iPhone 2.0 and Multitasking.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Xjett, May 5, 2008.

  1. Xjett macrumors member

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    #1
    I seem to have read somewhere that Apple had updated the SDK to allow background processes and such, I don't remember where though, can anyone confirm this?
     
  2. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    #2
    Not that I know of. And I doubt it.

    Last thing we need is some app staying open when it doesn't need to be (like a Hula girl that you shake your phone and she dances, WHICH i guarantee will be one of the apps that comes out). If the writer forgot to add a close app call then it'd just run in the background eating mem. That's why WM6 phones have to be rebooted so much.

    I prefer Apple's method. Very akin to Palm's philosophy.
     
  3. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #3

    http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2008/03/apple-delivers.html

    As http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2008/03/13/iphone-20-sdk-the-no-multitasking-myth/ says: "Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should."
    (Also goes in depth as to why in general you actually wouldn't want it to have background processes as a user).

    If you can think of an app that needs it, then Apple might be doing that app already (e.g. IM - APple will probably have it's own version that may or may no do background).

    Can you think of any real reasons to multitask stuff, that can't be sorted by the program's position being saved, then reactivated from that position?
    Apple could always bring in an app system that swaps opens up your original app when you're done with the new app you opened/call finished etc.

    For more details, sign up for free for the SDK, and read the literature
     
  4. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #4
    Yeah. Ease of programming. Size of apps. Speed of operation to the user. Having one program control, or interface with, another.

    "The iPhone: taking us thirty years into the computing past."

    :rolleyes:

    I understand why they're doing it. It's the easiest way of controlling app/memory issues. But it makes a mockery of having a multitasking system.
     
  5. himansk macrumors regular

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    #5
    Its not a mockery in any way, why do you always forget that its a phone not a desktop. there are a few apps that are running in the background anyway like the phone/ipod/mail/calendar etc. Allowing all developers to write apps that stay in the background will rapidly make the iphone similar in operation to the windows mobile phones, i would certainly hate that myself.
     
  6. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #6
    What would you like to multi-task today? ;) hehe

    and since when was it a multitasking system? I'd say the SDK kinda say it's a serial system. It multi tasks music with a phone call. Music with an application.

    I'm guessing your only problem is with not having 2 apps running simultaneously. But what's your limit? At a certain point, iPhone says uhhuh and reboots i'd imagine.

    I think the main thing with multitasking is multi apps, and most of those that'd want to run concurrently would kill the battery through checking for new data.
     
  7. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #7
    I've been programming multitasking embedded systems for over thirty years. Half of that has been with touchscreen handhelds.

    Everyone seems to think that multitasking always implies using up more battery. On the contrary, having to stop, save state, then start and reload state could be much worse.

    As I said, such operation directly affects speed of launching and programming effort. Especially the user experience deteriorates without multitasking:

    On a WM phone, I can use Google maps, then click a pin's link to go to a website to check a search result. If I want to check the next result, I just click the Back button to instantly see my search results again. With the iPhone, I always have to first use the Home button to get out of Safari, then find and restart the Maps app.

    Another example is having an intelligent home page, with automatically updated weather. Easy on other phones, impossible on iPhone.

    Again, I think Apple took the easy way out. That's okay. It works. But it certainly puts limits on the device, programmers, and user.
     
  8. ShamBone macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I had assumed that the current firmware posed no restrictions on user initiated background processes. MobleChat & sshd, to name a few examples, work fine. Is the restriction just applied to applications that will be submitted to whatever Apple's app distribution system will be? Are they just going to vet each app before giving it the nod?
     
  9. Xjett thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    See, I think the main problem users will have will be with IM apps such as AIM. I mean I can't imagine how crappy it would be to have your AIM closed every time you receive a phone call or visit a web page unless t0mat0 is right and Apple will make those types of apps themselves. But in that case then AOL making an AIM App and debuting it at the Town Hall meeting was pointless if Apple is going to go ahead and make an iChat for it.
     
  10. SFC Archer macrumors 68000

    SFC Archer

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    #10
    How so? Google seems to be working just fine with Apple and their Map/Locater App.

    Same with YouTube working with Apple

    Why can't AOL work with Apple and create what you are discussing and letting it work in the background?

    Apple is not solely a loner, they do work with outside sources to accomplish projects best suited for the consumer...give them time and I believe all will be revealed to everyone's (or at least most) desires.

    Just my "opinion"
     
  11. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #11
    Isn't it better to have the limits there in the first place, of which Apple can always take off at a later time, than introduce the notion that it could happen from the start? There are definite disadvantages for the user due to no multi-tasking. Not the first call Apple's made that has strong pros and cons on both sides.


    The iPhone can multitask, but whether it should is a different matter.
    I guess we're talking more of apps in the background rather than foreground (there being not that much screen space).
    Does the iPhone have enough RAM or hard drive spaces for a large VM swap space to do this and still keep the phone mail and internet functions smooth and fully functional?
    Roughly drafted's article by Daniel Eran Dilger basically points out that it currently has 128MB RAM, ~11MB used for VRAM, 19MB sys overhead(?) leaving 76MB as user memory.

    Wouldn't it be easy for multiple apps to use up that 76MB and for an iPhone start to become unresponsive? Or use more processor power?

    Luckily the iPhone has the diagnostics through the SDK to test this out presumably.Apple is laying the problem at the developer, and not at the user. Which is probably quite smart. Apple's philosophy of doing some things well seems to be in line with its decision. Respect where you're coming from - i haven't done much any work on multi-touch, so it's just my 2 cents :)
     
  12. walnuts macrumors 6502

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  13. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #13
    Yes, I think that's their plan.

    Similar to the way they first said no apps at all. Then web apps. And finally native apps.

    Their biggest problem has been that the product was rushed out before they had a chance to plan longterm, or to get the final OS in shape. They admitted not knowing even how security would work, until the last minute. Thus they've lurched about, like a drunken politician, from position to position.

    I think that Jobs originally planned for the device to be totally closed. I cannot blame him for that. I might've done the same in his position, since I can be a control freak sometimes too. ;-)
     
  14. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #14
    Wouldn't be suprised. But then wouldn't that have been the progression if there had been a masterplan? no apps, to web apps, to apps?

    As for security, not my field of knowledge really. I think they let the kids run wild with the apps to see what could come out. What better way to foster app developers, an iPhone community, buzz etc. take the best from it and then gently guide them to a more safe environment.

    Couldn't see Jobs sending an update to all the iPhone customers saying " sorry, only allowed to use 5 apps at the same time till further notice". once you get the opportunity, the cat's out of the bag E.g. Firefox/IE windows - you could hit >100 of the suckers. Then tabs came along. Tabtabtabtabtab. And then you needed session manager to clear up the mess as they stop responding.

    I'm sure they're making some of it up as they going along, but they're doing so in a pretty cautious manner, which is good by my book.
    They've got to look after security now. Can't have everything I guess.
     
  15. domness macrumors 6502a

    domness

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    #15
    I am wrong, or didn't Apple say they won't be allowing programs working in the background? (Such as Flash) whilst something else is open..

    Also, someone before talked about Google working with Apple and also YouTube working with Apple.. YouTube is OWNED by Google!
     
  16. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #16
    I think SFC Archer may have meant the applications (Google, Youtube), not the staff at Google and youtube (who are both managed by Google ultimately).

    Even if he meant staff, it makes sense that they're on separate teams - and that those teams are working ok with Apple

    Adobe has got some work to do to get it properly on the iPhone full stop. Adobe really would require behind the scenes access. They're not looking to run flash by itself, they're looking to run apps that use flash. I think )S 2.0 will show Apple's hand regarding this.
     
  17. Mikey B macrumors 65816

    Mikey B

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    #17

    No you aren't wrong. Jobs explicitly stated at the March 6 event that for one app to launch, the first app must quit. There has been talk that some developers have found strings in the beta builds indicating that this stance might change.
     
  18. DreamPod macrumors 65816

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    #18
    As a third-party developer, I personally prefer it to not allow third-parties running in the background. Because if every app and its mother could run in the background, there'd be no guarantee at all how much memory my app would have to run. And when the iPhone runs out of memory, it auto-kills your app. Not to mention those apps running in the background could interfere with my app and make it crash or display corrupted graphics or something, which the casual iPhone user shouldn't have to deal with.

    People who are hardcore iPhone users who want background apps have a solution - jailbreaking. For everyone else, the current system is just fine.
     
  19. AceFernalld macrumors 65816

    AceFernalld

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    #19
    I think there should be a setting in the menu where you can choose which applications you'd like to let run in the background, you could check off your IM apps and other things that are essential to be let run in the BG.

    Or maybe instead an option where as you send your app into Apple, there would be a section where you could clarify if you wanted your application to be able to run in the background or not, and Apple can approve or deny your plea.
     
  20. zmit macrumors regular

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    #20
    but it is a multitasking system....

    it plays music AND it can run another app too.... :D
     
  21. booth.robert.e macrumors newbie

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    #21
    No Multi-Tasking = Restriction to Choose

    There are many good reason for Apple's decision to restrict one or more 3rd party iPhone/iPod touch apps from running in the background while another app (either Apple or 3rd party) is in the foreground. Probably the best is the negative impact of those background apps on memory and battery life. Both of these problems impact on the iPhones ability to be a phone and at the same time be an iPod. There may also be impacts on the iPT's ability to be an iPod. All the good reasons aside, the restriction on multi-tasking is just a way for Apple to control, needlessly, their products.

    When the Mac Classic became a multi-tasking platform memory was a HUGE issue. My Mac 128 was upgraded to 4 MB ram and had a 20 MB external HD. Programmers had to be excellent at coding to use the minimal RAM. Shoppers had to be cunning to determine which apps were better users of precious memory. Otherwise excellent programs were avoided becuase they used a bit more RAM than another program.

    In the end Apple's decision to allow multi-tasking on the original Macs was good for users, for programmers, and ultimately for Apple. The same will be true if MT is allowed on the iP/iPT. Developers who write lean, tight code whose apps are gentle on battery use will be rewarded. Users will be happier for the increased speed of switching between apps, and Apple's sales will increase as more people turn to it for their telephony and media needs.

    BTW, multi-tasking is available for you on your iP or 1Gen iPT if you jailbreak it and install Backgrounder. No jailbreak is yet available for the 2Gen iPT, although rumors are it is close.
     
  22. cellocello macrumors 68000

    cellocello

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    #22
    I agree with this.

    And, regarding the 'going back' issue, in many cases, you're really only introducing one click to the user (home button -> app tap vs. back button tap) in order to get to maps or whatever; which isn't so bad considering the advantages.

    (though I admit that bouncing in and out and in and out of apps can get really old)
     
  23. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #23
    Easy example mentioned in another thread:

    Pandora on iPhone: quits playing music if you want to surf the web or anything else.

    Pandora on WM: continues to play in the background while you do whatever else you want. It's actually usable in real life.
     
  24. Masquerade macrumors 6502a

    Masquerade

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    #24
    well i bought a mac in 99 even knowing that the system has multitaskking-cooperative. in fact the classic has speedy due to cpu time steal by the photoshop, or any app in foreground. but gentelmen! dont forget that in 99 if you clicked on a mac os menu item, all processes suddently stoped to work.!

    i think that iphone deserves more optimization to serve thr basic proposes of comunication in real time from various sources. even if apple is forced to let the user choose 2 or 3 apps to stick in backgroynd with certains rules.
     
  25. richard371 macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Apple should cetify and allow some apps to run in the back ground.

    I am so sick of people saying that the iphone should not allow multitasking. This is why I have given up the Iphone for the Bold. I have jivetalk, slacker etc all running in the background fine with no problems. On the iphone if I am listening to slacker I have to exit it to check an email or sms etc. Apple OS is best known for its multitasking and its phone that is based on the Unix OS doesnt even allow it.

    They could at least certify some apps that need to run in the back ground and allow them to. Games etc don't need to run in the background but IM apps, streaming radio etc need to.

     

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