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  • Apple to Limit iPhone 4.0 Multitasking?

    Apple will be previewing iPhone OS 4.0 to reporters and industry analysts in a special presentation tomorrow that Apple called "a sneak peek into the future of iPhone OS software." Most observers are fairly confident that the update will bring multitasking to the iPhone and iPad, a feature that many users have been waiting a long time for. However, given the hardware limitations of the iPhone - especially older models - some pundits are guessing that Apple will restrict multitasking to certain applications only.

    According to industry professionals and alleged leaks from inside Apple, multitasking in unavailable for most apps because of the load it would put of the iPhone and because of security concerns. remember that the iPhone OS is built on the same Mach microkernel that lies at the heart of the desktop Mac OS X, so it already supports fully-preemptive multitasking. Apple limits multitasking capabilities to its own apps like the phone, Messages, Mail, iPod, Voice Memos or ones that it directly controls such as Nike+. The limitation is always explained by the need to manage scarce resources and prevent the installation malware on the iPhone.

    Thus, Apple is unlikely to allow full-bore multitasking in iPhone 4.0. Aaron Vronko, the CEO of iPhone service shop Rapid Repair, told Computerworld that he thinks that Apple will decide which apps will be permitted to run in the background, a scheme he calls "intelligent multitasking." Giving Apple control over the apps that will be able to multitask makes sense, according to Vronko, "because it lets Apple control the user experience and performance," he said, in a reference to power and memory management. The iPad, like the iPhone 3GS and third generation iPod touch, is limited by its 256MB of RAM, and older iPhone OS devices have only 128MB.

    Though most observers, including analysts like Ezra Gottheil with Technology Business Research (who also gave his opinion to Computerworld), believe that the upcoming fourth-generation iPhone will have some version of the new A4 processor, both he and Vronko claim that multitasking will still overload the device, and that Apple will hobble the system to keep users from swamping the CPU and RAM. In a world where devices like a Blackberry Bold or a Palm Pre can multitask with less available resources, the case is far from strong... but it sounds like one that Apple will make anyway.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple to Limit iPhone 4.0 Multitasking? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 91 Comments
    1. waroftyr's Avatar
      waroftyr -
      just another thing that they want control over, why take such a great thing and ruin it
    1. lexquiles's Avatar
      lexquiles -
      I guess I am more intrested in the multitasking in the iPad then the iPhone. I don't really need it. I use the backgrounder application to run things like Instant Messager in the back ground.
    1. Hyperextension's Avatar
      Hyperextension -
      Who needs multitasking really? I have never needed it, nor do I forsee it at all on the iPhone. I think multitasking is just an overblown thing. More and more people started saying they wanted it and now its a snowball. It serves no real purpose in my opinion.
    1. iPhone3G[S]'s Avatar
      iPhone3G[S] -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hyperextension View Post
      Who needs multitasking really? I have never needed it, nor do I forsee it at all on the iPhone. I think multitasking is just an overblown thing. More and more people started saying they wanted it and now its a snowball. It serves no real purpose in my opinion.
      Whatever, if I want to drain my battery in 1hr, this would do it!
    1. waroftyr's Avatar
      waroftyr -
      once you have it, its hard to go without it in certain cases
    1. caleb9707's Avatar
      caleb9707 -
      I dont know why people complain. They will probably let radio apps like Pandora or iHeart Radio run in the background. its the ones that dont need it like Brushes that they wont allow because they dont need it!
    1. nitin98's Avatar
      nitin98 -
      just jailbreak
    1. Silverado087's Avatar
      Silverado087 -
      yeah i knew it would happen. i knew we could have our cake but not eat it too. well im sure theyve pushed the limits of an iphone and watched it overload and crash and thats prolly why there controlling it. but in the end waiting this long for multi-tasking and it being half-assed does suck.

      but i use quick reply on cydia and its perfect. thats pretty much all i need.
    1. KidKush's Avatar
      KidKush -
      Wow are you serious?? this is just another way for Apple to control your mobile experience..
      Guess Ill just have to stick with backgrounder
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      They will likely develop specific classes for apps allowed to background. Most likely instant messengers / social apps, streaming music (but not video), and Navigation apps. Nothing else really needs multitasking, and each of the aforementioned applications only require a single instance running, except in the case of social apps, more than one running instance may be desirable.
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      Yeah iheartradio or Pandoa... FB, ebuddy
    1. adsonjustin's Avatar
      adsonjustin -
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Pandora and radio apps are about the one main app I can see the need for backgrounding. GPS-aware apps (tomtom, runkeeper, etc) being a close 2nd. In 3rd place I'd put data-free apps. Things like Sleep Cycle or any alarm app for example would benefit from not having to worry of a call coming in. A lot of other apps can easily get away with push notifications.


      (I fully expect apple to excert some control over multi-tasking. Let's me be honest if there's one thing the iPhone is good at is using it's memory without a care)
    1. risingkazuya05's Avatar
      risingkazuya05 -
      That's why I'm jailbreaking 4.0 once its available. My 3Gs can multitask using Proswitcher or Circuitous just fine.
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      Wonder What uses more battery Multitasking or Fetch Data...

      Dun Dun Dunn
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Give us the whole thing, or I will stick with multifl0w
    1. kdp8791's Avatar
      kdp8791 -
      The 4th Generation iPhone better have one hell of a battery.
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Not to sound like a know-it-all *******, but OF COURSE they're going to limit it in one way or another. I get the feeling that you won't be able to "background" just ANY app, it will have to have special Apple-provided permissions based on whether multitasking is actually of some real advantage, like Pandora.

      Also, there will also be limits on how many apps you can have running.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zeal View Post
      Wonder What uses more battery Multitasking or Fetch Data...

      Dun Dun Dunn
      i would have to say multitasking. By default the lowest fetch time is 15mins and depending on how many accounts you have fetching wouldn't take that long. Multitasking on the other hand drains the battery a lot quicker because several apps are running at a time and using up memory at the same time. Thus, the reason why a lot of ppl complain about battery life. Some people don't understand that the more you use the phone yeah the quicker the battery will die. It's not that the batter is bad or sucks it's just that it's being used to damn much.

      I completely understand why multitasking was not implemented by 3rd party apps. The one thing that iPhone does better than a lot of phones is staying consistent with speed. No matter how many apps that are opened and closed the phone still ran smooth and quick especially 3GS. A lot of the other phones began lagging until you'd have to exit each app that is using memory. I use backgrounder and proswitcher but not all of my apps are backgrounded as there is no need. if i need an app to stay open i simply swipe up or hold the home button down for 1sec and the app is activated to remain open. I then, open up any other app i need. I would like Apple to implement something similar and i think it would help.

      I guess we'll see what happens. I'm somewhat excited but i just don't want to get my hopes up about OS 4.0. I have a bad feeling 4.0 is just going to be 3.2 in diguise.... i REALLY hope i'm wrong!
    1. itaintrite's Avatar
      itaintrite -
      Why are people actually content with this crippled multitasking?

      Say you're playing a game that isn't multitask-able and you're on the verge of breaking the high score, then you get an important email that you MUST read/reply. Will you still be happy with the crap that Apple calls multitasking then?

      There might be "workarounds" to this, but why create more problems when there is a simple solution? I'll probably ditch Apple's "multitask" and stick to Backgrounder if this really is the case.