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On the last week I powered off the iPod at least once per day, but today I noticed that in the multitasking tray there were applications I have not used in the past weeks. Are those applications running, or the tray simply list them because I used them?

If those applications are really running, is there a way to stop the iPod from running the same applications that were running before I powered it off?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

These applications are not necessary "running". The multi-tasking tray doubles as a "recently used" list. So although you may not have run these applications in the past week, they are listed in the order they last ran (however long ago that was).

So, to answer your question, no the iPod doesn't restart all previously open applications.

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They are not really running - but many of them are basically just 'images' of memory for the application. As part of the quick-switching and resuming feature that was brought as part of iOS 4's multitasking - they store images of their memory then stop execution to not use other resources. Then when you switch to them, they can relaunch from their saved state.

When you restart the iPod, usually the apps that register themselves as using this type of multitasking will show up in that tray because either they have this memory image still stored, or the OS loads them as 'available' switch-to processes because it knows they support that.

As Rob said - it is also usually in the order of when you last used them.

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Some extra, slightly off-topic info: note that you don't have to run the app from the multitasking tray to get the benefit of it restarting in its saved state. The app will behave the same if you run it "normally" from the springboard and resume where it left off. – PeterMay Aug 29 '11 at 22:16

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