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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. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Quote Originally Posted by THEINFAMOUS View Post
      Being able to reply to texts without leaving your current app = multitasking
      fix'd
    1. Tunerfreak's Avatar
      Tunerfreak -
      Quote Originally Posted by THEINFAMOUS View Post
      Being able to reply to texts without leaving your current app> multitasking
      ROFL you are the definition of moron
    1. dillonsmith9147's Avatar
      dillonsmith9147 -
      Android FTW, just saying, if u ask me google is gonna keep the 1 up on apple just because its easier for them to, plus they have many different phone makers who can produce dozens of differnet phones a year where apple has trouble making one and by then a month after it is announced it is out of date
    1. miistahmagic's Avatar
      miistahmagic -
      4.0 adds a reflective glass dock to the iphone's home screen just like on mac and 3.2 ipad lol I've had my iphone like this before the ipad was even announced I love jailbreaking. I swear apple gets ideas from jailbreak devs.
    1. helvete's Avatar
      helvete -
      so far on 4.0
      categories = folders
      backgrounder/any backgrounding app = mulitasking
      any JB phone = change background
    1. Silenus's Avatar
      Silenus -
      From Musclenerd.

      Remember when Apple said "H/W can't support" MMS on iPhone2G? And it turns out, it really does (enabled via JB).
    1. edge777's Avatar
      edge777 -
      Wow, good thing this entire article was speculation... Could never understand why people get upset over speculation, especially when it turns out to be false...
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dillonsmith9147 View Post
      Android FTW, just saying, if u ask me google is gonna keep the 1 up on apple just because its easier for them to, plus they have many different phone makers who can produce dozens of differnet phones a year where apple has trouble making one and by then a month after it is announced it is out of date
      But then again how many of those phones have issues because of the hardware and google can just say "oh well". Windows is the same way; there are a dozen PC makers but have hardware issues with the OS.

      Apple with the phones and their computer lines are backed by a great customer service. They can do this because they control the hardware it gets put on and the OS is built completely for the hardware.
    1. eaglesteve's Avatar
      eaglesteve -
      Quote Originally Posted by klouud View Post
      I background YourTube while it is downloading my YouTube videos;
      My understanding is that this is exactly the kind of things that Apple would allow - to complete a task.

      Quote Originally Posted by klouud View Post
      I background my games while I play in case I get an important call and the iPhone closes the app without saving;
      Again, my understanding is that this would be possible with Apple's way of multitasking. If you're playing your tap tap game, it can be suspended when a phone call comes in. When you finish your phone call, you come back and continue from exactly where you left off. Steve Jobs had demonstrated that in his Keynote presentation.

      Quote Originally Posted by klouud View Post
      I background any program I am in and typing So I can open dictionary.com App to check my spelling
      Quote Originally Posted by klouud View Post
      I background just about any App I am in if I need to stop without losing my work and do something else really quickly.
      I don't see any issue with Apple's way of multitasking here. It would give you exactly the same multitasking experience that you said you need.

      Apple would provide background services for music streaming (for applications such as online radios, music players), location tracking (for GPSs such as TomTom, social networking applications), VOIP services (for applications such as Skype), task completion services (for data download/upload for example) and notifications (for online chat type of applications for example) . Most applications only need to be able to save the state they are at and to resume from when brought to the foreground (should apply to applications such as office documents, applications in the reference category, games such as tetris/sudoko/tap tap/crack code/minesweeper).

      What Apple does not allow is to keep alive any services besides those provided by it. A phone is not a PC due to the small screen size (unless you allow widgets, which Apple doesn't) and non-PC class processor. Therefore, it makes sense to design multitasking specifically to consider these two characteristics. The key things to the end users is that both the smart multitasking of Apple and the "true multitasking" that we experience gives very similar experience - unless you can think of any specific situations that are not covered by all the background services that Apple provides. Can you think of any such applications (other than widgets)?
    1. remag49's Avatar
      remag49 -
      i hate how apple always makes limitations!!
    1. Speedy_x's Avatar
      Speedy_x -
      It's not coming to the older iPhones, only 3GS, the other models get some aspects of 4.0 but not the multitasking.