ll know that you just can’t listen to radio and browse Internet with Safari at the same time. Once you click the Home button, the Internet radio application is closed. The same for Internet messaging application.

So, that’ll be great Apple opens up this opportunity for all iPhone applications and let user select any of them to run in background.

You probably can’t wait for Apple to deliver this feature. Again, it’s always a privilege for Jailbreak iPhone user to enjoy iPhone hacks — Backgrounder.

Backgrounder is a free application from Cydia that lets you put most iPhone applications and let it run in background. So, you can have multiple iPhone applications running at the same time.

After you download and install Backgrounder from Cydia, simply hold down the Home button until you see a message pop-up “”Backgrounding Enabled”” that tells you the application has been put into background. You can now click the home button and launch other iPhone application. The original application will keep running in background.

To terminate the application running in background, tap the application icon to load it up. Then simply hold down the Home button until you got the message pop-up telling you that Backgrounding is disabled.

For certain applications, such as instant messaging application, you probably want to enable Backgrounder by default. Backgrounder also comes with a configuration screen that lets you do that. Simply tap the Backgrounder icon to launch the Backgrounder configuration and select those application with Backgrounder enabled by default. Beware, don’t enable all applications. iPhone does not have enough memory to keep so many applications running in background.

For more information about Backgrounder, you can check out the official wiki.

Are you using instant message application or listening internet radio? Backgrounder will be a great add-on to your iPhone. Launch Cydia, install Backgrounder and give it a shot.

Simon Ng

Founder, developer and chief blogger of