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I saw this notification on my iPhone 12 Mini running on iOS 15:

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This made me wonder: How much faster can apps download if they have the focus on iOS?

Focus = running in the foreground.

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How much faster can apps download if they have the focus on iOS?

The only accurate answer is it depends.

When your app enters a suspended state, it must register the tasks it wants to execute in the background with BGTaskScheduer. This will manage the scheduling of running tasks when the system is idle.

Apple provides some strategies for implementing background updates:

Some apps perform work for a short time while in the foreground and must continue uninterrupted if they go to the background. Other apps defer that work to perform in the background at a later time or even at night while the device charges. And some apps need background processing time at varied and unpredictable times, such as when an external event or message arrives.

In short, a background activity can be dealing with push notifications, dealing with GET/POST actions to a web service to downloading updates. Reading through the documentation, the "standard slice" of time is 5 seconds (perfect for notifications) and should you need more, the app will have to register for an extended time slice.

So, looking at the two ends of the spectrum with respect to your question, the background download can be as fast as if you're running it in the foreground or completely stopped because you're actively using the device with a different app in the foreground.

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