Multitasking - Why isn't it more like WebOS? :(

Discussion in 'iPad' started by steviem, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. steviem macrumors 68020


    May 26, 2006
    New York, Baby!
    So I bought a Palm Pixi+ on the weekend, I quite like it, but one of the things that really stands out to me (in how 'Appley' it is) is WebOS' Multitasking.

    I hadn't seen much of it in the past, but in use, it's very, very powerful and sleek.

    What palm has done is extended the touchpanel to about a 10mm below the bottom edge of the screen. This is used for navigational gestures within 'Cards' (apps) and if you swipe up from the gesture bar, you are shown the open Cards.

    Like so:

    To switch between apps, you can slide left or right, to close apps, you just swipe up from the card to the top of the screen.

    The notification system is MUCH nicer than iOS too, but unless hp can improve their SDK (apps don't have enough access to sensors) and get more quality developers for the App Catalog), I doubt any tablet with WebOS would 'kill' the iPad.

    It still irks me that Apple didn't buy palm when they could have, iOS would be perfect, but I guess WebOS' existence is good for Apple.
  2. lozpop macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2006
    I always ask myself why Apple is not taking advantage of the iPad large display. It would be awesome to flick through the opened apps — like on a jailbroken iPad :p
  3. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Personally I can see the iPad "desktop" becoming really old really fast.

    It's ok, as a starting point, but given the number of pixels on the screen, I'm sure it could be made into a much more functional and visually appealing, and more flexible front end than just a flat area with icons, and that's that.

    As with the above shot, scaled down apps when multitasking, or being able to have a small app in one area of the screen and another app in a larger area of the screen.

    Something tells me however that this manner of display, which is the same as the 1st iPhone really, is VERY entrenched in Apple's mind and we're not going to see any better use of screen real estate for quite a long time.

    I'd love to be proven wrong, and iPad2 stops trying to just look like a giant iPhone and becomes a more grown up device.
  4. Blakjack, Nov 3, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010

    Blakjack macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2009
    Just a question. What. Are the negatives with multitasking The way it is on iOS?
  5. Don Kosak macrumors 6502a

    Don Kosak

    Mar 12, 2010
    Hilo, Hawaii
    I agree with this 100%.

    The webOS 2.x operating system is awesome. Really, it could go head-to-head with iOS from both a usability, and a core "under the hood" tech perspective.

    I wish HP or someone would get moving on some solid "iPad-like" hardware for webOS. I'm in the webOS Developer Program and I'm chomping at the bit to get going.

    Right now though, the Palm phones are okay, but there's no real guidance on how webOS will get translated to a tablet format.

    To compete with Apple, HP needs:
    * Solid iPad quality or better tablet hardware (10", Nice screen 1024x768+)
    * A good Tablet version of webOS
    * Strong marketing, and initial sales
    * A good set of Apps

    That's a pretty tall order -- but I think HP could pull this off. Google is letting other folks built the hardware, so things are winding up being "Lowest Common Denominator" driven. HP, like Apple, has control of the whole stack from chips to UI.
  6. maturola macrumors 68040


    Oct 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    like he said, You can do that with a Jailbroken iPad :D


  7. Scuby macrumors regular

    May 16, 2010
    Personally i'd like something "quicker". I don't like having to press the home button, because often i have to change my hold of my iPad to do so, since it requires a harder press than the touchscreen. Someting like a three or four fingered gesture would be ideal - swipe left and right with four fingers, for example, to go to a different app.

    Certainly not terrible though, and much better than the iPad at the minute (no multitasking, meaning when i want to copy stuff from the web into Numbers i have to wait 5+ seconds each time while Numbers starts back up).

  8. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    It's definitely a popular paradigm. It's actually surprising that Apple hasn't already embraced it. They sure seem stuck on the old one-button, one-app, one-user concept.

    WebOS has multitasking cards.

    RIM's Playbook has similar.

    The Itching Thumb app for Android does the same.

    ProSwitcher and others give them to the jailbroken iPhone and iPad.

    HP has the card metaphor on their TouchSmart home computers.

    Plus there was the Nvidia Tegra HD development platform GUI on top of Windows CE.
  9. lozpop macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2006
    How the hell did you do that!? :eek:
  10. PhoneI macrumors 68000

    Mar 7, 2008

    Is this post from 2 years ago?
  11. gatearray macrumors 65816

    Apr 24, 2010
    Didn't the preview of OSX Lion demonstrate some similar functionality? It showed swiping pages of running apps and a nearly identical "springboard" that they called Launch Pad, or mission control, or something... :)

    Anyway, it was billed as bringing more of the iPad experience to OSX, and it seems to me that we could expect something Lion-like on iOS summer 2011, right around the same time that 10.7 is released for the Mac.
  12. lozpop macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2006
    I really, REALLY, hope so.
  13. steviem thread starter macrumors 68020


    May 26, 2006
    New York, Baby!
    No, because the iPad forum didn't exist then :p

    The screenshot probably is though, it does look like some old icons are there, but the sentiment remains and is further proven. WebOS was doing this 2YEARS AGO!
  14. xraytech macrumors 68030

    Mar 24, 2010
    Why complain when you can do something about it RIGHT NOW!

    JB + ProSwitcher HD = WebOS Style Multitasking
  15. blackNBUK, Nov 3, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010

    blackNBUK macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2010
    I'm going to have to disagree with what seems like the majority view; I find Apple's approach to multitasking to be more innovative and interesting. The WebOS launcher is undeniably attractive and looks to be reasonably efficient; however as far as I can tell it doesn't do anything fundamentally different to the way that multitasking has been done for decades. The user has to manually manage which tasks are in memory and running.

    For most of the people on this forum managing tasks is second nature because we've been doing it for so long. Manually managing tasks can also allow the user to allocate the resources of the machine more efficiently. However I suspect that if you asked mainstream users whether they wanted to manage tasks themselves or whether they would prefer the machine to do it the answer would be "let the machine do it".

    Apple appears to think the same way as the multitasking they have implemented is virtually completely automatic. Users can get most of the benefit of multitasking (fast task switching, background music, downloads completing in the background etc.) without needing to do anything special themselves. They don't even need to use the multitasking bar unless they want to. iOS and the Apps themselves decide which parts of the code need to be memory and which parts need to be running at any point in time.

    This isn't to say that I think that the multitasking/"Recent Apps" bar is perfect. There feels like something more could be done with the iPad's space than a simple line of icons. Images of the Apps' UIs would be nice but then what do you do about Apps that are not currently in memory. If you are trying to abstract away the concept of an App "running" you can't just use the unloaded Apps' icon. I also don't know now well Apple's concept has been turned into reality. I've only been using iOS 4.2 for a day or so and so far so good but only time will tell now well Apple have tuned their code.

    Edit: I thought that I should mention that this form of multitasking isn't really an Apple invention. Android multitasking is very similar and they got there first. I find interesting that someone felt the need to write Itching Thumb to make manual style multitasking easier on Android; I guess nerds love being in control.
  16. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    Almost correct. Nerds like to have options and nerds like doing something just to prove it can be done.
  17. albbreinholt macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2010
    I don't mind the multi tasking that the ipad will be getting, most of the time. However as a student I constantly want to switch from my notes to the book and back to my notes. If we could switch between the first two or four open apps with a 4 finger swipe and the rest of the apps the normal way I would be so happy.
  18. colmaclean macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Something like OS X's Expose, or Lion's Misson Control would be very nice.

    The only thing is, it would show up the way multitasking works on iOS. On a Mac, all your Expose'd windows are still active and animated (true multitasking) whereas on the iPad, they would be frozen (iOS multitasking).
  19. BobHail macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2009
    Because iPad needs it´s own OS (or OS X), not a mobile phone´s OS. It´s a big fail from Apple and huge waste for all the possibilities of iPad.
  20. colmaclean macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Can you summarise your experience in hardware/software design which leads you to this conclusion?
  21. BobHail macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2009
    If the MBA would have iOS, would people think that´s a good idea? I don´t think so. It´s the same thing with iPad. People are just buying the hype, because Steve said it was "magical". Yeah right!

    iPad needs a much much improved (and seperate) iOS (or just OS X) than in iPhone, otherwise it´s possibilities are hugely wasted.

    iOS is only for 3,5 inch devices! To try to push it in ten inch device is just sadly obvious for Apple taking the easy and lazy way out to make easy money and not care about innovation at all.

    I mean come on, who (with a working brain and common sense) would want a ten inch device that has a mobile OS? Seriously! It´s a disgrace and just a plain fail from Apple. And oh, I don´t care how many units have been sold, that doesn´t make a product decesserily good.
  22. colmaclean macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    I guess Apple shouldn't have released the iPad until 2012 so they could create this new platform and allow developers time to write apps for it?

    You see lazy, I see obvious.

    Last time I checked, the iPad was a mobile device. What exactly would you make different in iPad OS?
  23. Pinger macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2010
    I agree to a degree... It would be so nice if you had the option of having the multitasking apps viewable WHILE running one of them, not sure if that made sense. Say as I write this on my Safari and I double click the home button, the other apps appear below but it will not allow me to use the app opened as long as the lower app bar is visible. I'm sure not everyone would like it or would want it the way I want but it could be an added option within setting.
  24. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Yes, because downsizing a desktop OS to fit the tablet form factor has worked out so well for Windowz. :rolleyes:

    Feel free to dismiss iOS as for 3.5-inch devices only, but really, since downsizing desktop OS for tablets hasn't worked, why not try the other way around, and try upsizing a mobile phone OS?

    iOS really isn't that anemic, all the foundations are there for it to grow into a full-featured OS. I remember when graphical UIs first came out, there were a lot of things it didn't do, or didn't do as well as we could with the DOS/UNIX command lines. It took a while for the GUI to grow up and all the command functions to get ported to the new interface. I expect the same thing to happen with iOS. Each new generation will have more features and functionality, and apps will be written to make fuller use of its potential. Five years down the line from now, mobile OS, even those for 3.5 inch devices, could well be as powerful and full-featured as current day desktop OS. In fact, the way things are going with Lion, Apple may even have "iOS" running on their desktops by then! ;)
  25. EssentialParado macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2005
    After what Apple showed what they're doing in Lion, I think it's almost a certainty we'll see an improved multi-tasking interface sometime soon. But I would guess Apple have essentially finished with iOS 4.x now that 4.2 is out the door. I would imagine Apple saving a large OS redesign like this for iOS 5, which I presume will be unveiled early next year and will launch in the spring alongside a gen 2 iPad. The update will probably be downloadable to current iPad models but may lack a couple of features due to hardware discrepancies.

    My predictions—Spring 2011:

    - iOS 5 with Exposé-like multitasking screen, new notifications design, universal file access, and maybe widgets too.
    - iPad 2 running iOS 5 + FaceTime camera, a bit more RAM, slightly thinner, and possibly more akin to iPhone 4 styling.

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