Not really grasping the multitask dock concept.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mcdj, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. mcdj macrumors G3

    mcdj

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    #1
    So I've installed 4.0. So far ok. I miss my dedicated iPhone controls invoked by the home button, and the new iPod icons down there look very 2001, but whatever.

    What I don't really get is the subdock. (ooh...subdock...did I just coin a new word?)

    I realize the apps aren't running. I realize they're just hanging out. But why does the OS keep adding more icons? Is it supposed to be some sort of shortcut bar? How/why am I supposed to interact with the subdock icons in a way that's any different or more meaningful than interacting with the icons on the home screen? What's the point of being able to X out an app from the subdock if the app isn't running anyway?

    If I want to listen to Pandora and surf Safari and the OS supports that, why does it matter to me if I can interact with the app's icon(s)? Am I supposed to be cleaning house in the subdock and X-ing off apps I'm no longer using?

    It's a bit vague. If it's a metaphor for a task manager, it's a pretty dumb one. A task manager shows you every currently running app, not some ever expanding list of zombie apps that aren't running. The subdock feels more like a browser history than anything else.

    As of right now, I have 15 icons sitting in the subdock and I have no idea why they're there or what to do with them, or if they'll go away eventually. I sure as heck have no interest in manually tapping closed 15 apps for no reason.
     
  2. Opstech macrumors 6502a

    Opstech

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    #2
    It will help me a lot. I like being able to stack them. Good points though!
     
  3. Simgar988 macrumors 65816

    Simgar988

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  4. Goldfrapp macrumors 601

    Goldfrapp

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    #4
    I don't get it either.

    Why would I want to invoke the subdock vs. "invoking" the home screen or any other page? Why do we need two similar routes that lead to the same destination? :confused:
     
  5. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5

    Mlrollin91

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    #5
    At first I didn't think I would use it too much. Did really grasp the whole concept of it. But let me tell you, I've been using it all day. From email to messages to a couple applications. It makes it so much easier to go from app to app than going to home scrolling and looking for that app. I was in an app, got a phone call, brought up the "subdock" and was instantly back in the app I was in, while on the phone. Its just a lot easier.
     
  6. Simgar988 macrumors 65816

    Simgar988

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    #6
    I guess this makes sense
     
  7. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #7
    Well Steve best demonstrated it playing with a game.

    Sometimes I'm playing a game and I may be chatting with someone via SMS or AIM, or even browsing the net. I don't want to have to quit the game just to do those things.

    So for me, it will be very helpful.
     
  8. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a

    GermanSuplex

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    Aug 26, 2009
    #8
    Exactly, I struggled to grasp the concept as well until Steve demoed it at the WWDC Keynote on Monday. When he left Tap Tap Revolution, did something else and then went back in and the app was right where he left off, it made more sense. It wasn't a matter of just going back to where you left off, it was how instantaneous it was.

    Although, what will happen with the double-click feature like to open the iPod or go to search?
     
  9. Goldfrapp macrumors 601

    Goldfrapp

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    #9
    They could have implemented the Pause function right into an app. In other words, whenever you leave the app, it simply pauses until you launch it again. Why have yet another dock a.k.a. subdock?
     
  10. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #10
    Because, you still have to load the app all over again, and have load yet again to get back to the place where you last quit. With multi-tasking, you're not reloading the app, which is why its pretty instaneous getting back to where you were.

    Secondly, your request is not practical, as you're pretty much asking every game developer to program this functionality within the thousands of games already available in the App store.
     
  11. mcdj thread starter macrumors G3

    mcdj

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    #11
    Ok I suppose it makes a bit more sense, but still, what's with adding every icon for every app you open? 10 days from now I could have 50 icons on the subdock. It won't be very easy to navigate then. I think it should just limit itself to 4 icons, otherwise it really is like a browser history, except with no way to clear it. Imagine if you had to clear your history one site at a time.
     
  12. ValenR macrumors member

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    #12
    iirc you could terminate the tasks on the dock as if you were to delete it.
    So it won't "stack". Correct me if I'm wrong though.
     
  13. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #13
    Has it been confirmed that there is a limit to the amount of Apps you can have open simultaenously? 50 open Apps sounds like death to your iPhone CPU and memory.
     
  14. Goldfrapp macrumors 601

    Goldfrapp

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    #14
    You didn't understand me correctly. Why not have every app load instantaneously without going the subdock route anyway? Devs wouldn't have to mod their apps. Apple would simply implement the Pause function that would work system-wide on all apps. Do you get it?
     
  15. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #15
    How do you propose you load an app instantaneously? Now that sounds magical.
     
  16. otis123 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Once all of the apps get updated It will make a lot more sense. Right now it's just a shortcut bar.
     
  17. Goldfrapp macrumors 601

    Goldfrapp

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    #17
    Wait, subdock already does it. Why can't it be a system-wide functionality?
     
  18. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #18
    Because the apps that are loaded into the subdock are already loaded in memory, hence the whole idea of multi-tasking.

    When you officially exit an app, it is no longer in memory, which is why you must reload it all over again.

    Edit: This also applies to background apps that continue to run and perform tasks. You can't hope to achieve this one loaded app at a time.
     
  19. jman240 macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2009
    #19
    TLDR:
    -subdock = history + back button
    -subdock limit: only apple knows answer.
    -why quit app? in case app is broken.
    -need to quit apps? nope.
    -swipe left for more controls on subdock
    -ipod play pause next back
    -orientation lock
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I got the concept from its first inception and after knowing how android does multitasking through their notification tray it makes sense. I'll try to explain.

    Think of it as not just a history of apps you've opened (with the most recent being first) but also think of it as a back button. Here's a scenario: You have 3-4 pages of apps and you're on your 1st page where the icon for the App Store happens to be. Now, we've all seen that when you install an App from the App Store, the store exits, the iPhone pans over to the furthest screen filled with apps and starts to download install that app. Now, instead of scrolling back to page one, or clicking the home button to zoom back, you can just double click and plop right back into the App Store from the "subdock." This has the added benefit of keeping you on page 4 where all these new apps are going to end up.

    Another case is say you are working between two apps, maybe facebook and safari and you want to post a link or something. You happen to have your phone set up so that these apps are on different pages. Instead of clicking home, scrolling, and launching an app, then clicking home again, scrolling back, and launching another app, you can double tap home from within that app and swap back and forth much quicker. This really simplifies things when your apps are on separate pages and in folders.

    As far as how big this subdock tray will grow is just a matter of whatever limit Apple put on it. If it's 50 apps then it will potentially grow to 50. You should not ever need to "kill" an app on here. So why do they include that functionality? Well, with their multitasking implmentation, apps no longer quit when you click home, they pause. Sometimes apps like Safari or Mail or any 3rd party app can have issues. Be it UI issues, freezing, or something just not working right. If all you can do is pause and resume a broken app you would be forced to reboot, thus they have a way for you to fully quit an app. You may also want to quit things like gps which may try to get your location constantly in the background.

    In case you havent found it, if you swipe left on the subdock you get ipod controls and an orientation lock as well. The nice thing about being able to pause an app is that you get a nice little speed boost when launching that app. Instead of starting up and quitting out fully each time, they can just resume. Kind of like the difference between shutting down your computer or just putting it to sleep.

    Anyway, I hope this helps.
     
  20. jman240 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    They aren't "open", they are just paused. Not in volatile memory or using cpu unless they are accessing one of the 7 multitasking APIs.

    In essence they aren't running at all. They are hibernating, like the way a computer hibernates. Its off but the ram (and thus any open applications) are saved to the hard drive. When you wake it back up, that information is sent from the hard drive back to the RAM and processes resume in the CPU.

    This might help http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibernation_(computing)
     
  21. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #21
    Hmm, according to Apple's site, at the bottom where it says "Complete tasks in the background", Apps can still run in the background while your at a different App.
     
  22. skwoytek macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 15, 2005
    #22
    The purpose of the double tap dock is simply a recently used list. All apps suspend in the same way and relaunch in the same way whether you open via the recently used dock or the standard home screen. Had Steve hit the home button only once and relaunched from the home screen, the instant relaunch of Tap Tap would have worked the same.

    All multitasking enabled apps are suspended in the background, regardless of how you intend to reopen them. The only time an app quits is when you physically hold the icon in the recently used dock and tap the "x" to close it (which is completely unnecessary) or when the system needs memory back - it manages itself.

    Examples: If you're pasting links from Safari and images from Photos into an email, then those three recently used apps will be a double tap away as you jump back and forth between them. Or, if you jump out of a game with a single home tap, scroll over three home screens to send a tweet, and then want back in your game - it's a double tap away (vs finding the game again three screens over). The "subdock" is simply a recently used list.

    The recently used apps dock is a convenience. Any app by a developer who implements multitasking will always restart instantly, regardless of how you relaunch it.
     
  23. jman240 macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2009
    #23
    Yes, but only if they are using one of the 7 approved APIs

    1. Background audio – you will be able to listen to music while doing something else on the iPhone
    2. VoIP (Hurray) – Skype on iPhone will offer you a totally new experience. That means you can run Skype in the background and still receive calls or instant messages
    3. Background location – that means you’ll be able to use the GPS features of the phone even while doing something totally different (like listening to music)
    4. Push notifications (you were expecting this one, right folks?) – turns out Apple sent out 10 billion push notifications sent in the last nine months and the service is about to get even better
    5. Local notifications – “Now building on push notifications is local notifications. It doesn’t need to use our servers.”
    6. Task completition – it sounds a little strange but it basically means that some apps take a while to complete their tasks, like uploading a Flickr image. Now it will all be done in the background.
    7. Fast app switching – that’s an API which will be very important as the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch will basically be able to switch to apps rapidly while preserving their current state.

    Source:http://nexus404.com/Blog/2010/04/08...-batteries-not-to-drain-processor-not-to-lag/
     
  24. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #24
    Cool, thanks for the info on this. :)
     
  25. andrewsd macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Funny

    People wanted this and still fined. Ways to complain. Of course the app/game isn't going to pause. It iseft running. Pause it yourself and move on to something else to b*tch about.
     

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