Business Insider rumormongers that Apple might be considering some limited form of multi-tasking, perhaps as early as iPhone 3.0, which would allow 3rd party apps to run as background tasks. They point to two possible models:
- Apple might allow users to select two apps that can run in the background.
- Apple might selectively allow some apps to run in the background. We assume that developers could apply for permission to run in the background, and that Apple might approve or deny them based on the resources they need and how well they behave with the operating system's stability.
Daring Fireball steps up to throw a combo of water and fuel on that particular fire:
I heard something very similar from a decent (but second-hand) source back in January during Macworld Expo. What I heard then was that Apple was working on a vastly improved dock for your most-frequently used apps, and that there’d be one special icon position where you could put a third-party app to enable it to run in the background.
Gruber also rightly points out that the iPhone 3G's 128MB of RAM is likely the constraining factor to current generation multitasking and that won't change with the iPhone 3.0 firmware. If reports of at least 512MB of RAM in a 3rd generation iPhone are to be believed, however, this could be a much more compelling and powerful feature.
A dock that slides up like a slot-limited version of Google's Android app shelf maybe? And one that grants background permission to anything placed inside it? Yes please.