Your votes have been counted, your voices have been heard, and we're proud to announce the 2010 TiPb Readers Choice Award for Favorite New iPhone/iPad Feature of the Year goes to... Multitasking!
Narrowly beating out Retina Display, Multitasking has been one of the most requested iOS features since the original iOS device, iPhone 2G, was released in 2007. Well it took 3 years and 4 versions -- even longer than copy and paste -- but iOS 4 finally brought background tasks to iPhone and iPod touch, and iOS 4.2 is poised to do the same for iPad. Sure, some may quibble that the mix of fast app switching, saved state, background audio, location, and VoIP threads, local and push notifications, etc. aren't "true" multitasking but functionally it achieves what 90% of users need, with minimal impact on battery and management overhead. Which is pretty much what Apple said when they introduced it at the iOS 4 preview back in March:
iPhone OS 4's new multitasking offers users a new way to quickly move between apps, and provides developers seven new multitasking services to easily add multitasking features to their apps. These services include background audio, so apps like Pandora can play music in the background, and VoIP, so VoIP apps can receive a VoIP call even when the iPhone is asleep or the user is running other apps. iPhone OS 4 provides multitasking to third party apps while preserving battery life and foreground app performance, which has until now proved elusive on mobile devices.
There's always a discussion as to whether Apple should do things sooner or do them better. For both copy and paste and multitasking Apple claims it took them a while but their solution is indeed better. The jury is still out on that but one verdict is clear -- iOS multitasking is your favorite new feature of 2010.