multitasking, file transfer and background processes, who is this device for?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by grahamtearne, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. grahamtearne macrumors regular

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    #1
    Ok, at first I was drooling over the iPad, was sure I would buy it right away, it looked fantastic. Then the dust settled, no flash, no multitasking, no file transferring. Jobs called this a new category of product, well I am not sure I agree, right now it is just an oversized smartphone or a useless keyboardless netbook.

    I really want to like this iPad. And I do to some degree. The native apps looked fantastic and I am sure they will only get better, MLB.tv looked great, all the apple designed apps do too and I am excited at the possibility of getting apps like sketchbook pro ported to the iPad.

    For this marriage of Hardware and software to work though apple needs to really get OS 4.0 to open up and mature as an OS.

    For gods sake include basic multitasking.

    I see people on here backing them for not including it and making up x, y and z excuses for them. There is no excuse! People say well they would have a 3d game running and 3 HD videos going and it would kill battery life etc, well duh why the hell would anyone have a 3d game running if they are not playing it and hve THREE video files running. Most of us know this is mobile OSX and its for a mobile device, we dont expect (or even want maybe?) FULL DESKTOP multitasking where we can minimize anything and everything. No, all we want is basic multitaskig to be allowed like the apple apps have, for example how 'iPod' can run in background while browsing safari etc. Open up the ability to allow background processes for an app and let apple judge in the review process if its needed, for example a 3d game does not, nor does video etc. Apps like pandora or mlb.tv radio etc could, one could then listen to these internet radios while working in iWork or safari. Push just about works for IM'ing but background wins any day. Allow apps to run background processes in the why the built in apple apps do then have them reviewed on acceptance, limit it to 2 background apps at once though, ie (iPod + IM) or (Pandora + IM) No need for apps like slingbox of games to run in the background, the kill and save state for them is much better.

    Flash. Ok I get it apple wants to move away from flash. Seriously though it could hurt sales. Having said that I know what importance apple have on the internet and if I were a web developer I would seriously now be looking at alternatives thinking hey, look how well the iPhone, iTouch and now iPad have sold, all these folks cant see my flash content, lets try html5 or other options. With that said I wish they would get off their high horse and let adobe develop flash for the iPhone os, until then at least stop calling in the whole web or real web, 'cos it isn't.

    I got thinking though, there is a browser called skyfire for mobile devices which allows anything to be played, ajax, quicktime, flash 10 etc, something to do with server based, I watched a demo of it and it works very well, any chance of something like this hitting the iPad as this would temporarly fix the flash issue by using another browser.

    Camera. Would be cool to have it but not something I was bothered about anyway, look at what they done with every iPhone release so far, missed features on purpose so they have something to add to the next one, we'll either see a camera as a suprise inclusion before launch or rev 2.

    Now this is the biggest issue for me, I can live without flash, with apps replacing flash's need and even the lack of multitasking to support background internet radio etc, I can live without, even though it isn't ideal I can get by. However without FILE TRANSFER this device is next to useless to me.

    I wanted a small laptop to take travelling with me, I have looked at netbooks, the Archos 5 android and 7 and other various devices and they all pretty much met my needs. Large storage, good enough for video playback and can store my photos on whilst travelling etc. I waited for apples tablet.

    Where the hell is a file browser apple! With netbooks you have a full os and can transfer files to and from usb sticks, external hdds and such, even the Archos 5 and 7 with an optional dock can support file transfer to and from external usb devices.

    This is killer! I cant even delete items from my library on the iPad on the go! People fail to realise the camera connector isnt what I want. I should be able to use a usb adapter like that to also connect an external hdd and move some files around.

    Scenario: I am travelling and will be away for 3-4 months. I am working in a place without wifi and 3g coverage so primarily whilst working I am looking at using it for games/video and music. Works well. All of a sudden I am fed up of the videos I have on the device, I have more on an external drive, oh I cant swap them around without the use of another computer and iTunes. OK at least I can keep putting photos on it from my camera, oh wait I am out of storage, at least I can transfer some of them or some songs onto an external drive to allow me to complete the camera>ipad transfer, oh no wait i cant do that either, well if all fails i can surely just delete a video directly from the library on the device as I have it on my computer oh no i need to delete it through itunes.

    This lack of file management is inexcusable. People say well people dont want to mess with files or need to know where they are stored IT JUST WORKS. well let me tell you apple fan boys that thinks it just works, it doesnt! Just because jobs said so doest mean its true. I dnt need a full on finder with access to root etc, just something simple, maybe integrate into the ipod and video apps a delete or move function, hit move and pop in a usb drive via the usb>dock connector, ipad sees this and you select that drive and bam it moves it to the root of my external drive, not perfect but ive moved something one way then. Then they can develop a mini finder app. This has no control over files on the device, just shows files and folders of a seperate drive connected through the dock. I then select an mp4 files and a move option appears, hit it and boom its in the videos app, same with mp3s in ipod and jpegs into photos.

    Its not hard apple, please do something like this with os 4.0, I travel in June and want to get one, I really do, if os 4.0 isnt out by then or offers no improvements Im gonna have to get a mini 10v and put OSX on it.
     
  2. WytRaven macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Oh FFS! For the last time it does do file transferring. A section of the flash drive is treated as a removable disk when plugged into a Mac/PC. That "shared" flash area is also accessible to apps running on the device.
     
  3. grahamtearne thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Before you start shouting your head off, answer me this, is it file transfer?

    From what I understand it is a local folder on the device, that when you do work in say apps like iWork or some drawing apps and want to save them etc they save to this folder. Then when you connect your iPad to a PC or Mac this folder is mounted and you can grab your files.

    How is this in any way like I suggested, I cannot use this shared folder to transfer files to and from an external device using a dock>usb connector can I?

    So before you go shouting and swearing please read the scenario I posted.
     
  4. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #4
    Have you tried it? Do you know you can't do what you want to do? If not, why don't you refrain from your ranting posts.

    Also, what is this basic multitasking? Everyone whines for it, but no one has come up with a way to do while preserving the existing experience. Backgrounder is, I assume, not what people have in mind.

    You can't live without flash? That's cool, because I can. I enjoy the net much more without flash.

    To be honest, this stuff has been beaten to death. Just join some other bashing thread.
     
  5. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

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    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

    No flash means no hulu and no facebook games among other things.
     
  6. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #6
    I don't watch Hulu.
    I don't play Facebook games.
    Or other flash based things.
     
  7. grahamtearne thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7

    Well I know it cannot be done because for one at the moment it uses the same OS as we already have and the camera connector which has been available for iPods for years only allows one way transfer, its pretty clear that right now the ability to add or remove files is impossible without a computer and iTunes.

    As for background apps I gave a suggestion. Have them run in the background like Apples native apps do. iPod runs in the background, open this up to developers and then upon review Apple can determine if the app actually needs the backgrounding included, like for example if EA release NFS with the backgrounding enabled they reject it until it is removed. Smart backgrounding can be applied, if say for example iPod is still running in the background although no music is being played, if an internet radio app starts up as this is an audio/music app in the same category as the application already in the background (ie iPod) iPod gets killed, then upon pressing the home button on the radio app it works like iPod would when home is pressed, runs in the background, and does so even when paused, it stays the background app until 'x' amount of idled paused time or until another audio app is run which would kill the radio app and that would become the background process.

    It isn't hard to come up with alternatives.
     
  8. WytRaven macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Fair point and my apologies. I am getting a bit "hot under the collar" with the enormous amount of misinformation being sprouted all over this site at the moment.

    Now after actually reading your post let me say this. The shared file area being available to apps "should" allow a file explorer app to be built so you can handle your deleting etc. I say "should" because I cannot definitively say that apps will have that level of control over the shared area. I certainly hope they do. You could perhaps ask in the iPad software dev forum of this site where there are some developers who already have access to the SDK.

    So on the file share front all that remains is to handle the problem of transfer to an external device without a host PC. Not sure on that one but in life generally where there is a will (plus an SDK) there is a way ;) So perhaps there is hope.
     
  9. WytRaven macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Nope it uses OS 3.2 which is not going to be available for iPhone/iPod.
     
  10. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #10
    Wait, iPod Touch and iPhone run OS 3.2?

    So what you really want is audio apps to be given backgrounding status?

    Shoot me some more alternatives. Backgrounding when jailbreaking brings the iPhone to a crawl. People don't want to manage what is open, that is why I hate my HTC Hero. I have to pull out a Task Killer app when the phone stops working properly.
     
  11. grahamtearne thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Fair play to you for coming back and explaining, I sure hope there is an app that will allow transferring without a host PC. My only concern about it though, is unlike 3rd party applications, I am assuming apple will hide away the music and video files clear of this shared folder into their crazy folder system that they use on the iPods where the files become hidden random file names. That is why I am concerned that even then such an explorer app might not have access to these folders and only the shared folder, which is why I thought maybe a move option from with the iPod app itself may be a way around this, doubt Apple ever would though due to piracy and other DRM related issues.

    Ah I didnt realise 3.2 wont see iPods or iPhones but I think it still applies with the description of the camera connector on the Apple site + the knowledge of my already owning a camera connector and knowing how they work presently, of course I cannot say 100% for sure thats the deal with the iPad but I am very confident it is, else they would have said the SD adapter could be used to host files etc, but no just mentioned transferring photo's ONTO the device taken from cameras.
     
  12. grahamtearne thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    I have just acknowledged I didn't realise 3.2 was on iTouch yet.

    I also never said things like backgrounder for jailbroken devices is the right way to go, I know it brings things to a crawl and then the phone even shuts it off as it needs more memory. We are talking about a more powerful device here though and I am just trying to say with backgrounding written into an App and with it passing apples checks, applied with some smart backgrounding software it can work.

    It doesnt have to just work with audio apps, it can work with apps that are relevant to being run in the background. If apple decides push is a better way for an IM to 'run in the background' so be it they reject it, but push can work well for that sort of application.

    Audio apps however cannot run with push, you only ever need one audio app running as you cannot have radio and music playing can you, just doesnt work. Same with video, if you watch a video it can just kill the backgrounded audio app that was running whilst you were browsing safari as it isnt needed any more.

    Apple have the software and the abilty to bring smart backgrounding in so its automated.

    Lets see:

    Audio apps - push and save state do not work for them, backgrounding is the only way to have them run (works for iPod so all we need to do is give audio apps that same background privalidge so it works in the same way - only one audio app at a time, kills the other one)
    Games - no need for these to run background so a simple save and kill works
    Video - same why run background videos, pause and kill
    IM - This is another candidate for background processing but push can work for this.
    iWork type apps - again while they work being minimised on a computer a simple save kill -> open resume from save works just as well here, has the same effect as minised but is not taking resources.

    I will be missing some sort of apps admitted but I dont see you throwing any ideas out, just bashing mine.

    I think this could work, 1 background app (audio) the forground app which is being used and push for IM, why can this simple background support not e implemented, users wouldnt have to kill tasks and it wouldnt slow things down either.
     
  13. WytRaven macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Something to be noted about the keynote. Jobs wanted to tell you about the "vision" behind the iPad so he told us about what he wanted in a tablet. Things like sitting on the couch browsing, catching a few laughs via YouTube videos, etc. That keynote was not a Tech Dsiclosure seminar for IT it was for Mum, Dad, and the rest of the family. It was promoting a lifestyle device.

    Now just because that is who the keynote was aimed at does not automatically imply that it can't do anything else. I personally think Apple has been remarkably generous by not taking on the responsibility of creating too many apps. They have instead covered the areas relevant to the lifestyle they are envisioning this device can facilitate. The rest has been left to the open community of creative and enthusiastic app developers.

    I would highly recommend that anyone who has a desire for a particular soft feature for the iPad either downloads the SDK and gets to learning or else get's in contact with current iPhone app developers and start telling them what you want. I am quite sure that they will be more than happy to provide you with a $5 app on the store if what you are asking for is a good idea that many others will enjoy.

    Someone once said that if you aren't part of the solution then you are part of the problem ;)
     
  14. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #14
    I don't need to throw out ideas, I am not the one whining about multitasking. If you look through my post history, you can see where I have discussed the pitfalls of translating Mac OS to a tablet.

    Now, your suggestion is fine. But what exactly differentiate that from: Open App --> Use App -> Press Home Button --> Run new App? Is it really helping that this app is running in the background? No, because there is no easy way to switch to it. They would have to add something that made it easier to switch. Alt + tab, something. Sure you may save a few seconds, but this again is not what I think people are thinking of when they ask for multitasking.

    Here is the other thing that is killing me. No one knows what it will have in the future, iPhone 4.0 and beyond. Just because they didn't announce multitasking does not mean it will never happen.

    Quite honestly, the overlay menus in 3.2 point at future evolution and opens the door for IM and other such apps running, and are universally accessible within apps via overlay.

    Give this time to work out. Sure, multitasking as people think of it may never come. But with the increase in processing power and screen size, I think Apple will work toward some kind of compromise.

    Sure, you can rattle off a suggestion, but the questions that need to be asked are: Does it work well? Can the typical user understand this functionality?

    Backgrounding is worthless without a way to quickly switch apps.
     
  15. grahamtearne thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    I totally understand what you are saying and you are correct, the typical user should be able to just use the device and it should work well, and yes I do believe that with some updated OS in the future we will see it, like we eventually did with copy and paste on the iPhone. However it is only human to demand more, I am not going to keep quiet with the anticipation Apple MAY update in the future because they also may not.

    Let me however answer your first point:
    Now, your suggestion is fine. But what exactly differentiate that from: Open App --> Use App -> Press Home Button --> Run new App? Is it really helping that this app is running in the background? No, because there is no easy way to switch to it.

    Well in the suggestion that I mentioned only audio apps would really run in the background (or others that serve a purpose to be running in the background) then yes having them run in the background is still an advantage, granted you have to hit home and open the app again, no speed increase in getting back to that app but what it allows is for a certain task to stay active, ie listen to the radio, or in another example like the iTunes store allow downloads to complete etc.

    I do not want full desktop backgrounding, your scenario of open use close run new works fine for these devices it really does, we dont need backgrounded apps with shortcuts like alt+tab.

    You ask if it can work well, well yes it can because we are already seeing it with Apples applications. I keep beating about it but it works with iPod, iTunes can download without the app being active, this is what I am talking about, I am not referring to having apps open just so I can switch to them quicker, I am talking about apps having a background process to have some functionality whilst not being the active app, such as listening to music (ala iPod) and downloading (iTunes).

    Now if Apple could just allow 3rd party apps to play nice like the native ones we would be fine, and the smart processing would kill similar tasks that are not needed like maybe once a download is complete kill it, a 2nd audio app is opened kill the first.

    In answer to you question can it work? Yes it can, the current native apps are proof of that.

    Also I do disagree that multitasking is worthless without a way of quickly switching apps, because the iPad already has a nice UI and doesnt need to become confusing IMO, it is already fast to leave and open an app, the benefit here however of the background processes is not speed in opening and switching apps, its all about added functionality, (mlb.tv radio whilst browsing the internet, get a push IM msg, switch to that app (closes safari - mlb.tv stays open playing audio) type your im ->home -> safari) all of a sudden thats basic multitasking without draining resources.
     
  16. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

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    #16
    While your point may certainly be valid overall, this scenario is rather ridiculous. A little forethought could have avoided this situation. Why would you bring extra videos on a hard drive if you can't watch them? Three or four months without wireless coverage and you choose an iPad as your primary computer? Your camera problem could have been avoided with an extra SD card or leaving some space on the iPad if you intended to use it for picture storage.

    Overall, sounds like you should have brought a laptop.
     
  17. Palm Pimp macrumors regular

    Palm Pimp

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    #17
    Really? No ESPN? No CNN? You just happen to not browse ANY sites that use Flash even though most websites and video is Flash? What, do you browse Apple movie trailers all day?

    Let's be real, man.
     
  18. grahamtearne thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Agreed, this might seem a little extreme but that is my point.

    I have a laptop, albeit a large laptop and I took it with me last year. This year I will be travelling more and need to take something a lot smaller, it was going to be a netbook but I want this device to fit my needs, and it really could if just one or two things were enabled.

    Where I will be working is in the woods so no reception, every weekend however I will have coverage and wifi so then it becomes useful and for the final 3 weeks of my trip again I will be visiting major cities so I want something that can get online when possible and is small enough to travel with me. On the surface it is this. The smaller capacity of the device compared to a netbook is easily solved with my ultra portable usb hdd which is 160gb, more than enough for backup movies and stuff. Now where I work has an office computer so technically I can use that to shuffle things around but all I am getting at is there are times and situations where with some little additions this device can be MORE of a standalone machine. I know this is not intended to be an only computer as it is closely tied with the itunes syncing thing, but it could become more independent if it was allowed to transfer files, someone could have say a 16gb usb flash pen with them with what they want on their ipad and pretty much load it up using that on the way home from the store, I get that it is a companion device but would some independence hurt?

    Yes I could get more memory cards but this while plausable is not forgiveable, it seems at times no matter what apple release and people suggest no matter how reasonable people will defend apple as if they are God (i am not saying that is what you are doing as you only offered alternatives) but it is just frustrating that any suggestions made about an apple device brings out all of the fan boys. this is a great device, no question, the thing is it could be much better with little work.

    I would prefer to take this than a netbook because a) it has good looking simple games for it, even iphone versions, if I want some casual pick up gaming on my breaks I would have NFS, some iPhone Madden etc, good look getting any similar games on a netbook. A great screen for movies and tv shows and then music too.

    I will probably get myself an iPad from the States when I go to save on the currency conversion, however what I find dissapointing is that I will need to use someone elses machine to get it filled with content and again everytime i wish to switch content between the device and external.
     
  19. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #19
    Don't watch sports.
    CNN videos are terrible.

    I browse CNN, but I don't care about the videos.

    But of course I am not being "real" since I don't have the same browsing habits as yourself. I don't sit around watching videos all day. Is that what I should be doing? You seem to think so as the only other alternative is for me to watch Apple trailers.

    Maybe you should think about being "real" and stick with talking about what you do and not questioning what others do.
     
  20. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    #20
    "Sources who talked to Apple's business unit also say the company is working on some additional features that haven't been publicly announced yet. These include support for direct network printing from iPad apps, as well as support for accessing shared files from a local file server. "

    Source: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/01/29/apple_to_target_ipad_at_business_users_through_new_features_sources.html
     
  21. Palm Pimp macrumors regular

    Palm Pimp

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    #21
    So how's it going?
     
  22. brendu macrumors 68020

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    #22
    uhhh. guys these responses were all really long so sorry if others have said it... but...

    have you used one yet? OP: I felt the same way as you, but since using one I was blown away by how well it really does work and how enjoyable it is to use... I dont have one yet, still trying to justify the purchase of something I dont NEED.... and regarding flash... ESPN, CNN, ABC, and MANY other sites that you are used to recieving flash content through have sites that load up just dandy using HTML5 on the iPad, so you dont even miss it... once HULU makes that iPad app... well im gonna say flash will lose a ton of support.... but honestly, I dont care at all... as long as the thing works, and the iPad works... just go use one for 10 mins, try the sites you use regularly and then decide if lack of flash matters...

    also, something I was up in arms about was the almost insane lack of ram in the thing. 256mb??? really??? I was blown away.. then I realised that my Pre has half that and has handeled multitasking just fine since day one... so im not all that worried about it anymore... I think 256mb will work fine... unless your trying to run multiple 3d games all at once...


    EDIT: LOL i just looked at the post date for the OP and realised im dumb for wasting time on this thread.... thanks palm pimp for bringing this one back to life
     
  23. sassenach74 macrumors 65816

    sassenach74

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    #23
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    As if it wasn't bad enough, now we're digging up old threads??
     
  24. Jinkst macrumors regular

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    #24
    Mine is going great and so far I haven't had any issues with a lack of flash. Thanks for asking so obviously sarcastically too. Couldn't be happier with this thing.
     

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