A new multitasking concept for iOS (FastSwitch)

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by cobbyco, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. cobbyco, Feb 20, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013

    cobbyco macrumors 6502a

    cobbyco

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    PushTask
    Please follow the above link to the newest version of my concept.


    So I was thinking, the current 'multitasking bar' or 'switcher' allows you to access your currently running apps and the music controls, but that was pretty much it. The point of multitasking is so that you can quickly change between two apps without interruption. Having to re-open the switcher every time you want to change app isn't very fluent and is sometimes annoying.

    I wanted to redesign the switcher without redesigning it. I wanted it to function differently but look the same. So, I've made some rough mock-ups of how such a switcher could work.

    [​IMG]
    The first screenshot shows a familiar picture. Everything is there, yet something has changed. You can't see it yet. Not until I swipe left on the dock...

    [​IMG]
    Aha! It's changed! This is now all of the currently running/recently closed apps. The dock and switcher have been integrated together to show the same content. The only difference is that the dock appears on the home screen, while the switcher can only be seen in apps. They behave almost the same.

    [​IMG]
    OK, so I tapped the app icon for Google translate, and (surprise, surprise) it opens the app. Nothing really magic here, but what if I double click the home button to bring the switcher up...

    [​IMG]
    Woa! The switcher has actually pushed the app's bottom navigation bar up. This means that all the app content is visible, but more importantly the user can still fully interact with the app, despite the switcher being up. All apps with the default style UI will be able to do this without extra coding. You may have noticed that the app's aspect ratio is now exactly 3:2, the same as the previous iPhones and iPods! This works in favour for the developers, as the app will function the same as it did on the previous iDevice models.
    The icon for the currently running app is also visible, along with an arrow to indicate that.

    [​IMG]
    By tapping the currently active app icon, or by pressing the home button, you can dismiss the switcher to pull the navigation bar back down, so that you have more room to work with again. This is a concept of the animation used.

    [​IMG]
    Lets stay on the switcher. As I said, the switcher is integrated with the dock, meaning that by swiping right on the switcher you can access your 'docked' applications (your favourites). Tapping on one of these icons opens it in fullscreen if it isn't already running. If it is already running then the switcher stays and the app is shown in 3:2 mode. Just like before, an arrow is placed above the currently visible app to show its running. Your favourites do not appear with the other apps when open, so always stay in the favourites section despite the circumstances. In this example the currently running app is on another page in the switcher, so the arrow isn't present over any of the visible icons.

    [​IMG]
    Lets have a look at another example. Here you can see the currently open app along side the other running apps. The view of the app is compressed to the 3:2 view as it does use Apple's standard UI (its an Apple app after all). If I wanted to change the the Facebook app quickly, I simply swipe left on the switcher so that the Facebook app icon is now under the arrow. Unlike the current switcher, each app icon acts as it's own page. A smaller swipe will move you over only to the next app, but a big enough swipe will move you along the the next 4 icons. As you swipe, the open app will move in the same direction and to the right of it the next app will follow. As soon as the icon and app 'lock' into place the app will be ready to use, provided the app is still in the background running. If the app was recently used (still in the switcher) but not running in the background then the app will load in the 3:2 view.

    [​IMG]
    EDIT: I just realised Mailbox shouldn't be in this picture. Because its a docked app it should always only appear in the favourites section found to the left. My bad.
    So what about apps that don't use the default UI? Well, with some extra coding they could theoretically be supported. For this example lets say it hasn't been updated. The whole app will be pushed up (as normal) but with the same arrow indicating its still running. The app will be 'paused' or 'frozen' so it can't be interacted with. It will display some sort of text over the top like 'tap to resume' (shown above). The app can be resumed through either the two standard methods listed earlier, or by tapping on the app itself. The switcher will pull back down and the app will resume.

    Also, there would be 'quick toggles' found to the left of the favourites. These would look like app icons ('Auxo' is a perfect example) and behave similarly. When the toggle app is opened, the settings app is opened at the relevant section (in the 3:2 mode). From here all the relevant setting can be changed and tweaked. The same two methods can be used to pull the switcher back down and show the app in fullscreen mode.

    Q&A
    What happens if I double click the home button on the home screen?
    The last used app is opened, regardless of whether it is in the switcher/dock or not.

    Is everything in the dock that is in the switcher, including toggles? And how similar are the two?
    Yes, and it behaves pretty much the same. However, any app that is currently running will open in fullscreen mode through the dock, rather than opening in 3:2 mode through the switcher. Toggles for example will open the settings app (in the correct place) but without the switcher at the bottom, so in fullscreen.

    What the difference between '3:2 mode' and 'fullscreen'?
    3:2 mode is how an app runs on an iPhone 4/4S or iPod touch 4th Generation. Fullscreen is how an app runs on iPhone 5 or iPod touch 5th Generation.

    Would this work on previous iPhone/iPod touch models?
    Theoretically it could, but the space would be a bit cramped. It was designed for the taller devices in mind.

    Would this work on iPad?
    Theoretically it could, but apps that aren't using the default UI will be forced into an odd aspect ratio that has never been supported by an Apple product. Non-standard apps would be more difficult to support for iPad.

    Where can I get this tweak?
    You can't. It is literally a few screenshots mashed together on Paint.

    Why does your time and battery change so much?
    Because the screenshots were taken on different days at different times, and while I started to fix them I eventually stopped as I found no point in doing so.

    Why is your Clock app showing the actual time?
    It is a free jailbreak tweak found on Cydia called 'LiveClock'. I really wish Apple would add something just like this to the iOS Clock app! (And make the icon look the same as the iPad one...)

    You're amazing at Super Hexagon!
    Indeed.

    I have a question for you that wasn't answered.
    Post below and I will (probably) update this post with the question and answer!

    EDIT: Sorry the pictures are so big, but it is late where I am and I'm not re-sizing them now. Maybe tomorrow.
     
  2. Boredathome macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    Mind posting your wallpaper? It is a pretty cool idea!
     
  3. chekz0414 macrumors 6502a

    chekz0414

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    FL
    #3
    I also would like the wallpaper, and hmm interesting concept...although I picture iOS multitasking to be more like OS X and Mission Control eventually
     
  4. cobbyco thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cobbyco

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    It should be attached.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. cobbyco, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013

    cobbyco thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cobbyco

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Location:
    UK

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