Anyone disappointed with multitasking?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by chowmein, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. chowmein macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2009
    As the iPhone continues to evolve, I find myself feeling underwhelmed by the implementations of new features, such as multitasking. When the iPhone was first released, the Home button only had one function: to bring you back to the home screen. The initial awe towards the iPhone was not only because of its industrial design or even the beauty of the user interface, but because of how simply everything worked. One tap on the Home button and you're back to the home screen. The iPhone was easy to use because navigating through it worked around the singular function of the Home button. In iOS 4, however, Apple finally added multitasking to the iPhone, which seemed like a godsend to us. But as I sit here trying it on my iPhone, it feels rather unnatural and hacked on to the software. Double-tapping the Home button to bring up the list of currently running apps doesn't make the Home button a "Home button" anymore. To me, the addition of multitasking breaks the entire paradigm of the simple-to-use singular function Home button that Apple introduced to us three years ago. And, it's not even real multitasking in the way that we consider it to be. Instead, as many others before me have pointed out, multitasking on the iPhone is more like a list of recently used apps. I think that the interface for it on the iPhone is greatly flawed and would probably be easier to use if currently running apps were presented to us in a list form that took up more of the screen, but that's another discussion. One of the reasons we wanted multitasking was because we wanted the convenience of not having to go back to the home screen to launch another app. But the implementation of multitasking presents another problem. What if you're currently running, let's say, 30 apps and you want to go back to another app that is all the way at the back of the list? You have to scroll all the way to the end and then launch it. That doesn't sound very convenient to me. Ok, maybe that wasn't a typical use case, but I think you know what I mean. ;) While the iPhone is certainly a great device, I feel that some things, especially multitasking, could be done better.
  2. Tara Luvs Apple macrumors 6502a

    Mar 16, 2008
    I don't recall the very first iPhone having the button take you to the first page. I thought that came along with apps (which was 3G) because why else would you need to get to the first page if you only have one page?
  3. chriskzoo macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2005
    No, it only keeps your most recent 4 apps multi-tasked, as I understand it, and it also keeps your place in those apps - so if your typing a note and switch to a different app and come back, the note is right there in the same place without relaunching the app.

    As for the Home button, if you press it once, it still functions as the same old Home button.
  4. skyehill macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2007
    Anyone that isnt a fanboy, yes. With that said, holy crap learn how to present your ideas properly formatted. That wall of text is nearly unreadable.
  5. STEVESKI07 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Washington, DC
    There is no set number of apps. It is as many as it can store in memory.
  6. Givmeabrek macrumors 68040


    Apr 20, 2009
    No harm in tossing a paragraph in here and there. They're free. It's impossible to read otherwise. :cool:
  7. pirateRACE macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2010

    You want multitasking, but think the implementation is not intuitive. I think a little slide out drawer is easier to manage then a large list of Apps. But, I haven't used it yet, so maybe I will be disappointed as well.
  8. skafia macrumors 6502


    Apr 4, 2010
    Although multitasking on the iPhone is not true multitasking, I think the iPhone does a great job and the best I've used.

    Actually, if you think about it, on a mobile device that is not meant to be a work horse (although it can be to an extent on the iPhone!) the iPhone does a great job. It preserves battery and only allows essential things that people might use, like music, task finishing, local updates and not having a game that runs in the background just draining juice.

    I think the most important feature is the fast-app switching. I've been using iOS 4.0 and I find it does a great job. It makes the phone "appear" to be so much faster because you don't have to wait for Apps to load. Honestly, on a phone people only use 1 app at a time, there's just not much room for anything else, and if you need anything else, those certain APIs Apple provided are more than enough!

    So I disagree with you, I have used many "smartphones" in the past, and the ones that enable multi-tasking are horrendous. You constantly have to seek and destroy Apps that are sucking up juice.

    I'm interested to hear how you think multitasking could have been done better on the iPhone.
  9. Craiger macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2007
    agreed! lol I just cannot read that.
  10. chowmein thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2009
    I never said anything about going back to the first page. Did you confuse that with going back to the home screen (closing an app)? And on the original iPhone, you could have more than one page because you can add shortcuts to websites to the home screen.
  11. aforty macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    But the Home button has had multiple uses at least since the iPhone 3G. You could set the Home button when double-tapped to go to the iPod app, search, phone favorites or camera. On the 3GS I believe the default behavior for double-tapping the Home button is the voice control app. So I mean it has been done before. Is it perfect? No, but how would you have implemented it? A specific gesture on the screen? A new button?

    From what I understand you can continue to use the home button as a home button if you so desire. Then use the home screen to go to the apps just as you have done since day one, multitasking will behave the same as if you has select the app from the multitasking list.

    As for multitasking itself on the OS level, I think it's a fine implementation. Android doesn't have what most would consider "true" multitasking either, yes it's a lot closer to it but it has its own limitations and flaws. Microsoft went the route of the original iPhone, not allowing background applications but implementing the same fast app switching present in iOS4. WebOS, not sure how they implemented it. Point is a mobile device doesn't need full multitasking the way we are used to it on a desktop because you will never "see" more than one application at a time. Is the current implementation perfect? Probably not, I can foresee Apple making changes (adding multitasking options) down the line when developers start demanding more pipelines for their apps to perform tasks when the user is away.
  12. MacBone macrumors member


    Jul 10, 2008
    Chapin, SC

    I think there may be some confusion here with the original iphone and the original iPhone OS (now iOS).

    When the original iPhone launched there was not multi-home pages. There was only one home page. Multiple home pages were introduced in a subsequent software update.
  13. Cambot macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2010
    I'm listening to the iPod on my iPad while I'm typing this, that's as much multitasking that I can personally ask for.
  14. LordOBoogie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2009
    This post made my eyes hurt. Paragraphs are your friends.
  15. ijen0311 macrumors 65816


    Jul 4, 2009
    I am. Not to sound like an idiot, but I don't really even understand how it works. I just see that almost all my memory is taken up. When I click the home button, I have phone, SMS, mail, and FourSquare showing up. Maybe I won't see the full effect until I use an app like Pandora or something.
  16. chowmein thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2009
    If I put in those other functions of the Home button, my giant wall of a paragraph would be even bigger! :D But all of those functions deviate from the button's original and simple purpose: to bring the user back to the home screen.

    Well, of course I don't expect a perfect implementation of anything, but multitasking and, if you want another example, PUSH NOTIFICATIONS could be done better, as shown on webOS.
  17. CJayC macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2010
    This is wrong. IIRC You can only have 11 pages.
  18. krustopher macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010

    I mean, really. I am amazed by the people who actually read through that.
    Good job people.
  19. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Apple added 2 things here:

    A) Multitasking ability

    B) A quick app-switcher

    You clearly don't like 'B.' Ok, so don't use it. I rarely use that 'search' page they added. No big deal. I just don't go over there. If I don't like this new app-switcher I'll stop double-clicking my home button and I'll never see it.

    So what's the problem?

    No, multitasking is like multitasking and the recently-used-apps-list is like a recently-used-apps-list.

    You seem to be calling 2 different things by a single name.

    It sounds like you want the app-switching interface to be better.

    Ok. But then your thread title shouldn't say "multitasking" in it. You didn't mention any problem with that in your post.
  20. BlondeBuddhist macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2010
    Use it however you want. Thats the point people have made. Yes it could be used as a home screen return key (which is what I use it as) or other commonly used apps. Whats the beef?

    I dont see myself the folders a whole lot. I can see me still having a full home screen page 1 of apps I use daily and probably a page 2 of the same. Will likely only use folders for apps that aren't as used, leaving room for more that are.

    Blonde Buddhist
  21. Snowman3459 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2010
    Soooo let me get this straight...your complaining because the iPhone isn't being simplistic enough? It's probably the most dumb downed phone I've ever used.

    You say multitasking is taking away from the "home" feel as well, ok I don't understand that either because if you click it once...your back at your home screen. Right? So what's the issue? Just don't double click lol.

    And another thing, even if it could run 30 apps at the same time; well more or less "saving your place" in those apps, flipping your finger sideways is too much of a hassle?

    Geez dude, I was born into the new tech era but are we really complaining about swiping are finger now? lol
  22. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Are you talking about Push or webOS' notification system? They are separate things.
  23. iPhone 4 Me macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010
    You're wrong.

    11 pages of what? Do you know what everyone is talking about? No, you don't. Pre iOS 4 you could have 11 pages of apps. You've cleverly remembered the number 11. Bravo.

    We're talking about multitasking, and in the multitasking 'dock' you can have as many apps running as memory can handle.
  24. iPhone 4 Me macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010
    I just realized how hard it is to reply to posts with the amount of venom and vile hatred as is seemingly required to post on macrumors...don't know if I want to be a part of this place. I tried.
  25. pika2000 macrumors 68040

    Jun 22, 2007
    To be honest, I couldn't care less about multi-tasking. What I want is quick task switching. Having to go back to the Home screen and hunt back the app I used previously is annoying. The task switching in iOS4 seems to fit the bill. Now, the 2nd problem is the notification. Let's face it, current iOS' way of doing notification is like a dumbphone.

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