BlackBerry 10 users are more than happy closing unused Active Frames

Active Frames
By James Richardson on 2 May 2014 03:31 am EDT

A while back we ran a poll asking 'Do you close unused Active Frames' on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone. As I mentioned originally - I tend to have the same five or so apps always running and any extra I use I'll happily open and then close with a long hold on the 'x', but we are all different. 

It's quite clear from the poll results that the vast majority of BlackBerry 10 users tend to close apps when they are not in use. Only 5% of voters said that they keep all their Active Frames open - which surprised me slightly. 

I love my Active Frames and they are certainly unique compared to other operating systems, although the Windows Phone Live Tiles are kind of similar, but different in the way they are displayed. They've also got a little more clever with the Windows Phone 8.1 update so I wonder if we'll see any changes to our Active Frames in future OS releases of BlackBerry 10? 

Reader comments

BlackBerry 10 users are more than happy closing unused Active Frames


Does keeping active frames open not drain the battery quicker?

I may keep a frame open whilst I'm using the app, (say, SMSbynow, whilst I have set a message to go out at a certain time or the clock app when I set the alarm), but nothing else.

Savvas John Savva, Owner of Skill 7 Youth Football Coaching - - Z10 UK EE

I have a Z30 now.
Open frames, while they should have an effect on battery life, is almost non noticeable, Z30's battery is plain awesome

Posted via CB10

Never have more than 4 frames opened. But it would be awesome if we could close them via a swipe up like the playbook

Posted via CB10

I would love that, but how would work if you have more than 5apps running

Also the writer says a long hold on "X"! Why a long hold. All you have to do is tap the x

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 10

Exactly, I didn't even know you could long hold and why would want to. Seems crazy when you can just tap the "X"

Posted via CB10

I don't think that was in reference to the keyboard... if you had more than 1 app open how would it know which one you wanted to close just by holding down the "X" keyboard button

Yes!!!!! I definitely thought "why you holding tho". Then I went to see if it did anything different long holding it. Nope. Tap that x yo.

Posted via CB10

He probably means that he holds himself for a long time before taping the 'X' on his part app.

I have more friends because I do drugs!! Baby!

Curious, why the need to long hold on the X to close, when a quick tap is sufficient?

I can't help but think it's messy to have frames open when not in use, that's just me.
The only app I kept open was Bebuzz (before it went headless).

Posted on CB10 with the Q10

Quick tap, long press, doesn't matter. Gone from active frame, gone from memory - unless it's headless.

I never understood what the "long press" was for either.

Posted via CB10

For me I find them pretty useless, I tend to automatically close them and just open the app when I need it. Plus I assume they drain the battery more. I'm quite happy opening and closing apps as the z30 is fast and since headless apps are more and more common.

Now if I could pin a widget to the first page and resize it that might make me keep a few items there.

Posted via CB10

I really wish BlackBerry or Crackberry could confirm whether keeping Active Frames open actually do or don't drain the battery. We want to know.

BBM Channel: The Group Ride C00055B7C

Common sense says it does. It's after all running multitasking nonstop mate

Zee coolest flicking smartphone evah

I agree. Perhaps we should have in "app permissions" the possibility to toggle on and off apps that minimize and those who close altogether when swiped from bottom.


As of now there is hardly any use of active frame. If it was customised for size and also realtime update for apps like sports, twt etc with an ability to do some action there itself then people would have kept it opened.

C00387D95 - Happenings in India(latest news), also known as HII(search by HII keyword in channels to find it there)

I never leave frames open unless I'm multi-tasking from one app to another. One thing I dislike about the frame is that you have to tap the X to close it. Why can't we have the option to swipe the frame upwards like we do for the PlayBook?

Posted via CB10

I frequently have multiple apps open. I too would like swipe up to close and be able to pin active frames to specific location

Posted via CB10

Swiping up to close an Active Frame doesn't make as much sense as on PlayBook because the Frames are stacked above each other in rows of 2, not all horizontally like on the PlayBook (and now iOS 7).

If you had 6 apps open and wanted to scroll down to see the 5th and 6th app, how would it know you were swiping to scroll and not swiping to close one of the top 4 apps (depending on where you put your finger).

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 / on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2.1

Bug in CB app. Had have a Q screen worth of comment, copy didn't work.

Anyway, tried hard to close an app by hitting the ground, ahem x running, ahem swiping, it's intelligent, no go, it just won't close. That split -second is enough for it to determine what to do.

Have a go...

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

To solve that they can limit the frames to four and make it two pages of frame rather than scroll. When I had the z10 I didn't like scrolling in the first place so I never had more than four apps open at a time. I think a swipe up would work that way.

Posted via my sexy Note 3. Big hands ;-)

How about swiping up and to the left from within the app? I've always wondered why BlackBerry never implemented a function for that gesture. If they're not going to use it for app-switching (which probably wouldn't make as much sense, to be honest), then maybe having it close the app would allow a more elegant way to close apps.

Up and to the right: minimize app and access hub

Up and to the left (or top-left corner): 'throw' the app away

Some thoughtful programming could allow for scrolling to get to active frames 5,6,7, and 8 and still enable swipe to close.

For example, holding an active frame without movement for 1 second could activate the swipe to close functionality. It's similar to holding an app icon for a second before moving it to a new location.

Your comment makes no sense. Why don't use Android with lag then, you can wait that 0.1 second right? It's not about being lazy, we just want to be it easy and quick. So stop with these comments if you have nothing better to say.

I am with you on this one. I just assumed that active on the Z10 meant more battery used, something no one wants when you are trying to get the most out of it as it is.

What would be cool, are smart icons like the calender! Weather, calender, time, etc... many of these need smart icons rather than active tiles.

Send from my Q10 in Duracell Mode

I agree! Why the hell do I have to open the weather to get the weather?! When I could simply look down and bam!

I started a thread on this, customisation of size and content frequency, real time news etc....

Separately, lots of apps apps are laggy when accessing from the hub, take time to load. I.e bbm which should be the flagship of bb.

Posted via CB10

Yet another one of those occasions that the geeky developers that live in their own little bubble come up with obtuse ideas about how we should use our devices that the real people in the real world just don't go along with

Android apps on my Z10 can be slow to open so I tend to keep Spotify open, along with the Guardian.Co.UK home page as I dip in and out during the day. Bar that, no other use for them. I did use them a lot initially but tended to forget about frames 5-8 which would then end up closing anyway as I opened more apps. Getting a Z30 next week so opening Android apps should be quicker

Posted via CrackBerry App

One enhancement, I would love to see is what SailfishOS has: be able to perform actions on the active frame. In SailfishOS, application can offer up to two shortcuts on the cover (their name for active frame) that can be triggered by swiping left or right on the cover. Examples: Meecast, a wheather app, has a refresh shortcut, Tweetian, a twitter client, has a refresh and a "new tweet" short cut. One is activated by swiping left to right, the other one by swiping right to left. Pretty nifty stuff in my opinion.
As a result, on my Q10 I usually close apps/acitve frames like the majority in the poll, whereas on Jolla phone, I usually keep a number of apps constantly open, like Meecast, Tweetian, the media player etc.

CB should create follow-on poles to determine the reasons why certain poles are skewed towards one side. Once you've ascertained that most people do close active frames ask users why they close active frames otherwise we may see a future update remove active frames under the pretence that we don't "like" them rather than figuring out that they may drain battery faster or makes home screen look too cluttered or busy. This kinda info may be more helpful for developers...

Maybe I'm just being stoopid and that's what posts are for...

Posted via CB10

Active frames are great for all the info they give and makes it easier to navigate.

They don't consume a lot of battery like people think.

Posted via CB10

I always have the active frames open. I sometimes tweet or update facebook without opening the app. But for the most part, I use the active frames most of the time, and I really love it.

Posted via CB10

It would be interesting to know which ones are kept open, for those who keeps active frames. Personaly CB is always opened

Posted from my Z10

What I would like to see ( and I mean really like to see) is a gesture (up left) that will open (or peak)the next active frame. This will make the navigation process so much more efficient! Instead of parking a frame and selecting another frame (think of when you're having a conversation in BBM and with a heathen in WhatsApp for example.

Posted via CB10

I like applications which show a special information when minimized (such as weather). If all of the app would do the same thing, I'm pretty sure that I would tend to let them open more frequently. Unfortunately, almost all of my apps don't show this minimized information...

Posted via CB10

They are useful when you are doing something that requires many things. But it annoys me to have them open!

Posted via CB10

TBH I only ever use active frames when I quickly want to check BBM or jump to a game and keep the app open (e.g browser and Flipboard).

But I'll never ever keep them open when I am not using the phone, it's unnecessary and it just drains the battery.

Also another thing, iOS does basically the same thing AND can have 100 more apps (although BB10 active frames has the apps running in the background unlike iOS, but why would I want to sacrifice performance and battery life JUST so i can see what's happening in the app?)

I don't really see the point in active frames, other operating systems offer the same thing but better, no one is going to actually have an app RUNNING In the background, what's the point? I'm going to another app because I'm bored of the one I'm currently on now, I don't want it running, just to be paused until I get back to it).

The only thing that would make sense if I exit the app and it just pauses instead of it just running in the background for no reason.

Posted via CB10

One reason for keeping an app running in the background or on an active frame is it will continue to do what it is doing and not be sleeping. One example is BB's Weather app, which will keep checking the weather for your chosen place, and keep displaying it on the active frame. This I find useful e.g. when going to a holiday destination. Another is the music player app, which keeps working while you are using other apps, so you carry on hearing music and its active frame is showing the current track name and album art.

Funny thing, device monitor and Facebook app are made by blackberry and there is nothing active about their frames , no info is refreshed just does nothing blackberry doesn't even see a use for them

Now that we can run headless apps I am running three now in the background.

I run the weather active frame though.

Posted via Verizon Z10 - OS v10.1.2.2174

Active task management is so much better than the passive crap iOS and android have, that and keyboard are why I chose BlackBerry

Posted via CB10

I only run active frames that show data. Weather, data usage and BaSA. Everything else I close when I'm done using it as they don't really show anything useful.

Posted via CB10

I mostly use messengers.
So the HUB works perfectly for me, I don't even have to open apps for that!
Cheers! ;^)

Posted via CB10

I think that OS10 actually increases the liklihood that the user will close apps they are done with thus improving system overall performance.

Posted via CB10

I have a habit of closing them off. Usually just open them up as I need them. I'm going to try to make it a habit of leaving important ones active like calendar, weather, BBM, etc.

Posted via CB10

Leave Skype open all the time, and BlackBerry Travel when I am on the move.

Sent from my iPuh-lease-as-IF

It's not only saving battery but also minimize the Internet usage specifically on those apps that always synchronize and getting an update information on line...

And besides, BB10 is snappy that it launch apps or games quick that you don't need to keep them open and active...

Posted via CB10

I can see the appeal of active frames, and I like having them open, but I still close them pretty much all the time out of habit. Not even so much that I don't want the battery drain or whatever, I've just always disliked having too many things open. I'm not a fan of clutter.

(Except on my MacBook, where I couldn't fully maximize windows, so I just had things floating around everywhere, notification parts of chat apps sticking out from behind the browser or IRC windows...)

I almost always close apps when I'm not using them. It's just easier to find them in their usual home screen location than in the active frames page where they're constantly moving around depending on which was last accessed. If they ever enable freezing an app's spot in the active frames, that could change things. Or make it more like PlayBook, where they just stay in the order in which they were first opened. Even just that option would be welcome.

Posted via CB10

That's my fear with Android devices, the running in background apps. And that's my pet hate with the IOS, the fact that nothing closes (unless you double tap home, then select... all that palava).

Power to the BB10 OS, which IMO offers the BEST app closer. Simples..... :-)

I'm a former WebOs user with the original Palm Pre and I always have a few open, specially the phone contacts and calander (snif... I miss my Pre). I noticed a lot of people were talking about the ability to close an app by swiping off the top of the screen which started with the Palm Pre. I wouldn't mind seeing that again but the way BB10 closes with just the "x" as opposed to the gesture isn't bad just different.

Still lamenting the loss of WebOs. While I like my Z10. The Pre/Pre2 were my favorites.

Posted via CB10

I'm sorry berry nation, but you guys are delusional if you think active frames provide any kind of more unique experience then say a widget or live tile. It's not a dynamic like a live tile and it's not interactive like a widget.... it's useless and just a glorified task manager.

Idk what was wrong with having the icons be able to provide application information like on bbos7 and just improve on that concept.

Mind you, take my bitterness with a grain of salt as I don't like many modern UX layouts so.. I'm just picky.

Posted via CB10

Personally -- it's just an aesthetic. If it's visible I want to "clean" off the cluter. However, if it was like how Apple or Android worked where it maintained "off screen " until you push a button then I wouldn't be so reluctant to close them all the time.

Posted via CB10

Interestingly, everyone I know with iPhones tend to keep dozens of apps open.

Posted via CB10 from my Z10 on the Rogers network.

Yep always close them. Only one open is bbm for channels.

ChannelX C000D3759 We promote channels

James, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Active Frames are part of what makes BlackBerry 10 unique and sexy. If people do not like it, that's OK, but for those of us who appreciate its beauty, all devs should include it. Personally I run them when possible. If it's just a logo, it's not draining your battery. Check Device Monitor.

I used my almighty Z30 to create this CrackBerry madness!

I don't trust apps and close them as soon as I'm done as I need to do everything I can to get more than 12h battery life out of a Q10...

There are certain apps like Corky Notes, Viira, calendar, etc that I will leave open for a good part of the day. There are also times when I am cutting and pasting from multiple apps and I need them open. It would be nice to know if this is a battery drain as other have mentioned. The Z10 needs all the battery help it can get.

Posted via CB10

Would love to have live tile feature of Windows in Open Frames. Makes more sense. Otherwise it's just lying there static.
For eg: I open my gallery and then it shows a slide of all pics in the gallery

Posted via CB10

Swipe up, like the Playbook would be brilliant. And can't we also have the option to put them in a carrusel like the playbook?

Posted via CB10

I love being able to control what apps are running and close them when necessary. One of my favorite features! What you see is what you get. That's one of the things I hate the most about android. Tons of background processes and apps running. You shouldn't have to use an app killer all the time just to make the phone usable.

Posted via CB10

I usually close them, but I love the option of having numerous open - there are times when I need to flip between numerous apps to perform a task.

Posted via CB10

When I minimize the CB10 app to active frame it is idle, according to the device manager... Twitter on the other hand is using 16-21% CPU... thus use the device manager to determine which apps are doing what....

Posted via CB10

Update. Twitter will go idle after a little while with non use but once you open it or refresh it and minimize it will use CPU...

Posted via CB10

Think Active Frames are sexy and add to the experience - especially the ones that display information. Bweather and Stocks - iGrann shows a newer post. Makes the phone dynamic. What is frustrating - I want to be able to "pin" 4 apps to top frame and have them locked there. Let the bottom frame be 4 apps that come and go with use. Can't believe this option hasn't been made available yet.

Active frame looks ugly and or distracting to me that's the main reason why I close mines and or don't run any app that requires it.

Posted via CB10

I used to keep my active frames open all the time, but lately I've been closing them. I would also like a option to pin frames to the top.

OS STL100-4/ on Verizon Z10

I agree about pinning the frames. Sometimes is slows me down when I have to switch apps but they are rearranged.

I miss the way you can go from one app to another with the playbook.

It depends on which device I'm using. When I'm on my Z10 I close all active frames to conserve battery life. But when I'm rocking my Q10 my habits change a little and I do tend to keep a few open at all times since the battery is a beast in comparison!

I close them because battery life seems better - i still like how the PlayBook handles open apps and moves between them...

Posted via CB10

I keep my apps closed, but I think there is still room for improvement.

I have to do 2 steps to close an app - swipe up to go the active frame and then touch the X.

In a purely touch interface designed to be as efficient as possible, there would be a faster way. Ie - swipe up and then (without pick up your finger) drag to the left or all the way up to fully close the app.

Just a small thing, but maybe a tweak that could help.

As I put in a thread I started I find it annoying that there's not much active stuff about them...For example, BBW keeps flashing different apps and (in the rare occasion that I'm in the active frames tab) and see an app i'd like to check out, tapping the BBW frame just takes me to BBW not the particular app...

Same with LinkedIn - it would flash 'congratulate someone on their new job' yet the frame is not actionable for the content it displays...useless

So it seems it's up to the devs to make best use of the active frames (or maybe BlackBerry should also provide the APIs)

Posted via CB10

I can confirm a lot of my BlackBerry 10 family, friends and colleagues all close their apps in fear of data and battery drain (only one of them has a Z30 like me) .

I on the other hand only close them if the app doesn't have BlackBerry Hub integration.

Also if I know I'm going to be using the app again soon then yes why close it.

Lastly some active frames can be made a little more informative and usable.

Posted via CB10

Avoiding battery drain or memory leaks that require a battery pull is subconsciously why I usually close active frames on BB10. I usually keep a weather app open so I can quickly check the weather and the app I'm using at the moment, otherwise they're closed.

I only keep 1-2 active frames open at a time on my z10. On my iphone I'll double tap and notice I have like 20 apps running in the background from earlier in the week. I guess I proactively close them when they're right in my face.. my z10 battery still lasts about half as long and have to charge it by noon or it's getting down to half charge.

I keep one or two open when I know will be using them again shortly. Everything I use loads so fast I really don't feel the need to leave them open to save time. That said, I have my Home Depot shopping list open in active frame now...headed out to spend money!

"Dogs bark but the caravan moves on."

It's sad how people would rather be opening/closing apps then leave Active Frames open. Get an ifone if you want the in/out paradigm. If you want to multitask, get a BlackBerry 10 handset and leave your silly fears behind.

Got a Z30 for my self today.. and i am really happy with BlackBerry 10 OS and will never go back to Android device. The user experience on BB10 is amazing.. m soooooo happyyyyyy... Love you BlackBerry..
I always close the active frames when i don't need the app to run..

I love all the improvements in 10.2.1. When I had an Iphone I got so tired of having to upgrade the phone every time they did a major upgrade of the OS, obviously planned by Apple. So far my Z10 had kept up with tons of OS enhancements. Keep up the good work BB.

Posted via CB10

I never keep any active frames running. I close all my apps when not using them. Sure saves on battery life and processing power.

Cartman says: Screw you guys I'm going home!

The great thing about active frames unlike other operating systems is I can readily see what I've got open without have to long press anything to get to the multitasking screen.

So I understand why a lot of people tend to close unused active frames. I also found that some apps haven't taken full advantage of active frames. Probably explains why some are wanting headless so bad. It would be be nice to see devs put a bit Korea effort into it instead of another battery indicator...

I usually only have maybe one or two active frames open. But I usually end up closing them in fear of them draining my battery.

I have beweather pro always open and everything else I close immediately. Reason being that it gives me an almost blank page to use as a home screen. I leave it on that screen as default

Posted via CB10