iPhone OS 4: Multitasking fast app switcher animation

Screen shot 2010-04-21 at 7.31.09 AM

iPhone OS 4 beta 2, released yesterday, has introduced a new, circling, side-switching animation for multitasking fast app switching. The new animation occurs when you switch between two apps either via the new, double-click-Home to trigger to launch the multitasking UI, or when one app calls another app (i.e. when you're in Contacts and you tap to send a contact an SMS, as noted by @ranger_bill).

Launching or leaving an app retains the same, zoom-based effect as always (though the wallpaper in iPhone OS 4 zooms slightly as well, like on the iPad -- gotta love those little details Apple puts in).

Check out our complete iPhone OS 4 preview and feature walkthrough for more and hit up the video after the break!

YouTube link

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone OS 4: Multitasking fast app switcher animation


Woah!! I had so been waiting for apple to change their original (i.e. lame) app-switching animation. This looks awesome.

YouTube video is crossed out and the link doesn't work for me on my iPhone. Anyone else have this problem?

Can anyone answer this. Does the new os mulitask automaticaly? Like if I close pandora with a single home button tap will it keep playing, or is it only during the double tap fast switching.

@Rob from all of my reading and everything I've seen posted, it should do it automatically. SJ said he wanted multi-tasking totally abstracted from the user (besides the home button double-click to see currently running apps), so my assumption would be that everything will automatically multi-task, and the phone will decide when an app needs to be "killed".

@Rob - I thought Pandora had said it took them only a day to make the necessary changes to their app.. so that it would support multitasking during the demo.. at current.. the only apps that I can tell that multitask are the built-in ones.
@All - Anyone running b2 run into issues with their camera rolls? Places works now, but any attempt to take a picture freezes up the camera. Screenshot no longer works for me either...

“.. for the 1 person that leaves 10 will join” What is it with fanbois and numbers? They want to be part of the most-owned phone??? Please, let everyone buy a droid. that way i don’t have to feel part of the stupid masses owning an ifone. now every dud has one. like wearing jeans or driving a ford. yuk. Please.

Nope. These animations are not possible with jailbreak. There is clearly now a "carousel" style switching animation in the OS. Also, the home screen has a more "spherical" look when opening and closing apps.

its not zoom its quick look/preview... kinda like pintching an album in the photo app to get a sneek peak of the photos inside!!!

Let's say I'm playing Plants Vs Zombies, and a text comes in....how does this look in landscape??
Nice detail though.

@Rudy: as far as I am aware this technically isn't possibly at present with Jailbreaking as apps do not automatically go into the background such as Pandora when it is playing. With Jailbreaking the user must manually backgroud apps and also manually manage those that are still running. With OS 4 it does a lot of that management automatically and individual apps (like Pandora) are being tweaked to support doing stuff in the background automatically when it makes sense.

So I was just wondering... Is that iPhone jailbroken because it has a different background.... Or did apple let us put a back ground to our iPhone with the new OS ?!?

@Wongnog: Usually that only happens when you have a jailbroken phone and have hidden the YouTube icon (I had the same situation). If that's the case, simply unhide the icon and it should work as expected.

blingblingtronics.com said 1pad with wifi 3G (WCDMA) only $175, is it true? write to chinatronics.com

@fastlane @mrc
I'm doing all of this automatically you just have to download the right app in cydia like backgrounder and the rest of them yea at first you do it manually but once yiu go to the settings and tell the OS what to do automatically it will do it pincing apps and opening pandora then closing it and still listen to music or even playing a game and an incoming text pops up and doesnt kick you out of the game so you can reply and then it goes back to the game or even reply to any text from any app or while surfing the web how bout this one I live this app !! (snappy) it's a camera app let's you take as many photos at once with out it freezing on you just keep snapping away !! There's alot of new stuff out in cydia .

"The animation reminds me of WebOS. How original."
As much as I love WebOS, there is nothing original about it. While we're at it, let's stop pretending there is really anything new under the sun.

@zeagus I agree with you , let's stop pretending this stuff is out already you guys should check out the animation for blackness it's awesome !!!

It's a superfluous animation which wastes my time. Also, instead of having just one row of running apps it would be a lot more practical to show a screen full of running apps, as after using your phone for a couple of days you'd have 50 apps running (frozen).

This article is about a new ANIMATION, it's not about multitasking. This animation IS new to the iPhone.
I have a jailbroken iPhone with Backgrounder and ProSwitcher. So what? That's got nothing to do with the topic here.

Exactly Fastlane we all know some of you do these things with a jailbroken phone but this post is about what's happening in the OS. Many people don't want to jb their phones.

I was a little disappointed at first with the animation they presented, this looks way cooler. With the high res screen on the next iPhone, this will truly be beautiful

As long as Apple prohibits people from doing things they want on a stock iPhone, there will always be some reasons to jailbreak. If those reasons add up to enough for you personally, you jailbreak. If not, you don't. I suspect this Android-style implementation of multitasking will take away one large reason most people jailbreak, so the number of jailbreakers will go down post 4.0, but jailbreaking itself will not go away.

@Xion5460: Thanks, I actually already did have YouTube unhidden and most videos posted do work. But I remember upgrading something in Cydia recently which purportedly updated the hide icon library to not require resprings. So I hid and then unhid YouTube icon and now the video works.

Maybe I'm just missing something. Of course I will love this ability on my iPad but having my palm pre has made this video seem kinda outdated.

The new animation is cute and it's small details like this that has slowly changed the way OS is written.
However ultimately, the most important thing for me will be losing the mywi teathering feature if I upgrade to 4.0 without a jailbreak resolution. I cannot afford to lose my teathering ability as MyWi is the best thing that ever happened to my new iPad :)
pro switcher from the cydia store Also works pretty well with some similar smooth animations.

If you guys go on to the apple website there's a video you can download and watch where Steve Jobs demo's the Iphone OS 4. It is quite long, if you do not want to watch an hour long powerpoint on the new upgrade.
I watched it (cause i have no life) and I'll try to break down basically what I get out of it. The new software allows for multitasking, which you all know, and as far as I understand the multitasking is going to work with any app that you download. SJ showed how it worked and if you're playing a game and you get a text you can click the reply button to reply. Once you are done you can double click the home button and not only go back to your game but continue right where you left off. For Pandora, you can listen to music while running other apps, and the music doesn't stop as soon as you press the home button. The video goes into more detail.
The OS 4 also allows you to create folders with your apps. The folders can hold up to 12 apps each (I did the math cause again I have no life) and will be named based on the category the apps share, you can also rename the folder to whatever you want. Here is the link for the presentation SJ gave on it if you are interested. http://www.apple.com/iphone/preview-iphone-os/

@ DC4242 : will you sill be saying the same thing, when your palm pre breaks (yes, I'm implying poor build quality) & palm doesn't give you a new one because they are out of business ?

Since it seems like most people haven't found this out, the OS leaves just about everything running. To actually close an app that is running in the background, bring up the list of running apps (double click Home) and hold your finger on the app's icon until it wiggles. Just like you're going to move them around. A minus icon will show up in the top left of the app's icon. Click on that to close an app.
In short: There's a task manager built in already.

@ Rob; apps can't really multitask automaticly. The user needs to either "close" the app or put it in the background. Much like any other system like Windows or Mac OS. Otherwise everything will be in the background & the iPhone doesn't have that much RAM.

Nice try Apple with your new IPHONE, but not close to the best and real Multitasking Palm Pre... So dream and when Steve Job get the real Multitasking Palm it`ll taking him and his apple to the court...

Reply to "m1n0r" you are wrong, Palm they send you brand new
device and they are still out there not out of bus. And they
the best device I seen so far, but as game and video may be your
IPHONE better for it not for something els... Sorry ...

The folders option is very sweet , just drag and drop on another app and it creates the folder with heading. You can also change the folder name and create your headings. Beta 2 still had quite a few bugs the camera freezes up and you can't save images from email or download and save wall paper yet. YouTube crashed everytime I ran it and I was unable to free up memory with system monitor like in os 3.1.3. Hopefully beta 3 will address these issues, one last thing mail is much improved with it's functionality and layout.

aha, the app is so nice and cool!
The multitasking is many folks expected, and maybe this is a good make-up for ipad.
eher, apple never lets fans down. well, If wanna learn more ipad, iphone info or tips, formats conversions, then this place is just right for you: iFunia resouces, ifunia ipad column, iphone column.

Really...@smchrist2, when my Pre still get the update...
More than year I thought Sprint out too still both out there
doing bus...HUH...And the 4G all over,And C40 coming out too...

WTF is wrong with half of you idiots?! Learn grammar and how to formulate a complete coherent sentence! I'm so tired of having to re-read everyones jacked up posts!!