Since iOS 4 introduced multitasking, you may or may not know that each iPad or iPhone app you launch (quietly) runs in the background. This occurs when you jump to another application, hit the home button, etc. The purpose is to enable you to quickly jump back and forth between apps.

The iPad will close apps as memory is needed, but certain apps (GPS apps in particular) can still nibble away at your battery. Being a hardcore user of my iPad 2 and iPhone 4, I have a habit of running 30 or more apps in the multitask bar before I start killing apps. I don’t typically run into battery issues since I have made it a habit to kill my GPS app once I no longer need it.

Whether you want to kill a battery-hogging GPS app, need to kill an app that isn’t behaving properly, or just would like to clean out all the apps running in the background, you’ll find these steps helpful.

Step 1: Double Tap the Home button to bring up the multitasking bar. All apps running in the background will appear via their icon in this section. Swipe to the left to scroll and reveal each.

Step 2: Press and hold the app you want to kill

Step 3: Tap the red minus sign that appears to successfully kill the app

Unfortunately, unlike Android, I haven’t found any apps (other than a jailbreak app) that kills all background apps so you’ll need to kill one app at a time. Let me know if you have any problems or if you’ve found an app that can automate this process.