Multi-tasking Poll, do you want it?

Do you want multi-tasking?

  • Yes, for all devices running the iPhone OS

    Votes: 67 43.5%
  • Yes, for the iPad but not for the iPhone

    Votes: 24 15.6%
  • No, not at all

    Votes: 9 5.8%
  • I don't care - Apple will implement it well if they do

    Votes: 54 35.1%

  • Total voters
    154

MythicFrost

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 11, 2009
3,929
38
Australia
It's often discussed, so I thought I'd make a poll, I'd be very interested in seeing what everyone thinks, and whether you want it or not.

I don't like the idea of multi-tasking on the iPhone OS, it's usefulness would be very limited.
I'm sure if Apple implemented it it would be great, but they won't unless it can be implemented in a seamless and perfect way.

Since all of the applications on the iPhone OS run full screen, you'd never be able to have multiple apps open at the same time - that's not something that will ever change and is probably one of the most important things about multi-tasking.

There aren't really any other idea's that would work very well, even if you had some kind of system to switch between apps like Expose... what's the point?
You are still only using one app at a time filling the entire screen, it's draining more battery, using more processing power - potentially causing a problem with apps not working in certain combinations, and adds a slight level of unnecessary complexity to managing apps.
 

Bytor65

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2010
824
90
Canada
Largely pointless IMO on this kind of device IMO. So I picked I don't care.

I multi-task like a madman on my PC with two big screen and lots of room to do multiple things.

But on a small device, really I will only be doing one thing at a time. Surfing net, reading a book, playing a game.

Doesn't matter to me at all. Long battery life, fast applications launches, performance of the applications all matter more than being able to run multiple apps at once.
 

yyy

macrumors regular
Feb 10, 2007
172
0
You know, the founder of the Ford company said that if he had asked his customers what they want him to make they would ask for a faster horse. That's what I think about a computer with no multi-tasking.
 

EssentialParado

macrumors 65816
Feb 17, 2005
1,154
6
You know, the founder of the Ford company said that if he had asked his customers what they want him to make they would ask for a faster horse. That's what I think about a computer with no multi-tasking.
The translation of his statement being: customers don't always know what they want.
 

jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
3,398
1,944
90% of iPhone applications don't really need to multitask because they open so fast. Use one app, copy your data, hit the home button and launch the other. If the app is built well it should launch in the same state you left it, and it should launch quickly.

I say 90% because of the large number of games and entertainment apps. iFart and GTA China Town Wars don't need to be multitasked, it would be a waste of resources.

I think Apple should add multitasking like they do with push notifications, developers get approved then the app will ask if you want to run it in the background after you quit. When you do a small unobtrusive worker thread will run in the background. This way apps can download data in the background, Pandora and Last.fm could stream in the background and it would solve almost all of the complaints people have about not being able to multitask.
 

TRAG

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2009
395
1
Louisiana, USA
90% of iPhone applications don't really need to multitask because they open so fast. Use one app, copy your data, hit the home button and launch the other. If the app is built well it should launch in the same state you left it, and it should launch quickly.

I say 90% because of the large number of games and entertainment apps. iFart and GTA China Town Wars don't need to be multitasked, it would be a waste of resources.

I think Apple should add multitasking like they do with push notifications, developers get approved then the app will ask if you want to run it in the background after you quit. When you do a small unobtrusive worker thread will run in the background. This way apps can download data in the background, Pandora and Last.fm could stream in the background and it would solve almost all of the complaints people have about not being able to multitask.
I feel the same way. I really don't care about multitasking on my iPhone. I've grown a custom to only having to do one thing at a time. However, I would absolutely love it if my favorite streaming apps (Slacker, I Heart Radio) could run in the background. I hate having to end a favorite song early on Slacker to reply to a text or email, or to do a quick google search, or to view photos, or to to add an event to my calender, or to write out a quick note, … You get the jist.
 

mtnDewFTW

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2009
875
66
San Francisco, CA
Honestly, I don't see why people are so sad about multitasking.
I mean, yeah, it would be a pretty sick feature, but it's nothing that would stop me from getting that device.
I think the iPhone OS is fine as it is, and I can see why Apple won't want it to multitask, one of the reasons being, it would put a lot of pressure on the device, therefor making it overheat and just run slower.
I mean, they sort of have multitasking in a way now, by allowing notifications when you get something new from one of your apps.

I think that it's fine as it is, and overtime, if Apple feel the need, they'll implement it. As of right now, I don't care, and even if it has that feature, I would probably not use it. Since I don't use Pandora, and other than that, I don't really use any apps that NEED to be open to function. I.e. Facebook, AIM, Twitter.
I'll get notifications, and so far I've been pretty happy with that.
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,596
2
Seattle, WA
I really don't see how multi tasking would benefit me in my use of either the iPhone or the iPad, should I get one. With the iPhone OS I tend to be singularly focused on one app at a time. The only time I ever even thought about having multi tasking was for foursquare to check my location in the background instead of me having to check in at each location.
 

alansmallen

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2007
859
3
But as the Diggnation guys said, only us geeks really know about multi-tasking. We know that if an app goes wild to just go in and kill the process. The common consumer doesn't. So if apple implements multi-tasking in the same way as a Mac, they're going to have a lot of people complaining that they're only getting three hours of battery life because they are unknowingly running 10 apps at once.
 

matttye

macrumors 601
Mar 25, 2009
4,953
30
Lincoln, England
In what way would its usefulness be limited? Never again would you have to restart what you were doing in an application, because state would be remember by the OS. Obviously pseudo-multitasking can be implemented, but it is unreasonable to expect the thousands upon thousands of available app developers to implement state-memory, when Apple could implement the feature for everyone.

Some guy bought up an excellent point about how some parts of the iPhone itself don't even remember their state:

Let's say you want to create a new email account, but don't know the server address, port, etc, that you have to use. You go into Safari and browse to your email provider's website, copy/paste the address, etc, into notes, then go into your email set up. Half way through setting up the account, you forget what you have to enter for one of the fields, so you decide to go back to notes and re-check. That's fine, right? Wrong, because when you go back into the email set up screen, you will have to start all over again.

Single tasking is primitive, pure and simple. No amount of workarounds will make up for the usefulness of pure multitasking.

Why do people worry so much about the battery life? The HTC hero supports multitasking and people report that as having much better life than the 3GS.

But as the Diggnation guys said, only us geeks really know about multi-tasking. We know that if an app goes wild to just go in and kill the process. The common consumer doesn't. So if apple implements multi-tasking in the same way as a Mac, they're going to have a lot of people complaining that they're only getting three hours of battery life because they are unknowingly running 10 apps at once.
Are we holding back on useful features to protect the stupid/ignorant people now?

Maybe cars should only travel at 2 miles an hour in case somebody crashes and hurts themselves.
 

mrklaw

macrumors 68020
Jan 29, 2008
2,366
745
responded yes to all iphone OS devices.

Was tempted to vote ipad only, but realised I want spotify running in the background while I'm reading mails/browsing. I don't need a UI, I just want the audio - no different to ipod.

So not 'full' multitasking, just a level playing field with apple's own apps, available for third parties. Perhaps also allowing IM notifications to popup the app itself, so if I'm in a conversation I can easily continue it without quitting the current app.


And really - apps on iphone don't open *that* quickly. Anyway, its not the speed, its the state saving and interaction. If I press the home button, I still have to go and find the icon for my IM app or whatever, which may well not be on the same page as the app I've been using.

arguments about battery life/performance are rubbish. Apple could design a system that works well enough. They already have notifications. growl style popups that are clickable would be good
 

MythicFrost

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 11, 2009
3,929
38
Australia
Are we holding back on useful features to protect the stupid/ignorant people now?
They're not stupid or ignorant people, just not tech savvy, but Apple make devices that everyone can use easily.
arguments about battery life/performance are rubbish. Apple could design a system that works well enough. They already have notifications. growl style popups that are clickable would be good
That's not true, battery life will drain really fast and performance will be effected because it has one or more apps that it has to process.

The majority of the apps on the app store won't benefit from it - there are only maybe 10-20 (I'm being generous) apps that people want to run in the background.

The only thing you could do, is save the state of the app and switch between them, sort of suspending it, that will be fine for performance and should be pretty good for battery life, but you still won't be able to stream music from Pandora or anything like that because it's suspended.

Someone else suggested that Apple grant multi-tasking to only a few apps, which could work, say you had the option in Pandora to click the run in the background button and all it did was sort of shut the UI down but keep it running, you could close it normally by opening it again. Now what if the app you opened wanted to play some kind of sound/music, have you ever noticed if you open a game your music from the iPod app stops?

But Apple would probably rather come out with a radio app :p
 

matttye

macrumors 601
Mar 25, 2009
4,953
30
Lincoln, England
They're not stupid or ignorant people, just not tech savvy, but Apple make devices that everyone can use easily.

That's not true, battery life will drain really fast and performance will be effected because it has one or more apps that it has to process.

The majority of the apps on the app store won't benefit from it - there are only maybe 10-20 (I'm being generous) apps that people want to run in the background.

The only thing you could do, is save the state of the app and switch between them, sort of suspending it, that will be fine for performance and should be pretty good for battery life, but you still won't be able to stream music from Pandora or anything like that because it's suspended.

Someone else suggested that Apple grant multi-tasking to only a few apps, which could work, say you had the option in Pandora to click the run in the background button and all it did was sort of shut the UI down but keep it running, you could close it normally by opening it again. Now what if the app you opened wanted to play some kind of sound/music, have you ever noticed if you open a game your music from the iPod app stops?

But Apple would probably rather come out with a radio app :p
HTC Hero has true multitasking, yet it has better battery life than the iPhone 3GS.
 

pvmacguy

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2009
1,112
28
Jax
HTC Hero has true multitasking, yet it has better battery life than the iPhone 3GS.
The HTC Hero also has pitiful ram amounts, a terrible touch screen and requires a reboot or constant app killing to maintain performance.

I voted for who cares apple will get around to and it when they do I'm sure complaints will still be had. :cool:
 

MythicFrost

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 11, 2009
3,929
38
Australia
HTC Hero has true multitasking, yet it has better battery life than the iPhone 3GS.
I watched a few videos on their sites, it mentioned nothing of multi-tasking and looked quite dull. At least with the iPhone everything is simple and easy to do.
Oh and the battery life they tell you (on their site), doesn't include multi-tasking.

Edit: you get good talk time, 420/470min, but what about watching video? or playing games/apps?
 

iWoz

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2009
683
0
East Midlands, U.K
I think it would be nice, But if not I presume we will get it at some stage in a software update, possibly with the next iPhone, IM pretty sure with the capacity of the Apple team they would of discussed this numerous times!
 

matttye

macrumors 601
Mar 25, 2009
4,953
30
Lincoln, England
The HTC Hero also has pitiful ram amounts, a terrible touch screen and requires a reboot or constant app killing to maintain performance.

I voted for who cares apple will get around to and it when they do I'm sure complaints will still be had. :cool:
iPhone 3GS: 256MB ram
HTC Hero: 288MB ram

Hmm... :p

And most of the reviews say that the touch screen is just as responsive as the iPhones.. With the latest firmware anyway, earlier versions had lag issues. It is a bit smaller but that's the only downside.

I watched a few videos on their sites, it mentioned nothing of multi-tasking and looked quite dull. At least with the iPhone everything is simple and easy to do.
Oh and the battery life they tell you (on their site), doesn't include multi-tasking.

Edit: you get good talk time, 420/470min, but what about watching video? or playing games/apps?
It probably doesn't mention multitasking because just about every device these days supports it; the iPhone is the exception, not the rule. People don't usually make a big thing about a phone being able to make phone calls either, because it is expected.

A better battery is a better battery, no? If you can talk for longer on it I would expect that you can watch video on it for longer too, unless their video implementation is particularly power-draining.
 

Roessnakhan

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2007
3,518
423
ABQ
Seeing how elegantly Backgrounder is implemented on jailbroken iPhones / iPod touches, I would vote a most definite "Yes". If Apple could just copy that system (i.e. hold down the home [or power] button for a few seconds until "Backgrounding Enabled/Disabled" is displayed).
 

SHADO

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2008
968
0
Beach
Seeing how elegantly Backgrounder is implemented on jailbroken iPhones / iPod touches, I would vote a most definite "Yes". If Apple could just copy that system (i.e. hold down the home [or power] button for a few seconds until "Backgrounding Enabled/Disabled" is displayed).
+1 for that. Backgrounder is one of the best jailbroken apps out there and, once you start using it, you will not want to go back.