How Many Cards Do You Leave Open? | webOS Nation

How Many Cards Do You Leave Open? 86

by Dieter Bohn Fri, 21 Aug 2009 8:11 am EDT

Not too long ago we wondered just what folks were keeping in their launch bar and mentioned an interesting tip: instead of using up space on your launch bar for an oft-used app, you could just ensure that you leave the card open all the time.  I tend to leave Email, Messaging, and Twee up all the time, so I have been experimenting with leaving them off my quick launch bar.  I don't think I'd go quite as far as Lonnie, who wrote in to suggest that it would be neat to be able to 'Anchor' cards so you can't accidentally swipe them away - great idea, though!

How about you? Do you tend to leave cards open or do you swipe them all away to get a look at your awesome wallpaper?  Hit us up in the poll and then let us know in the comments what apps always seem to up and waiting for you when you turn on your Pre.



Hmmm, 87% don't leave any cards open at all. That sort of calls into question the value of the ability of the Pre to multi-task.

If few people really use it the market will assign little value to it.

You can multi-task and when your done close them all.
Your assumption is a bit off.

When I'm USING the Pre, I've had up to 18 cards open. When I'm putting it in my holster to sit for a few hours, I won't leave that many open. But it was sure useful to copy info between memos, emails, podcast links, PrePod, etc. While listening to Pandora.

I close all my cards when I am not going to use my pre. I use multiple cards when I start using it again. Usually music, messaging and twee and a web page. Its useful when in use. =)

I multitask all the time but then close out when I am finished. Twitter, multiple browser windows, emails, chats...etc. Multitasking is one of the best things on the Pre - whether you swipe out everything or not.

I multi-task all day long, but the question was "how many cards do you LEAVE open". When I'm done multi-tasking I close the cards. Don't read too much into it.

depa, multitask has powers beyond your understanding. It has the ability to draw interest from people that criticize it even if they don't understand how it works. The key here "leave open". Do you ask the pre to suspend your work, while you non-task, so you don't have to reopen them on resumption like a common "cutting edge smartphone" that can't do this next generation ability?

I think some of the confusion comes from the mixed use of the technical 'multitask' and the more human centric notion of 'multitasking' or doing more than one thing at once.

Technically, the Pre can of course run more than one application at the same time and each application, if coded to do so, can continue to process information in the background. However, the person using the Pre can only interact with one application at a time; one email, one IM screen, one Web page, etc. Sure, Pandora can play in the background and notification can be pushed to the screen, etc but this is all very consistent with other desktop and mobile operating systems.

The rub is that, from a human-computer-interaction model there is little ADDED value in 'true' multitasking if processing is not being done by open applications while the user is interacting with other applications.

Take the Blackberry OS for example. It does not 'multitask' per Pre standards but you can accomplish all of the same WORK (from a user perspective) as you can on a Pre. You can play music in the background, switch between IM, email, SMS, Web, schedule, and back and forth. You can receive notifications, calls, etc while working on other applications. And, open applications stay resident in memory and continue to process information if technically in a more limited way than the Pre does. i.e. Google Chat still sends IMs in even though it is not in focus, etc.

Thus, the notion that many users may close out most or all of their application when they put their Pre away highlights that there is not a lot of ADDITIONAL background processing being asked of the Pre than is being asked of other mobile OSes. This is not good or bad nor is it an criticism of the Pre but simply a reality of the way people are interacting with their devices today.

One real question does loom; if there are compelling applications for the Pre that really take advantage of its ability to process large amounts of information in the background (multitask) will they be hobbled by the stark reality of battery constraints? In other words, would the applications ever be used if by doing so battery life was, say, 25% of what users get under the 'use and close' model.

...And, open applications stay resident in memory and continue to process information if technically in a more limited way than the Pre does. i.e. Google Chat still sends IMs in even though it is not in focus, etc. Thus, the notion that many users may close out most or all of their application when they put their Pre away highlights that there is not a lot of ADDITIONAL background processing being asked of the Pre than is being asked of other mobile OSes.

I must disagree. Mojo allows apps to run in headless mode, so simply closing an app has more to to with a user's preference than anything else (though there are some poorly designed apps that do not detect when they are "minimized" and continue to consume more resources than is necessary). So I can't blame users for closing apps. A properly designed Mojo app uses resources efficiently while in focus and sparingly when minimized. Even when app's UI is closed, Mojo allows for the app to continue performing critical functions in the background or "wake up" to react to certain system events.

I think we do agree.

The Pre provides for background processing in headless mode as does the BB OS.


I have read somewhere exactly what you are saying and I disagree. Here are a few examples of real multitasking on the Pre. Multi tasking for the phone and the person. On a desktop you can have multiple windows open. On the pres small screen you can only interact with 1 card at a time BUT, the saw experience happens on a desktop, you may be able to see multiple windiws at once but you can only physically interect with 1 of them at a time. For example if I am on aim and a browser, being human I cannot type to a friend and have a conversation and simultaneously read a Web page, the Human brain lacks that multitasking ability. With the Pre you interact with the same multitask capa bility. For example if you use the 'advanced' gesture swipe to switch through cards you can provide urself the closest thing to a desktop experience a small screen can provide. When I am at work I usually have open Sprint Nav, memos, Web Browser, the msging app and email. What I'll do lets say I already am follow directions on sprint nav, I'll swipe to the browser and type and address, push enter, immediately swipe to another instance of browser put a diff link press enter then swipe to memos to double check and address then dwipe back to sprint nav to see where I am then swipe back to my browser to find the page has finished loading in the backround reafy for me to read, when I finish reading I swipe back to nav make sure I'm not lost then swipe to 2nd browser which also has loaded in the back round. To add ontop of this basic multitask you can run the Lupdate' app in the backround to update ur apps while still using sprint nav and loading a new page. Also with music in the backround, or with the browser streaming a podcast it can load a page, buffer a stream, download updates, and still be right on track with sprint nav at the same time. How is that NOT multitasking?????

We totally agree. That is multitasking.

I think deparson misunderstood what the post is about.

deparson is borderline troll...

And I think CTL Advance is a borderline Pre fanboy :)

Maybe.... ;)

However I dont fall into the extremist category like most other fan people do.

I usually leave 3 cards open (An internet window which is usually my mobile facebook, and 2 Tweed cards [1 has my personal twitter account and the other my groups twitter account] 75% of the time.

I'm not really sure how much it drains the battery becuase i'm always somewhere i can charge my phone.

Zero for me.. Only main apps I use is the web and I think the battery will drain faster by leaving it open and have it keep refreshing. So I just close it.. Yeahhhhh

How do you figure that since people don't leave cards open the value of multi-tasking is some how diminished. I don't leave cards open when my phone is idle, but when i'm doing stuff on it i usually have about 5-8 things going at one time.


I agree. I usually close my apps when not using my phone, but tend to have at least 4 cards open at a time checking Tweets, email or txts while listening to music & surfing. I love being able to do that.

Thatls how I work. When I am doing something, I usually have my calendar, address book, web browser and task list open (plus twee). Otherwise, I like a neat desktop.

I leave up to 2 open. Generally it's 0 to 1 though.

I mainly only limit myself to max 2 since things really start to slow down after 2.

Which apps are you talking about? I have never noticed this.

If one of them is Pandora, then there is your problem. I've used 10 different apps and 18 cards without a problem. But Pandora is a Pre speed KILLER.

I feel like the music player just brings mine to like 25% capacity but pandora was around 50 to 60%.

Mostly I don't leave any open out but sometimes I will have 2 - internet and music player. But I have a fear that memory might somehow leak and when I do bring back from idle it will be real slow. Though its many times real slow to respond/open up stuff anyways. I'm generally in position to constantly charge but when not I do consciously worry about charge too with leaving apps open.

I am pretty much a "purist" I suppose... but it comes more from worrying that leaving cards open will drain my battery faster.

Has anyone run any tests:
To determine the effect of having cards open vs. not?
Do certain cards eat up more juice?

In my experience I have left PrePod open and came back to a nearly dead battery, so it causes me to generally close everything.

I would love to leave email open, but just want to make sure I make it through the day if I can't recharge.

Interested to hear others results/experience with leaving apps open vs. closed.

I like the rest (most) of you in terms of... when I am using the phone I have multiple cards open.

My question was whether you leave the cards open when you are not using the phone... and the effect on battery life?

In private I have 2 or three open for a while. In public, like on the train, I try not to multi-task. When iPhone users see a phone multitask, they feel compelled to tell you about their divorce, sick child, mortgage problems or the death of their childhood pet. The "remorse" reflex knows no boundaries.

:} Wonderful

HAHAHAHAHA I hate us sometimes.

gimme a candybar design with a glass screen and WebOS and I'll drop this thing like a hot potato.

In private I have 2 or three open for a while. In public, like on the train, I try not to multi-task. When iPhone users see a phone multitask, they feel compelled to tell you about their divorce, sick child, mortgage problems or the death of their childhood pet. The "remorse" reflex knows no boundaries

LOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!! Hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!


Wow, really? This many of you leave your apps closed? Are you crazy? What good is a multitasking phone if you don't USE it as it is intended?

Let me lay your fears to rest: I have done multiple battery tests over the span of two weeks... one week with no apps, and the other week with the following apps open:

- Tasks
- Quick Contacts (my new homebrew fav)
- Calendar (including multiple Google calendar accts)
- Email (main window)
- Messaging (instant messaging off)

Guess what, kids... battery life was the ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME whether I had all these apps open or closed!

On the flip side, I HAVE found that other apps for some reason drain battery life a bit quicker: pictures, camera, and open webpages come to mind. But the ones I listed above are pretty safe! Try it! You'll be glad you did. :)

i did not leave things open until I read a post about contantly opening apps..- how the initial drain times how many time you open the app would be more draining than leaving them open .. Especially Messages which can go on all day lol..

So now its about 3 ... Text, email, browser (three of my launcher items)... hmm.. maybe i should switch the launcher items now

Email, SMS, Calendar, and Tweed always open usually.

Much quicker this way..apps take too long to open. Frees up launcher for camera, Pandora, music, sprint nav.

I leave two open mostly during the day. Email and messaging. Sometimes I have the Facebook web app page open as well. I've not seen any additional battery drain and have actually picked up a little extra batter time, nothing very substantial but draining around 2% per hour instead of 2.5 - 2.8% per hour. I get emails and texts/MMS through the day and hate opening and closing the apps.

Two percent per hour?? What kind of battery do you have?

Mine drains at 7-10% per hour with NOTHING open and two email accounts set to "As Items Arrive." Ugh.

I put down zero, because when I'm not using my phone I will close out apps. If I'm sort of between uses, like I'm on the go or something and plan on checking it every 5 mins you will see probably 2-3 cards open. But I don't consider that as "leaving them open" I consider that as keeping them open because I am using them. I'm not as bothered by the app load times as some people so I don't worry much about leaving apps open.

Oh... I thought you meant when using the Pre.

When I'm actively using the Pre I have a lot of cards open. But when I put the phone away I usually close them all, mostly because I like the swooshing sound the cards make when they disappear.

When on the Touchstone:
- DigiClock: to keep the damn thing from locking on me every 3 minutes
- Pandora
- Twee

Off power:
- Twee

I find the garbage collection of Web is atrocious. If that worked better I'd probably have that open, too.

The results are a little surprising since it's polling forum members who tend to be a bit more smartphone savvy than the average Pre owner. I'd expect the percentage who leave no cards open to be really high among mainstream users.

Obviously, Palm has attracted a lot of Sprint users new to smartphones or still trained on old Palm OS.

Surprising? Not really. The results reflect the not-so-well-formed poll questions. Most people multitask on the pre, they just close the apps when they are done. Nothing much to read into since the poll was not specific at all.

I can see it now, some lame brain analyst won't take the time to analyze the comments here and put out a failed headline like "Palm Pre Users Don't Really Multi-task: Apple had it right all along"

The poll is very misleading because the question is too ambiguous. Like many others here I too close most all apps when not in use. Multi-tasking is something that happens "on-demand" -- when it is needed most it is a super time saver and a real differentiator when compared to other phones. Working with a non multi-tasking phone feels so primitive now.

How's it "on demand" if you're always closing all the cards? It's needed most the second you turn it on.

I was using the term loosely, hence the quotation marks, to allude towards the behavior of launching multiple apps at the same time when you have a scenario where you really need to multi-task.

Scenario1: On a long trip: GPS, Pandora, Phone
Scenario2: Organizing/Researching an event: Open/Compose multiple email cards, open multiple web pages, Text Msg and Tweet.
Scenario3: Morning Commute on Subway: Music Player or Prepod podcaster, Playing a game (blocked, blockdrop, etc)

In total agreement and love the analogy you used. To the rest of you multitasking isn't when you leave cards open while doing nothing on the phone since at that point you wouldn't be doing any tasks on the phone let alone multitasking. Multitasking is having apps open when you are using more then 1 at a time. Whats the point of leaving open email if I am not going to be checking emails? But what if I was checking emails and wanted to copy something into memos then I have them open and use them. Now that's multitasking. I am sorry but it would be far more annoying to open two apps when using them and be able to copy and paste between them the having to close them down each time and open another then if I wanted to go back to the first app i would have to close down the second to open the first. STUPID STUPID STUPID. People just need to learn what multitasking is before they start saying that if you don't leave apps open when not in use your not multitasking. Ok I am don't ranting now :). I love you all!!!

opps just do this with this post |

If something is always on, it's not "on demand" is it? It's just always there whether you demand it or not.

"On demand" implies something being provided when the user requests it. For example, video on demand from your cable company does not mean the videos are always playing on your TV, nor does on demand from Netflix mean the media is always running on your PC. In both cases, it means the object is available for you "upon request".

And not all cards are needed the second you turn on the device not unless you perform the exact same tasks every time you turn on the phone.

The point I was trying to make is that one can misinterpret the results of this poll and come to the conclusion that no one multi-tasks since the majority of folks don't keep more than one card open.

Folks don't generally keep all their apps open in anticipation of needing to multi-task. In reality, people multi-task when they need to (that was the tie in to the "on-demand" term I used)

I was trying to capture the sentiment of the user's feeling and their behavior rather than how it is implemented. Perhaps I stretched this analogy too far. :-)

I personally think you made a good point and would have used "on demand" to explain it as well. When the user needs to perform multiple tasks, the apps that support those tasks will be opened upon the user's request (i.e. "on demand).

I also agree that if the apps are already open then it's a little faster to do multiple things since the "wait for launch" is eliminated. Even in this case, Mojo will still "activate" the opened apps "on demand".

I would interested to know the affect on keeping text and email apps open. I qouls think it takes more juice to keep opening and closing the app then just leaving it open. It probably depends on the volume.

I usually start the day with nothing open but as I use apps throughout the day I don't close them when I am done. Eventually I have enough cards open that I am prompted that I need to toss cards before I can open anything else. I never close anything until I have to. Whether that affects battery life, I don't know since I am almost always close to a charger.

The phone can quite a performance hit, especially when Pandora is running, but the flexibility far outweighs having to manage the Pre's resources. My iPod touch feels as archiac as DOS after being used to multitasking goodness on the Pre

i leave up my Dig Clock,FB,Music but only when im at work and my pre is on the CHRG... by the way love the new TXT manager app Thank you Homebrew ppl

Also if you guys Dnt have the quick Contacts app i think you should try it out its great i dnt need that big green phone messaging or contacts icons anymore Quick contacts takes care of all three

As others have said, I don't think multitasking becomes useless because users close their cards once they are done using the phone, but I think the issue at hand is that the battery life isn't very good. Users would more likely leave cards open when the phone is idling if getting through the day with the battery wasn't such a concern.

Now, does having open cards really drain the battery?

I can see that apps that continuously perform a task while open would drain the battery, but what about apps that don't do anything while the phone is idle?

(i.e. should we really be concerned about reduced battery life with cards left opened?)

I have 2 open all the time. Tweed and a web site.

I'm a purist. I like to see the picture of my family or my background of the day on my Pre. I'm done with clutters.

Multi tasking has nothing to do with leaving apps open or not. Multi tasking is amazing on the pre and you use it when needed, then you don't when not needed... simple. Some people leaving posts on this site are clearly dumb and have a vice against the pre.

Anyway, I don't leave any open for the fact that it drains the battery. I think opening an app once in a while or 2 apps takes less battery drainage then keeping them open. It's like the old air conditioning theory. Do you leave it on all day or turn it on when you get home? Some people think that turning it on 2 times a day costs more then just leaving it on.

Multi tasking has nothing to do with leaving apps open or not.

Bingo! Having 10 cards open while the phone is not in use is NOT multi-tasking. Having 5 cards open and only using 1 is still NOT multi-tasking. Actually "using" multiple cards in a given scenario (without having to close any of them) IS multi-tasking. The pre really does handle this very well.

It's like closing all your apps in windows when you're not using the machine. It's not something you have to do. However, doing that does not mean your Windows machine is incapable of multi-tasking. It just means you are not multi-tasking at the moment.

So the poll is more about number of open cards than it is about multi-tasking. Though I agree with the poster that said some "analyst" will take the results of the malformed poll and claim "pre users don't multi-task".

I typically leave the messaging card open and 1 other which varies between music, pandora, the web and e-mail. I don't go much further than that just to insure I extend my battery as long as possible.

I usually leave at least 4-5 open at all times...Tweed, Messaging, Email, Calender, Express Stocks, and usually a browser window. I only notice considerable slowdown after I open a couple more browser windows

I leave them open if I'm plugged into the charger like @ work or home, otherwise if I don't plan on using it within the next 10 minutes I prefer to keep them closed.

At all times, I usually have Email, Messaging, Brightness Unlinked, calendar, AHS (active home screen), and a web browser or 2 open (usually on or

So put me in the 5+ category!

I would suggest this poll needs to be separated into two polls.

One poll asks
How many cards do you leave open when using the phone?


How many cards do you leave open when the phone is "sleeping"?

I think this would give a much clearer picture of how people are using the phone... and keep uninformed statistics people from saying Multi-Tasking really doesn't matter.

I am usually a 2 to 3 card user, but I close everything out when I am not using the phone.

I usually have at least two cards open: messaging and email. I haven't noticed any significant battery drain but that may be attributed to how I use those two apps.

For email, I have it set so I check it manually. On messaging, I don't use the IM part of the app.

During the day I keep messaging open, otherwise I close 'em all. Clutter! Aaaah! Power management is not really an issue for me as I take my charger everywhere and just leave the phone parked on the TS. I LOVE the multi-tasking aspect of this phone! (and GPS and Pandora and Flixster and. . .) :)

AAAAAWWWRRRR... can't wait to get my hands on this beauty...still waitin for the pre in germany...

I started last week leaving Mail and Messaging up and replaced these apps in my launcher with others. I love the idea and have gotten over my purist ways :) but like others, worry about the impact to battery life...

I can only leave a few open, it seems that I get the "too many cards open" message or one about "not enough memory" to have more than 5 or 6 open at a time. It seems that excel and web card really use a lot of memory. as far as games/memos/ messaging I can have about 7 open and not have any problems
It might just be my phone though

off topic, sort of, I always close all apps when I'm done, so I voted 0 of course, but most of the time I do have 1-2 open, and when actively on it 2-5, but that's not was being asked.... anyway I'd personally like a transparent card, so that when full screen it appears to be blank, yet the other cards are running... seeing them causing me a little grief and if I'm not using a card I'll close it, just seems natural, but if I do want it open and not be affect by this urge I believe a transparent card would be very helpful....

I always have at least 5 open: e-mail, calendar, tasks, messaging and memos. The first 3 because they constantly remind me to look at them every time I look at the phone, and the last 2 just for convenience. I usually average a battery drain of 2-4%/hr.

Interestingly, I've been having a problem with texts being received late the last few weeks and Sprint Service & Repair claims that when they closed all of my open cards the texts appeared. I explained to them that I've kept those cards open for 5 months and never had a problem until this past month.

I have 3 open all the time

- email
- calander
- browser

every 5 days or so, the pre won't let me open a 4th (sometimes even a 2nd) card and tells me that i have too many cards open. Palm needs to improve the garbage collection on this phone.

I leave as many cards open as I can until it tells me I need to start closing so,e. I have only had that happens once. I average about 7-8 cards open at any given time.

Those are some very interesting results... when I clicked zero I really expected to find I was in the minority, but lo and behold, just the opposite!

Others have pointed this out, but it's an interesting result because it means that multitasking doesn't necessarily mean the same thing on a mobile device that it does on a desktop. On a desktop it's pretty common to have a bunch of apps open that you aren't using at the time and have that always be the case. On a mobile device though, the pattern seems to be "multitasking in small bursts".

I came from a WinMo device, so for me, multitasking is nothing new. But on that device I was constantly closing apps I didn't need too... I think it's an in-built desire to keep the thing as spry as possible. Subconsciously, as good as the new breed of smartphones are, I think we all still instinctively treat them like their hardware is a significant constraint on performance. Clearly they aren't as performant as a desktop, but the delta is shrinking pretty quickly. Still, as good as the Pre is, you DO notice slowdowns when too much is going on, and this was always true of my WinMo devices. So, then and now, I close things when they aren't needed.

But, when I'm composing an eMail and need to get some information from a web site, that's when multitasking comes into play. It's essentially a short burst of multitasking, but it's a very important capability.

So, my point is simply that the term multitasking probably means something slightly different on a mobile device than it does on a desktop PC. It's a long-term vs. short-term multitasking thing I think.

Either way, I think this is a major advantage of the Pre over the iPhone... but ironically, like I said, it's nothing new to us old WinMo users though :) If MS had their crap together all this time in terms of UI I think the iPhone, and now the Pre, would be all but irrelevant... the App Store mattered too, but I think less so than a great user experience tailored to a mobile device and touch-based interface... MS probably missed a golden opportunity the past few years, and I seriously doubt their ability to catch up now, but I suppose that's a debate for another day :)

at most normally 3. and usually only 2. i think multitasking is usefull but it's not going to get the average person to switch if they already like most things about a blackberry or iphone.

My pre gets hot in the back of the keyboard right below the battery, what can I do for thathas palm solve that problem

My pre gets hot in the back of the keyboard right below the battery, what can I do for thathas palm solve that problem

The software makes it so easy to launch apps that i dont feel like its necessary to leave cards open.

i personally leave 4 cards active:

- calender
- messaging
- email
- evernote

i also have switcharoo installed; don't know if that effects the battery life but running with this setup with what i believe to be a little more use than average, but not heavy, i receive the 10% battery notice at about six to six-and-half hours. this is with the stock battery, i am waitin for my amzer 1400 and will update as to how much more i get with it.

I leave cards open if I am using that application or plan on using it in the near future, mostly the messaging, GPS and music applications.

Most of this mutlitasking goes on during the workday though, use of apps is more sporadic outside of the office and its great to see the background of the day unblocked by cards when I unlock my pre.


Leaving youtube open with a paused video causes the unit to heat up, of course i didn't test to see how hot it will actually get, so I stay away from leaving open cards.