When Apple introduced the multitasking feature in iOS 4, it enabled multitasking support only for certain types of apps due to concerns over the adverse impact it could have on battery life.
So if you wanted true multitasking on your iOS device, you had to jailbreak your device to install Backgrounder. It gave you the control to decide when an app should keep running and when it should quit.
Unfortunately, Backgrounder is currently not compatible with iOS 6.x and based on the message on Cydia, it seems highly unlikely it will be updated with iOS 6.x support in the near future.
But a new jailbreak called Background Manager aims to fill the void, it promises to finally bring the backgrounder functionality to iOS 6.x.
The jailbreak tweak allows you to enable backgrounding or true multitasking across all apps or enable it for an app via the Settings app.
You have the option to select between three background modes: None, Background and Native. By default the background mode is set to Native. If you change it to Background to enable multitasking or to allow the app to run the background as if it was running in the foreground. When you select Background, it also offers toggles to enable disable Fallback to Native and Force Native mode. Unfortunately, due to lack of any documentation, I couldn’t figure out what it meant. They are enabled by default so I left them as it is.
If you want to enable backgrounding at an app level then launch the Settings app and navigate to Background Manager -> Each app -> tap on Add Item and select the app from the list. After selecting the app, tap on it and then select the Background mode. The app also allows you to launch an app when you boot your iPhone and relaunch the app if it exited for any particular reason.
I tested the tweak by enabling the Background mode with the Dropbox app and it seems to work as advertised and uploaded a large file in the background without interruption. It also worked well with Cydia, so it doesn’t load the package list every time you launch the app and you don’t see the Loading… splash screen.
It is recommended that you enable backgrounding at an app level rather than across all apps to avoid adversely impacting battery life.
Here’s the demo video of the tweak in the action below:
Background Manager is available on Cydia for $0.99. You can download it using this direct link (link works only on jailbroken device) from Cydia.
Please note that that backgrounding is disabled by default, so you need to enable it for the tweak to work after installing it.
Let us know what has been your experience with the tweak in the comments. Does it work as you expected?