By Jessica Brown, 27 October, 2013 Forum iOS and iPadOS What is the new background app refresh feature in iOS 7 for? In iOS 6, my apps still give me new notifications even if they are closed and not in the app switcher, so what is the difference between that and background app refresh? Thank you. Options Log in or register to post comments Comments explination hi. to put it basicly, it means that when ever you unlock your iDevice, or get a notification from an app, the system will update the app in the background. lets say for argument sake you got a notification from twitter, saying i had messaged you. you unlock your device, tap twitter, ... and this is where it changes. in the old way, it would then have to update the twitter timelines, when you open the app. so that can take a bit of time. in the new system, because it saw you get an alert from twitter, it updated twitter in the background, long before you even unlock your device to look at it. so when you open it, you will not have to wait for it to refresh / update the timelines, you can just start using the app straight away. this works rather well, and it means that i don't have to do a pull to refresh the screen to grab the latest tweets. they are already there. i hope this helps you understand how it works and what it's for. it does Hi. It does. Thank you. another question So do you have to unlock your device for apps to refresh or will they refresh without you touching your device? Like can you be in a room and your device be in a different room and still have the apps refresh with the device locked? yes hi, yes, it will refresh them, if for example, that app gets a notification, it will update in the background when the alert comes in. so you don't have to unlock it. it's just that it can also use when you unlock, and several other things, to refresh in the background. and incoming alerts for that app, cause it to refresh as well. background app refresh Background app refresh is that apps that request data in the background to function.