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On my Samsung Galaxy SIII, I am used to controlling which applications are running at any given time by holding the Home hardware button and then swiping any apps I want to close from the list of running apps that shows up. In the following screenshot, I have held down the Home hardware button and closed all running application by tapping the icon that shows up in the lower-right hand side consisting of a list with an X in front of it:

No Running Apps but App Icons Appear in Upper-Left Hand Side of Notification Bar

(click the image to see its larger variant)

However, what puzzles me is that no applications are running, therefore shouldn't those icons in the upper-left hand side of the notification bar disappear so as to tell the user that these apps are no longer running? Perhaps I have missed the purpose of those icons in the upper-left hand side of the notification bar.

Perhaps someone could explain what they mean.

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    It's worth noting that the "recent apps" list just shows apps (strictly, tasks) that you've used recently, not running apps. Clearing the list doesn't really achieve much. – Dan Hulme Dec 3 '14 at 16:27
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OK, I figured out, those icons do not correspond to which applications are running, but rather, to those applications which have awaiting new information for the user. When the user drags the notification panel from the top of the screen, those same icons appear next to the name of the application sending the notification and the message posted by such application also appears next to the application name in the list. This should answer the question.

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