Multitasking on the iPhone
Sometimes I feel really let down by the people I trust. I love reading engadget, gizmodo, wired etc. and yet for the past year or so one thing has pissed me off all over the web.
“Why has the iphone/ipod touch/ipad not got multitasking?”
I’ve read so many bitches, moans, rants, musing and editorials giving out and belittling apple for not including “even the most basic features” on it’s mobile devices. Multitasking, or at least multitasking as I understand it, simply doesn’t apply in the mobile space.
Right now on my desktop I’ve got adium open for IM, mail running in the background, iTunes playing a podcast and safari open writing this post. My attention is held solely by safari, the other apps are ancillary, I don’t need them front and centre, merely be notified when they NEED my attention. Now, translate this experience to a 3.5″ screen. Screen real estate is at a premium, I do not want to run windowed apps on something that small!
The current eco system is nigh on perfect, developers can add push notifications to their apps, simple pop ups to tell you something else needs your attention. What pisses me off is that people miss the whole point of the mobile experience, apps run full screen! Assume today apple flip a big switch and enable multitasking. Hmm, what changes in your workflow?
App 1 is open.
You need to switch to App 2.
Tap home button then open App 2.
Does that sound familiar?
The only difference from what we’ve got right now, is that App 1 continues to suck power and CPU cycles from App 2. Can people still really not see why multitasking just shouldn’t be in the mobile space??
When Apple set about designing the iPhone they had some very clear design goals. They put in the foremost of their mind the User experience, battery life and fast operation. The worked from the ground up, building as they went, creating a new mobile computing paradigm, not copying and pasting bits and pieces from traditional computers and mobile phones. The sooner people do the same with their expectations the better