Multitasking - Featured Articles

iMore show 338: Pre-post-PC

iMore show 338: Pre-post-PC

type="audio/mpeg"> Rene and David Chartier talk about Google getting into premium hardware with Glass and Pixel, much as Apple has moved into services with iCloud. Also, the case for user-defined default apps, and wether multitasking matters on the...
iOS 6: Is it time for Apple to revamp the multitasking fast app switcher?

iOS 6: Is it time for Apple to revamp the multitasking fast app switcher?

A look at the history of mobile multitasking and how Apple could implement better fast app switching in iOS 6 At Macworld 2007 Steve Jobs showed off mobile Safari's Page switching interface, but despite the operating system as a whole crying out for similar treatment, to this day Pages haven't...
Why Apple Geniuses sometimes tell people to kill all their apps

Why Apple Geniuses sometimes tell people to kill all their apps

A little over a year ago I wrote a rather controversial editorial stating that iOS users don't ever need to kill all the apps in their multitasking dock (fast app switcher). A couple of months ago the subject was brought back to the spotlight, with other developers and bloggers reaching pretty...

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Is RAM the Thing That Will Dictate iPhone Multitasking?

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iPhone 4.0, 4th Generation iPhone Rumors at CES - Limited Multitasking, Verizon-capable

While iPhone accessories and apps are everywhere here at CES, the iPhone -- meaning Apple itself -- is characteristically absent. That doesn't mean people are whispering about it. There are lots of rumors about iPhone 4.0 software and the 4th generation iPhone hardware, but the ones floating around the most are:

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ProSwitcher iPhone Jailbreak Multitasking UI Goes 1.0

ProSwitcher [github link], the webOS "Cards"-style flickable, flick-to-close-able multitasking interface for Jailbroken iPhones running Backgrounder that we posted about last week has just gone primetime with version 1.0. You can find it in Cydia.

If you try it out, multitask us up a comment and let us know how it performs.

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ProSwitcher for Jailbreak Brings Safari Pages, webOS Cards-style Multitasking UI to iPhone

If you're Jailbroken yet still frustrated that you can't move between iPhone apps as easily as you can web pages in Safari (or Palm webOS users can in card view), ProSwitcher [Free beta - Cydia] is something to consider.

A front end to Backgrounder, which enables multitasking on a Jailbroken iPhone or iPod touch, duplicates the "Pages" metaphor in MobileSafari, including swipe-able switching and X-icon closing, and for good measure adds in the swipe-up-to-close gesture from Palm's webOS "Cards" interface.

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Jailbreak: MultiFl0w Task Manager for Backgrounder'd iPhone

Running Backgrounder on your Jailbroken iPhone and looking for a little UI magic for your task switching? Check out MultiFl0w, free to try and $5 to buy, it's not free like Kirikae but it's fun.

If you give it a go, let us know how it works for you.

[MultiFl0w via Gizmodo, thanks Dylan for the tip!]

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More on Apple Potentially Allowing Limited Background Multi-Tasking

Friday we linked to Business Insider and Daring Fireball both quoting sources that claimed Apple was considering allowing some form of limited background multi-tasking on the iPhone at some point in the future. Now TechCrunch is weighing in, having heard a similar rumor from its sources:

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Apple to Allow Limited Background Multi-Tasking for Apps in iPhone 3.0?

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:

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Sprint Palm Pre Leak Shows why iPhone Users May Not Want Multitasking?!

Our sibling site PreCentral.net has gotten their mobile accomplishers on yet another (rumored to be) leaked internal document. This one supposedly comes from Sprint and details what, to PreCentral.net, are some interesting factoids. To us, however, they represent some far more interesting questions:

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(Some) Multitasking Apps Coming to iPhone OS 3.0?!

We've asked whatever happened to the iPhone's Push-Notification Service quite a bit recently, even secretly hoped they may find it too difficult and just start to allow some "favored nation" background multitasking...

Now MacRumors is rumoring that that is exactly what might be happening in a future firmware:

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TiPb SMASH: the iPhone and Multitasking Misconceptions

There seems to be some confusion out there about the iPhone and multitasking, no doubt fueled by the way Apple handled -- and is still handling -- all things iPhone. Just to be clear, the iPhone multitasks quite well, thank you very much.

While listening to music, you can receive a phone call, take the call, jump into Safari, Google for an image, save the image to your camera roll, jump into Photos, choose the image, hit the "+" and choose to email the image, fill in and send the email, etc. and when the call is over, your music will fade seamlessly back in.

Steve Jobs showed a simpler version of that when he first introduced the iPhone back at Macworld 2007. Even today, you can begin a new iTunes 3G music download, jump into a Twitter app, tweet a response, and jump back to iTunes and see your download still progressing.

So from where does this confusion come?

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Multitask-Masters: Brain Surgeon Stat!

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The iPhone SDK will not allow 3rd party apps to multitask or run background services. We've previously covered both initial developer Twitter-rage at this, and pundit counter-points. We've also covered Craig Hockenberry before -- the man who (perhaps poetically) develops Twitterrific for the Mac and jailbroken iPhones, and is now bringing it to the SDK.

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Multitask-Masters: iPhone Pundits Strike Back!

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Developers want them their multitasking. They want them popping up, one after the other, like Agent Smith replicants in the Matrix sequels. What? Viruses incarnate from poorly conceived follow-up movies is a bad analogy?

Not according to some leading Apple pundits.

Witness Daniel Eran Dilger's iPhone 2.0 SDK: The No Multitasking Myth from Roughly Drafted Magazine:

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No Multitasking for 3rd Party Apps?

John Gruber skims through the iPhone updated HIG (Human Interface Guidelines) and reveals the following:

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