Rumor has it – multitasking on iPhone OS 4.0. I don’t think its needed.


I was away at a workshop discussing the future of the web, namely Web 2.0 but I did manage a peek at my FaceBook and post an entry on this blog but I did not manage to comment on this article by Apple Insider, where it was reported that Apple’s iPhone 4.0 would deliver multitasking.

It has been a screaming point for most users of the iPhone, that we can multi-task as compared to the other Windong powered smartphones out there. I screamed along with the We-Want-iPhone-Multitasking posse for a while until I started to seriously use my iPhone.

Currently, I’m trying to get MMS to run on my legacy 2G iPhone via hacking the plist rather then running 3rd party software. Anyway, multitasking on the iPhone. Do we really need it?

Switching between applications, without the need to switch one, seems like a great thing especially on a computer but on a hand-held device such as a handphone; it may not take the cake. I’ve own Nokias for a long time and the Symbian OS is a joy when it comes to multitasking. You could run several apps and switching between them is a breeze; but you tend to forget how many apps are running at one time and this hampers performance. On the Symbian, you have to manually turn off the apps, if not they will run in memory for as long as the phone is still turned on. This eats into your battery life.

Hence, the main reason multitasking is a bane to hand-held devices is performance and battery life.

Iwill not need multitasking if it eats away at my battery life and hampers the performance of my iPhone.

Secondly, humans are not multitasking beings. We have to be focus and single-tracked minded; if we are to be really productive. Sure, I would love to switch between my game and checking my latest text message with ease, returning to my game without the need to restart the game, but it’s still a single-tracked process. Some would argue that having a radio app running in the background while you surf or check email is valid enough to have multitasking, but would you spend a huge amount of time doing that?

I would argue for semi-multitasking. Make it easy to switch between apps and have the current state of the apps reside in memory. Long enough for one to switch back. But having 10 apps running simultaneously in memory may not be good for the iPhone.

The real reason games and apps run brightly on the iPhone is because all the iPhone’s resources are focused to run that singular game or app as you play it or view it. Being focus on one app at a time actually gives back better images, sound and performance.

So would you sacrifice performance and battery life, so that your iPhone can be like any other multitasking phone out there?

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What would I use the iPad for?

Seriously, I can’t wait to get my hands on an iPad. Why?

I’ve purchased iPods, iMac, iBook and iPhone; why not get myself an iPad. Add that to my list of all things Apple lying around on my desk.

For the moment I saw the Steve Jobs’ keynote presentation at the unveiling of the iPad, I have had day-dreams of wiping it out during a meeting or typing away on my next novel on it or updating my blog at StarBucks, etc,etc. The point of total geek coolness, is having this gorgeous piece of hardware on your lap and you are surfing the internet. Best web-surfing experience, they said…

But that’s as far as it will go. Because seriously, what would you use the iPad for?

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