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As I was using an app on my iPhone, I accidentally hit the home button. I quickly reopened the app. But instead of it resuming where I left off, the app had to load all over again. (This was Clash of Clans and I was in a raid!)

Is there a way to keep an app open in the background?

Such a feature would also allow me to quickly check something and then return to the app that I was on.

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If you jailbreak, you can do this for all apps (keep them in the foreground even if they go into background), but otherwise, you're subject to whatever the application developer decided to do as @grgarside points out. – Andrew Larsson Mar 7 at 17:09
Indeed @Andrew, I was going to mention jailbreaking but are there any good iOS 9-compatible backgrounding tweaks? – grgarside Mar 7 at 17:11
InfinityTask is one. I'm on jailbroken iOS 8, so I can't test any iOS 9 stuff, but I've heard other people recommend it. – Andrew Larsson Mar 7 at 17:16
Looking more into InfinityTask, it appears that it only extends the 10 minute background time limit, so unless the application takes advantage of background tasks, it will have no effect. – Andrew Larsson Mar 7 at 17:31
Dissident seems to have good reviews and plenty of options for how the backgrounding behaves. – Andrew Larsson Mar 7 at 17:43
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Apps are paused when backgrounded and resume when opened. If an app does not correctly resume to the state it was left in, this is something only the developer can fix.

It's not possible to run an app in the background as if it was in the foreground. Apps can only run a limited set of tasks in the background for a short period of time per Apple guidelines, or use structured backgrounding such as Background App Refresh.

Also see iOS 7 seems to be killing apps too often.

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If you're on iOS 9.0 - 9.1, you can jailbreak with PanGu. You can then install a tweak called Dissident in Cydia that enables backgrounding with different behaviors per-application.

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