iOS - Reference - Automatic Downloading of App Content

When building an iOS app where you expect to deliver content regularly, it is important to know the conditions in which Apple will allow an iOS device to download content in the background.

Newsstand is typically used as the mechanism for iOS apps to automatically deliver content that is updated frequently. Apple does, however, impose a set of conditions for which an app may automatically download content which includes:

  • Whether the app has been given permission to receive notifications
  • That the app has not sent a download notification within the last 24 hours
  • Whether the app has a subscription that covers the content being delivered
  • Power conditions and network connectivity of the iOS device
  • Whether the app has been manually terminated by the user

If these conditions are not met, then an automatic download will not occur. If an automatic download does not occur, it will negatively impact your app's issue download statistics.

Manual Termination of an iOS App

Apps are manually terminated in iOS by double-clicking the Home button. This brings up a screen (as shown above) that displays the apps running in the background as a series of "cards" that the user can scroll through. If a user swipes one of the app "cards" up, this will forcibly terminate the app.

Note: For step-by-step instructions on how to terminate an iOS app, please refer to this Apple documentation.

Implications of manually terminating an app

If an app is manually terminated by the user, it will not receive notifications to automatically download new content. The user must launch the app and keep it running in the background in order to receive download notifications.

If users complain of issues not automatically downloading, it could very well be that they have previously terminated the app.


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