A thought on OS 4.0 Multitasking

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by snverhallen, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. snverhallen macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 17, 2007
    #1
    Let me first say that I'm ecstatic about multitasking in OS 4.0. I was thinking about it today though and thought of something.

    I think multitasking may be double edged. For apps like Skype and Pandora it'll obviously be especially fantastic to have multitasking. I think that pro's in that respect are pretty self-explanatory.

    Except, what if I want to do the same thing that is now the only option in 3.0... just quit an app. Will we just have to double click the home button and manually hold down on an app and quit it that way.

    Basically, it just seems that simply quitting an app completely has now become a bit of a clumsy process. I realize the apps don't use any resources when in multitasking "mode" but that multitasking popup bar could get pretty long if you just left it without quitting apps completely.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, perhaps I'm not quite understanding it properly, just thought I'd share my thought.

    PS. Perhaps holding the home button for a certain amount of time (what used to be way force quit an app in 2.0 I believe) would trigger a complete quit of an app.

    snverhallen
     
  2. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

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    May 25, 2009
    #2
    Yes, you have to hold down on an app and tap the X to make it fully disappear from the task switcher. I've heard this is one reservation people have about the system Apple has put in place. Of course, two points about this. First, I bet the switcher always puts the most recent apps used first, so if you have apps you use often, they'll always be more easily accessible. Second, just going back to the launch screen and opening the program from there should have the same effect as going through the task switcher, although I'm not positive about that one.
     
  3. fishkorp macrumors 68020

    fishkorp

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    #3
    The bar at the bottom isn't a multi-tasking bar, it's a quick app launcher. All recently opened apps go down there, in the order last opened, no matter if they can multi-task or not.
     
  4. DaGreat01 macrumors 6502a

    DaGreat01

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    Jun 11, 2009
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    Atlanta, Georgia
    #4
    I read an article somewhere (sorry i dont remember the site) that pretty much said not to worry about quitting the app. As your phones needs the space it will quit the app that hasnt been used the longest so that it can save the state of the new one.

    You usually use about the same 5 or 6 apps every day. But say one day you played a game you would probably not play again for another week, those ones that you normally use would begin to push that game further and further back in the list as you use them again.

    If your phone doesnt need the space (because you only use the 5 apps everyday) that game will be there still in a week. You shouldnt care that it's still there.

    The article pretty much said that you shouldnt worry about quitting the app. Just pretend that you dont even have the option to quit it.
     
  5. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Aug 29, 2006
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    Washington DC
    #5
    Sorry, I made that a bit bigger because everyone needs to see it.

    That damn bar is confusing a lot of people. I kind of wish they hadn't put it in yet...it just makes people think it's a multi-tasking feature when it's really not.
     
  6. TSX macrumors 68030

    TSX

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    #6
    Maybe it can be combined with backgrounding in cydia to give us true multitasking.
     
  7. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    Aug 15, 2009
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    Connecticut, USA
    #7
    +1

    I'm actually working on a post explaining what multitasking is and isn't. Basically, what Apple understand is that people don't need a multitasking OS, they just need to be able to multitask. OS4 isn't going to make the iPhone itself multitask (a la Backgrounder or Windows), it's going to make it possible for us to multitask by switching quickly and seamlessly between apps while the OS maintains certain functions in the background. It's really quite an elegant way to get most of the benefits of a multitasking OS without its many problems.
     
  8. sdm1985 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 1, 2008
    #8
    How would you define 'true' multitasking? Also weigh up the pros and cons to to your theory.

    This is a serious question, I want to know more.

    Shawn
     
  9. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #9
    What I kind of wish is that they'd talked about the multitasking features at the 4.0 announcement but kept the task switcher a secret. Let everyone talk about multitasking for a month, then, when we're used to it, show off the new "Application Switcher Menu" at WWDC next month as a whole new secret feature that's totally unrelated to multitasking.

    I think people would have "gotten it" a lot better if they'd done it that way.
     
  10. snverhallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 17, 2007
    #10
    OK, I get it now. The bar at the bottom and multitasking are actually 2 very different entities.

    So in essence, when you close an app via the home button you are quitting it, only the specific background API's in the apps continue to run.

    Like thelatinist said it is quite a clever way of "presenting" multitasking so to say.

    What are you actually doing then when you quit an app via the bar. Just removing it as a "quick start app" or actually quitting it from it's last frozen state?

    snverhallen
     
  11. Saberon macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2008
    #11
    My understanding is this


    Lets say you open APP 1

    Hit home button

    App 1 is frozen and will be on the double click bar

    Open app2/3/4/5

    Home button

    They will all be on double click bar

    If too many apps are open in a way that would affect performance the iPhone will kill them appropriately, double clicking home is a quick way to search open apps.

    When you kill an app yourself (hold it on double click bar) it forces it shut much like a Force Quit that you can currently do on the iPhone, this manually shuts it down instead of the iPhone doing that itself when it needs more memory available

    Thats my understanding...maybe I'm wrong?
     
  12. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    #12
    You are wrong. That's how Android does multitasking. OS4.0 will freeze any app that's not in the foreground, saving its state and terminating the process. You will be able to go back to the saved state, so it will appear never to have closed. No app will run in the background, but certain built-in services (the 7 APIs) will take over some functions the app otherwise would do, if asked to.
     
  13. profets macrumors 68040

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #13
    If you open an app, and hit the home button, the app is put into a quick sleep/saved state mode of some sort that allows it to be opened again very quickly. It is not actually running at all. The only time you may have something running or "multitasking" is when an app is designed to use one of the 7 background APIs that apple mentioned for OS4.0.

    Also, getting to the "double click bar", and holding an app icon and closing it will clear its state and remove it from the recent apps.

    edit: thelatinist beat me to it :)
     
  14. Saberon macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2008
    #14
    That's what I was trying to say... lol

    I know it doesn't actually run in background, but when you hit the home button it stores the app on the "double click bar" so you can re-open the app where you last left off. The app you close does not actually stay open in any way

    Apparently my description was not written how I meant to convey the message :D
     
  15. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    #15
    The problem is that you talked about such processes as if they were still active and in memory. Neither is true. The OS never needs to close them because of limited memory because they are already closed. Apps can stay in the fast-switching bar indefinitely because it is really nothing more or less than a shortcut.
     
  16. broncopde macrumors 6502

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    Conway, AR
    #16
    I believe this is the one you're talking about. Makes a lot of sense to me. I like the implementation.
     
  17. LoganT macrumors 68020

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    Jan 9, 2007
    #17
    The way I thought it was, let's say you are playing Pandora in the background. The app is not open in the background, it's just streaming the audio. So the way you would technically close the application, would be to go in to Pandora and stop the music, or pause it.
     
  18. ogdogg macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2008
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    Arizona
    #18
    I don't like a bunch of apps in the multitasking bar either. I was thinking it would be cool if there was an option in the settings to set which apps multitask and which ones permanently closed. I don't need all my apps to multitask and it'd be cool to keep the multitasking bar somewhat organized.
     
  19. davelanger macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 25, 2009
    #19
    Yeah maybe under options they could give us a YES or NO option to let us choose what apps multi-task.
     
  20. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    #20
    It's just a recently-used apps list. It really has nothing to do with multi-tasking except insofar as it helps you switch from one app to another quickly. It's like Recent Documents in MS Word. If you don't want to, nobody is forcing you to use it, but it does absolutely no harm to have it there.
     
  21. Theappmachine macrumors member

    Theappmachine

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #21
    The how multitask works on the iPhone right now is not really clear, since only native apps benefit of it.

    The question of "how to terminate an app" I think is not stupid. I hope that the "when it needs space the system will kill the less used app" is not yet in the OS 4.0 beta 2, because if it is there, it just doesn't work.

    I have the Beta installed on my 3GS and as soon as I use some ipod,itunes,settings,mail,notes,clock and etcetera, they are all in background and my iPhone turns into a slow turtle. The only way to give him some air is to manually kill apps, but is kinda frustrating...

    By the way, we are talking of a beta.
     
  22. Carniphage macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

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    Sheffield, England
    #22
    Beta2 is sluggish.
    Those apps are not "running" in background. (apart from Mail and iPod) - and Mail and iPod apps have always been running in background.

    C.
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #23
    Let me preface my post by stating I don't have the beta on my iPhone.

    With that said, I run hot and cold on how apple implemented "multitasking" I put that in quotes because its not true multitasking. Only a certain set of APIs provide some level of background operation. Even then its quite limited. With that said, how much multitasking does a phone need?

    I had a Nexus One for a while which is on the other end of the multitasking spectrum, i.e., full unadulterated multitasking it was cool how everything worked so well together. I think the whole notification thingy seems a but kludgy but android has implemented their OS very well. Of course the expense of such multitasking is battery life. I found my N1 not lasting as long as my iPhone, but not by a huge difference.

    Ultimately, its what apple will provide with the next phone as to whether I buy into the whole iPhone multitasking, only because if the next phone doesn't blow up my skirt, I'll move back to an android based phone.
     
  24. Theappmachine macrumors member

    Theappmachine

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #24
    I have the impression that those apps are in background or at least freezed, because since I open them again they are where I left them.
     
  25. shandyman Suspended

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    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #25
    i don't get why people are moaning about it not being 'full' multitasking, until you see it in action in every day use, you're not really going to know what its like, personally i think if the apps take use of it properly, it will be seamless and just as good, if not better than multitasking on android based phones, better as its less power consuming. i've known people that have jailbroken their iphones and used multitasking that way and their phones just needed constant recharging. surely thats the key here, effective, useable, reliable and functional.
     

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