Fast App Switcher

iOS 6: Higher hanging fruit

What will Apple bring to iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad with iOS 6? What will be the "tentpole" features to take Apple's mobile software into 2013? With WWDC 2012 coming in just over a week, and an iOS 6 beta widely expected to come with it, now's the perfect time to take a look and see what makes sense.

We've already seen some of what is likely coming in iOS 6, including a new version of the Maps app that replaces Google data with Apple data. It wouldn't surprise us in the least if it brings turn-by-turn navigation with it either, by way of Siri...

But what else could Apple bring with iOS 6?

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

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 expanded beyond Safari. At the iOS 4 event in the spring of 2010, the iPhone added limited 3rd party multitasking and a fast app switcher interface, but rather than Pages or even an Exposé-esque grid interface, it locked to the Dock.

And as far as showing currently open apps, making those apps as visually distinguishable as possible, and making them as fast as possible to switch between, that's where iOS has remained. Even on the iPad's far larger screen.

Is it time for something more?

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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). Earlier this year the subject was brought back to the spotlight, with other developers and bloggers reaching pretty much the same conclusion.

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How to use multitasking gesture navigation shortcuts on the new iPad

Multitasking gestures are quick, multitouch shortcuts for navigating around your iPad. You can enable or disable them in Settings (to avoid, for example, swiping in Fruit Ninja and suddenly ending up in Mail). When they're on, however, and you're used to using them, you can really fly between your iPad apps.

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SuperSwitcher adds more functionality to the iPhone's Fast App Switcher [jailbreak]

SuperSwitcher is a new jailbreak mod in Cydia that offers extended functionality and settings access to the Fast App Switcher on your iPhone.

Don't you just hate searching for your favorite app icon in between so many Springboard pages? Wish you could just "bookmark" your favorite apps in the multitasking bar? Now you can with SuperSwitcher!

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SwitcherCleaner helps clean up the multitasking Fast App Switcher [Jailbreak]

SwitcherCleaner is new jailbreak mod in Cydia that changes the behavior of the multitasking Fast App Switcher to only show apps that are actually running in the background, and keeps the quit button visible at all times.

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White iPhone 4 showing off prototype iOS 4 fast app switching, folder UI?

Vietnamese site Tinhte might just have gotten their hands on an official white iPhone 4 from Apple... running a previously unseen version of iOS! While it could also just be a clever set of Jailbreak tweaks, the video shows a new version of the multitasking fast app switching that replaces the dock icons in iOS 4 with miniature tiles of the actual apps, sort of like Exposé for iPhone.

Whether this is something destined for an interim iOS 4.4, our first hint at iOS 5, or some Jailbreak wizardry only Apple knows for sure. But it is interesting that it shows up on the anniversary of the Gizmodo iPhone 4 leak, isn't it?

UPDATE: Per comments, yes there are some old icons but also some Apple internal test icons. Weird. Second video from the same source that shows off, among other things, 64GB, a new rendering for Folders, and Facebook built into settings.

UPDATE 2: This might just be a prototype iPhone 4 running an early test version of iOS 4 which included Folder and Fast App Switching UI Apple later decided against implementing (going with what we see now in the release version of iOS 4.)

Check out the video after the break and let us know, real, fake, or really fake? And if real, what do you think?

[Tinhte via Engadget]

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iOS 4.2 features: Volume slider widget for iPhone and iPod touch

iOS 4.2 GM brings a volume slider widget to the iPhone and iPod touch, just like beta 1 did for iPad. Since iPhone and iPod touch have a no landscape view for home screen, and much narrower screen real estate in general, the volume slider isn't next to the other widgets like it is on iPad, and there's no brightness slider to go with it, but here's what you do get:

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iOS 4 features: Background app killing

iOS 4's new fast app switcher interface also allows you to kill both Apple and 3rd party App Store apps that may be causing problems in the background.

To access the fast app switcher in iOS 4, double click the home button on iPhone 4 iPhone 3GS, or iPod touch G3. The interface will slide up and reveal a second dock-like set of app icons "in the background". To kill an app, tap and hold the app until the icons begin to jiggle, then tap the minus symbol (-) at the top left corner. The app will then disappear, "deleted" from the background dock (but not from your iPhone or iPod).

This force quiwill do a couple of different things depending on the type of app.

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iPhone OS 4: orientation lock, iPod controls in fast app switcher

Today's iPhone OS 4 beta 3 update has brought with it some interesting new features, including a soft-version of the iPad's orientation lock and iPod controls added into the fast app switcher (multitasking) UI.

When you double click the home button to bring up the fast app switcher, you can now scroll all the way to the left to get the new orientation lock and iPod controls. The default on the orientation is off but a tap will turn on, or turn off, the lock. (Home screen doesn't sound like it rotates, however).

iPod controls include back, play/pause, and forward, with the name of the current track written beneath.

The background for the app switcher (and for folders) has also changed from the rubbery, pock-mocked, dark gray of beta 1 and 2 to a new cross-hatched medium gray.

Video after the break! For more check out our complete iPhone OS 4 beta preview and feature walkthrough.

[Thanks anon!]

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