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Metro apps unable to run in the background?

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#1 migo

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:33

I never noticed this while using the CP and RP as there weren't enough apps to use to discover this. It seems that Metro apps just plain don't keep running in the background. For the most part, this wouldn't be an issue, but for music, it's a big problem. It makes sense for a music app to keep playing music while I've switched to something else (or even a video app, I don't really need to be watching the screen for a TED talk, for instance).

My PlayBook allows this to be changed - either all the apps constantly run, or they suspend when not in the forefront. Is there something similar squirreled away for Windows 8?


#2 vcfan

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:43

apps can do certain tasks in the background. audio is one of them,so all music apps should run in the background no problem. also apps can download and upload in the background, sync, update live tiles, and you can do some custom background stuff but your resources are limited so you don't suck all the cpu power and drain the battery,for example.

#3 OP migo

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:12

I've got a music app that suspends when in the background, so what you're saying would appear not to be the case.

Also, I don't really care about battery life or CPU usage on a desktop. That's fine for a phone which is guaranteed to not be connected to power and for which battery life is very important. It's silly not to offer a toggle option for a desktop that has upgradeable RAM and a multi-core CPU.

#4 zhangm

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:21

Default music app or third-party?

#5 OP migo

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:25

Third party.

#6 GarakObama

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:28

Well what app is it?

#7 jakem1

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:29

Third party.


That app hasn't been written properly then by the sound of it.

#8 vcfan

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:33

I've got a music app that suspends when in the background, so what you're saying would appear not to be the case.


then take it up with the developer then. its pure laziness. there should be no reason for it not to implement background audio. this isn't the fault of the os.

Also, I don't really care about battery life or CPU usage on a desktop. That's fine for a phone which is guaranteed to not be connected to power and for which battery life is very important. It's silly not to offer a toggle option for a desktop that has upgradeable RAM and a multi-core CPU.


all modern ui apps have to adhere to these standards,so it doesn't matter if you don't care about battery life, the apps are built that way.

Just curious,what it is you want to do in the background in modern apps?

#9 OP migo

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:08

Listen to music, obviously. Some of the internet radio apps look interesting, but they're useless if I have to be in the interface for them the whole time that I'm listening.

And it definitely is the fault of the OS, if it doesn't have a toggle. RIM did it properly with PlayBook OS, and Windows 7 and earlier have always let you just run music while minimised. It's a pretty common usage scenario. If it's an issue of using APIs properly, they should make sure that every music app in the store can run in the background, and regardless, they should have put a toggle in as well.

#10 rfirth

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:18

Listen to music, obviously. Some of the internet radio apps look interesting, but they're useless if I have to be in the interface for them the whole time that I'm listening.


Well, try them out. They should work in the background. It sounds like you found one that was written incorrectly and doesn't. Try the default music app... it gives you free streaming. It's pretty awesome.

And it definitely is the fault of the OS, if it doesn't have a toggle. RIM did it properly with PlayBook OS, and Windows 7 and earlier have always let you just run music while minimised. It's a pretty common usage scenario. If it's an issue of using APIs properly, they should make sure that every music app in the store can run in the background, and regardless, they should have put a toggle in as well.


Microsoft isn't going to do an exhaustive test of the app. It's up to the developer to do and to fix. Complain to them and/or write a review for that app that mentions the shortcoming. It's absolutely not a fault of the OS.

No, no toggle. That breeds laziness (developer laziness). It masks the symptoms instead of treating the disease. It should just be written properly. Yes, it's a matter of using APIs appropriately.

#11 Dashel

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:23

They definitely need to make some tweaks in this area. Its particularly frustrating on my Surface that we simply can't trust it to manage resources effecietly yet (or worse, leaves it up to the app).

If MS doesn't get that, it has little chance in the appliancesphere. Less ads, more updates.

#12 zhangm

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:42

And it definitely is the fault of the OS, if it doesn't have a toggle. RIM did it properly with PlayBook OS, and Windows 7 and earlier have always let you just run music while minimised.


Windows 8 puts processes into an idle mode to optimize resource usage. App developers are the ones responsible for making their apps tell the OS that it indeed needs to run in the background. The OS is asking your music app, "Hey, you busy?" and the app is replying, "Nope." It shouldn't, but the developer never told it not to.

#13 OP migo

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 13:52

Well, try them out. They should work in the background. It sounds like you found one that was written incorrectly and doesn't. Try the default music app... it gives you free streaming. It's pretty awesome.


Not of the type I want. I see that yes, it does play music in the background, but there's no mood-based playlists or artist discovery going on.

Microsoft isn't going to do an exhaustive test of the app.


They totally should, they barely have enough apps as is. Once it gets more populated, it would make sense to just leave it up to the developers, but at the moment, it's about properly supporting the devs.

It's up to the developer to do and to fix. Complain to them and/or write a review for that app that mentions the shortcoming. It's absolutely not a fault of the OS.


Yes it is, because the OS doesn't have a toggle for apps running in the background.

No, no toggle. That breeds laziness (developer laziness). It masks the symptoms instead of treating the disease. It should just be written properly. Yes, it's a matter of using APIs appropriately.


It's not a matter of developer laziness, it's a matter of choice to use the computer how I like. That was the appeal of Windows compared to OSX, if MS keeps this up they'll be removing that advantage, and handing it to Android (and Linux maybe). And it doesn't breed dev laziness on the PlayBook, so you're wrong all around.

Microsoft is in 3rd place now. They need to stop acting like they're in first place. The only reason people are using Windows 8 in the numbers they are is because of Legacy support. They need to do more to make it appealing for people to use Metro.

#14 Crimson Rain

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 13:55

Third party.

Fault of the app developer.

Also, Steam has issues with "background audio metro apps."

#15 +Matthew S.

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 14:03

Not of the type I want. I see that yes, it does play music in the background, but there's no mood-based playlists or artist discovery going on.



They totally should, they barely have enough apps as is. Once it gets more populated, it would make sense to just leave it up to the developers, but at the moment, it's about properly supporting the devs.



Yes it is, because the OS doesn't have a toggle for apps running in the background.


It's not a matter of developer laziness, it's a matter of choice to use the computer how I like. That was the appeal of Windows compared to OSX, if MS keeps this up they'll be removing that advantage, and handing it to Android (and Linux maybe). And it doesn't breed dev laziness on the PlayBook, so you're wrong all around.

Thats like me saying I'll develop a chat app and it's up to the users to create the network connection (in code!). It's not Microsofts responsibility while I agree for these type of media apps there should be some check that they are indeed background-able it's still up to the developer to KNOW THE API and fix their ****.