Apple doesn’t like for users to be able to see what’s “under the hood.” OS X and iOS are very design and aesthetically driven. Apparently, Apple feels that “viewing processes” is an archaic feature. There is no real way in iOS to get a bird’s eye view of everything that’s running on your phone.
There are, however, some of us out there who would like to know things like which processes are running and the current distribution of system memory. Luckily, App Switch, by XCool Apps, is here to remedy our need for total control…
AppSwitch is the first app of its kind to display all background processes on iOS. Its functionality extends so much farther than iOS’s built-in multitasking.
XCool App’s summary of AppSwitch highlights their utility, “AppSwitch’s Switch to App technology harnesses one of iOS’s most powerful features to let you quickly switch to another app, while Shortcuts lets you quickly switch to a feature within another app (e.g. switch directly to Twitter’s compose message screen).”
The “specific feature” is very interesting: for instance, you can fire up AppSwitch, check your processes, and jump straight to the Twitter app’s compose screen. I don’t know how the developers managed to do this, and I’m surprised that Apple hasn’t said that it breaks some kind of rule. Seems too controllable to be true.
AppSwitch, like most system utility apps, allows you to view all of your iPhone’s system information. You can see your model, build, MAC address, IP address, uptime, free space, etc. There is also a nifty feature to copy your phone’s UDID and MAC address to your clipboard.
There’s a nice pie chart of the different aspects of your system memory. Viewing your system memory usage can be excellent for troubleshooting and doing tech support.
The console feature of AppSwitch allows you to dig deep into your device’s internals. You can see messages sent back and forth between the OS and certain apps and services. Looking at this list can be a little overwhelming, but hardcore utility geeks should feel right at home.
But remember, AppSwitch is a viewing and troubleshooting utility only. Don’t think that you will now be able to manage and kill processes like Activity Monitor on OS X.
AppSwitch does have good support for app icons. There are currently three available icon packs that cover all of the stock apps and most of the popular apps in the App Store. I am very impressed with the design quality of this app. While the app icon could be a little better, the interface is clean and easy to use.
I recommend downloading AppSwitch. Pick it up for only $0.99 in the App Store.
What do you think? Would you like to be able to view all of the processes running on your phone? Does this app sound like a good troubleshooting tool for you?