What is Background Refresh?

Background Refresh is a feature of iOS which enables apps to occasionally awaken from a suspended state to refresh themselves. In Tweetlogix, you can enable background refresh for Twitter Mentions and Direct Messages. If new items are received during a background refresh, Tweetlogix will post iOS local notifications to Notification Center and update the Tweetlogix app badge.

Unlike iOS push notifications, background refresh occurs locally on your device and is invoked by iOS at irregular intervals. This means that these notifications are not instantaneous and background refreshes occur only at times determined by iOS. If you’re wanting instant and guaranteed-reliable notifications then this feature is not for you. However, if you’re interested in receiving infrequent notifications then this feature may suit your needs.

There is one exceptional case where background refresh does deliver instant notifications. If the app is streaming over Wi-Fi, iOS will allow the app to continue to run in the background for approximately two minutes after you press the Home button to close the app. During this short period of time, Tweetlogix will take advantage of its streaming Twitter connection and post immediate local notifications of new Mentions or Direct Messages.

To enable background refresh, open Tweetlogix Settings and navigate to Refresh > Background Refresh. From there you can turn on background refresh for Mentions and/or Messages. You can also choose whether the app should refresh all of your Twitter accounts, or just the last active account.

After Tweetlogix has posted its first iOS local notification, it should appear in the iOS Settings Notification Center. See Notification Center > Tweetlogix to customize alert style, app badge, and sounds.

If background refresh is not working for you, here’s a few things to check:

  • In iOS Settings, navigate to General > Background App Refresh and verify that it is turned on globally, and also turned on for the Tweetlogix app.
  • In Tweetlogix Settings, navigate to Refresh > Background Refresh and verify that Mentions and/or Messages are turned on. Also verify that the Scope option is set as desired.
  • Double-tap the Home button on your device and verify that Tweetlogix appears in the iOS Task Manager. The app must appear in the Task Manager in order to perform background refreshes. If you remove Tweetlogix in Task Manager then the app will be terminated and background refreshes will not occur.
  • Try locking, then unlocking your device using the Sleep/Wake button. I’ve found that this may cause iOS to trigger the very first background refresh after enabling the feature.