Depends on what you mean by "reset". A soft reset, essentially powering down the device and turning it back on, doesn't mess with your contacts or pictures. A hard reset has the possibility of wiping your contacts and pictures, and a factory reset returns the device back to the settings it originally had at purchase.
I used to have a Blackberry Storm. I was looking for the equivalent of taking out the battery. This is from the iPhone 4s user manual:
Press and hold both the On/Off button and the Home button for at least ten seconds, until the Apple logo appears.
Is like removing and replacing the battery?
Yes, holding down the home and power key would soft reset the iPhone. This would stop any application that was running in the background. You would not lose any pictures or contacts by performing this soft reset.
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When I did that, the open applications did not close when the phone came back up. I did this several times, trying different things, and it didn't change. Just to clarify, I got to the open applications by pressing the home key twice.
If you are trying to close open apps after pressing home key twice hold on one of the app icons in the recent list untill you get the x on the icons press the x's and close the open apps. Btw if you do this on the apps on the home screens you can delete unwanted apps
I shouldn't have used the open apps as an example as that just misled you. The open apps are not my problem. I'm trying to be prepared to deal with problems in the future that I'm sure will arise.
Going back to my May 19 question, if I had done the reset as you explained properly, wouldn't those open apps have been closed?