How multitasking should work (Mockup)

Pickleman77

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
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0
I've been thinking about how Apple could possibly implement multitasking in a way that matches their current OS guidelines, and I figured Exposé would be the perfect match for multitasking. It's what I use in Snow Leopard to switch applications.


EDIT: Ideally, the home button could be pressed 3 times to bring up Exposé. This is for the people who asked how I thought it should be activated.
 

MikhailT

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Nov 12, 2007
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Here's the main important question and what Apple is probably mostly struggling with....

how do you invoke it? How do you switch applications with no buttons? What's the best gesture to do it? It's the same thing with copy/paste. Apple is going to spend a lot of time coming up with different methods and it has to be a really good simple one that works for everybody.
 

Pickleman77

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
39
0
Here's the main important question and what Apple is probably mostly struggling with....

how do you invoke it? How do you switch applications with no buttons? What's the best geature to do it?
I was thinking just holding the Home button for a few seconds would work fine. And deciding which applications run in the background could be decided in the Settings application.
 

Sketh

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2007
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Though the time stamps on the forums are wrong for me, I believe we both started similar threads around the same time.

I had a similar idea: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=857568

(Incase anyone is too lazy to click the link)

I theorized a multifinger downswipe in any application could invoke the Expose screen, much like trackpads do on the current generation of laptops.
 

calderone

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2009
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Seattle
Here's the main important question and what Apple is probably mostly struggling with....

how do you invoke it? How do you switch applications with no buttons? What's the best gesture to do it? It's the same thing with copy/paste. Apple is going to spend a lot of time coming up with different methods and it has to be a really good simple one that works for everybody.
Thank you. Everyone says "I want multitasking!" You ask them what that should be like... and nothing.

Here we have a suggestion, but with the missing component of how to invoke it.
 

Pickleman77

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
39
0
Though the time stamps on the forums are wrong for me, I believe we both started similar threads around the same time.

I had a similar idea: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=857568
Ah, yeah, they're pretty similar. Weird that we posted them so close together. I love the 4-finger swipe down on my laptop for Exposé. The only problem with the idea of using it in applications is that the app could use a 4-finger swipe gesture as a function within the app.
 

MikhailT

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Nov 12, 2007
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Hold the Home button for a couple seconds maybe?
I was thinking just holding the Home button for a few seconds would work fine. And deciding which applications run in the background could be decided in the Settings application.
Then how would you force quit an application or do voice control? Suppose the button is set to do multi-task and your application froze, the only way out is to do a force quit, how would that work if you can't switch to expose mode?


....
I theorized a multifinger downswipe in any application could invoke the Expose screen, much like trackpads do on the current generation of laptops.
Then Apple has to reserve that gesture ASAP so that other developers can't take advantage of that to provide a different action in their application. (Imagine if the application has 3 tabs, 3 finger for app expose and 4 finger for system expose?)
 

Pickleman77

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
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Then how would you force quit an application or do voice control? Suppose the button is set to do multi-task and your application froze, the only way out is to do a force quit, how would that work if you can't switch to expose mode?
Very good point... Maybe a triple-click of the home button?
 

calderone

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Aug 28, 2009
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Very good point... Maybe a triple-click of the home button?
You are entering the realm of poor usability and complicating a function that is supposed to simplify.

And bumping an existing feature apparently.

How about four? Is that the magic number?
 

BradenG

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2009
132
0
Wisconsin
I'm thinking then...maybe embed something in the toolbar at the top? On my jailbroken ipod touch I have...I think it's sbsettings, that allows me to swipe the toolbar and it brings down a settings menu.
 

Pickleman77

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
39
0
You are entering the realm of poor usability and complicating a function that is supposed to simplify.

And bumping an existing feature apparently.

How about four? Is that the magic number?
How about just replacing the double-click that was used for iPod controls before and implementing that a bit differently?
 

calderone

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Aug 28, 2009
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How about just replacing the double-click that was used for iPod controls before and implementing that a bit differently?
Now you are changing functionality that users are used to. This breaks the notion that existing users can pick up any device and use as they expected.

I'm thinking then...maybe embed something in the toolbar at the top? On my jailbroken ipod touch I have...I think it's sbsettings, that allows me to swipe the toolbar and it brings down a settings menu.
Android has a similar function, the status bar. Utilizing the popups from 3.2, it would be feasible to have the user swipe down in a certain section at the top and get settings.

I think the problem again is usability. There phone is going to have to be smart enough to recognize an accidental swipe down from an intentional swipe down.
 

Pickleman77

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
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Now you are changing functionality that users are used to. This breaks the notion that existing users can pick up any device and use as they expected.
Okay then. Keep the iPod controls, but place them at the top above the Exposé windows?
 

MikhailT

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Nov 12, 2007
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Now does everybody understand why it's not that simple to add multitasking to either iPhone/iPad or any devices that rely on touchscreen with no buttons or even one button? It can take a long time to come up with a perfect system.

I am guessing Apple will have this feature with iPhone 4.0 which would come out late summer or Fall.
 

calderone

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Aug 28, 2009
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Seattle
Okay then. Keep the iPod controls, but place them at the top above the Exposé windows?
You are still moving the feature. And changing the expected behavior when double clicking home.

Additionally you are adding adding visual distractions (expose windows) to the expected behavior. Making memory based actions more difficult to perform, since a mistake could produce an undesired result.
 

Pickleman77

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
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0
You are still moving the feature.
But it's still there. That's like saying that the Calendar application isn't good because it's not exactly the same as the one on an iPhone. The features are still there, but they just have slightly different manners of being accessed. I don't know who in their right mind would prefer a little iPod control popping up in the center of the screen over having the ability to change applications on the fly with the controls moved a few inches up. There's nothing wrong with a slight learning curve to any addition. By your logic, it seems like any additional functionality wouldn't be possible just because it's different from what has already been established.
 

FrankieTDouglas

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Mar 10, 2005
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A jailbroken iPhone already does this. It's an app called ProSwitcher. Double click the home button and all running apps pop up in an expose-style manner.
 

MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
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...
I think the problem again is usability. There phone is going to have to be smart enough to recognize an accidental swipe down from an intentional swipe down.
SBsettings works by swiping the top from left to right, not top-down.

But it's still there. That's like saying that the Calendar application isn't good because it's not exactly the same as the one on an iPhone. The features are still there, but they just have slightly different manners of being accessed. I don't know who in their right mind would prefer a little iPod control popping up in the center of the screen over having the ability to change applications on the fly with the controls moved a few inches up. There's nothing wrong with a slight learning curve to any addition. By your logic, it seems like any additional functionality wouldn't be possible just because it's different from what has already been established.
People want to be able to control their music playing rapidly and easily. Moving all the way to the top might interfere with that as accident swipes would open applications instead of music control, especially if you use your thumbs to do this instead of your index fingers.
 

Pickleman77

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 26, 2007
39
0
People want to be able to control their music playing rapidly and easily. Moving all the way to the top might interfere with that as accident swipes would open applications instead of music control, especially if you use your thumbs to do this instead of your index fingers.
Okay... There's really no point in debating this any further. To me, getting used to a slightly different layout isn't a big deal if it provides functionality that wasn't availiable before. If Apple wants multitasking, they'll make it work.
 

calderone

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2009
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But it's still there. That's like saying that the Calendar application isn't good because it's not exactly the same as the one on an iPhone. The features are still there, but they just have slightly different manners of being accessed. I don't know who in their right mind would prefer a little iPod control popping up in the center of the screen over having the ability to change applications on the fly with the controls moved a few inches up. There's nothing wrong with a slight learning curve to any addition. By your logic, it seems like any additional functionality wouldn't be possible just because it's different from what has already been established.
The difference is that it is a new device. I don't think anyone would expect the same apps given the increase in real estate. Now, if Apple all of a sudden changed the Calendar UI drastically on the existing iPhones, that would be more of a concern. Not to say it would be bad or shouldn't be done. But there are many things that need to be considered before doing so.

However, the underlying functions of the OS should remain the same. Whether or not they are actually good ideas.

My logic is carefully thinking about usability concerns. This is not an attempt to shoot down your every move, but to make you realize this isn't as easy as dropping it in and moving **** around to get what you want.

Learning curves are fine, but you still have to consider how the user will feel about that. There is a reason that popular websites and applications can flop after a change to the UI.

SBsettings works by swiping the top from left to right, not top-down.
Fair enough, but an errant swipe is still a concern, albeit maybe less so.
 

angemon89

macrumors 68000
4-finger swipe expose would be amazing. Then each box could have an (x) in the upper left hand corner to close the app. God damn it Apple, you better implement this or something like it so I can buy one. I also want to be able to have more than 1 active tab in Safari.