The wait for stock iPhones to be able to do what jailbroken phones have been able to do for a long time may be drawing to a close. AppleInsider
is again reporting that iPhone OS 4.0 will enable all apps to take advantage of the multitasking
that is already available to native apps like iPod and Mail, among others. Previous leaks had divulged that Apple was indeed working on multitasking
, but without discussing the specific way it would be implemented in the user interface. Now, a source is telling AppleInsider that iPhone 4.0's app-switching "will resemble Apple's desktop Exposť feature."
Earlier this month, "people with a proven track record in predicting Apple's technological advances" were reporting that Apple had come up with a "full-on solution" to multitasking on the iPhone OS. Now, according to "people familiar with Apple's plans for the new firmware," hitting the Home button twice will bring up an" Exposť-like interface" displaying icons that represent the currently running apps. You tap the icon for the app you want to switch to, and the task manager zooms out, taking you to the new app.
It's not clear why it's called "Exposť-like," though: Exposť on Mac OS shows "thumbnail" minimized views of the actual running apps, not their icons. Pressing Command-Tab
on the Mac OS brings up the icons. AppleInsider's
source, however, says that the app-switching method "exhibits several characteristics of the Exposť brand," which is not very informative. As far as I know, Exposť pretty much just has one
characteristic: showing all windows and showing the Desktop: yes, pressing F10 instead of F9 shows just one screen per app, but that's pretty much it. And it's not clear how that function would be relevant with just icons rather than app screens, and without a keyboard to choose different modes.
Still, good on Apple for finally getting this in there. Not seeing any reason I'd give up ProSwitcher for this, but we'll see what Apple eventually comes up with: this feature could certainly be cooler than the story makes it sound.