The real reason there's no multitasking

Discussion in 'iPad' started by briand05, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. briand05 macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2005
    I think the real reason Apple doesn't allow third party apps to run in the background on iPhone devices is because Apple doesn't want third party apps competing with it's own solutions. By only allowing their own apps to run in the background it gives any Apple app an inherent advantage over a third party app. The bottom line is Apple doesn't want you running Pandora in the background and possibly competing with iTunes for your music needs. Also what comes into to play is the fact that Apple does not want these devices to be mobile computers, instead the Apple model for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad is more along the lines of a specialized media consumption platform instead of a mobile computer. It's basically much like the game console model but more far reaching. In conclusion I don't see multitasking coming to iPhone OS soon because it conflicts with their business model in my eyes.
  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    If only these iPad threads could run in the background.
  3. colmaclean macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    For the OP:

    You raise a good point, one which holds some truth, I'm sure.

    However, will market forces prevail? As smart phones get more powerful, Apple is going to find itself increasingly under the microscope if it sticks to its current "selective" multitasking model.
  4. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    I'm sure they would if Apple fixed their growing ultramobile issues.
  5. camarobh macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2007
    San Diego, CA

    Read some of the stories coming from the Android camp about applications crashing phones by hanging in the background, or keeping the phone from making calls, crashing during a call, etc.

    Any audio app worth anything on the iPhone platform can send their audio stream through the browser and thus allow it to run in the background.
  6. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley

    The real reason is that Apple has a budget for how much memory and CPU cycles are left for the active app. Apple can test all their own apps, and carefully budget the CPU, memory and OS usage, to make sure enough is left for a good user experience running that one other app. Add two other random apps fighting for CPU and memory, and there are no longer any guarantees that the frontmost app won't be starved and run like cr*p for the user.

    Nor is there any way for a developer to test for performance problems in combination with any of 150k other apps.
  7. vertigo235 macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2009
    I'm not to terribly upset that the iPhone doesn't have multitasking.

    But they really need to make it work on the iPad, at least 2 apps running at the same time.
  8. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Yeah for me no multitasking on the iPhone is not that big of a deal. However, I don't see why the iPad wouldn't have it.
  9. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    I'd be happy for basic multitasking - like audio playback without UI, to be available to all 3rd party apps (perhaps with some rules in place)

    I use spotify a lot and its just broken on ipod touch compared to the ipod music playback itself, for no apparant reason.

    When listening to ipod in the background, you can run other apps. There is no UI for the ipod to take up memory etc - same for spotify - yet it doesn't work.

    You can't double click the home button to bring up the transport controls. If you're listening to a 3rd party app, they don't come up at all.

    You can't use apple's expensive remote headphones with 3rd party apps - worse than not working, if you click to pause playback of spotify etc, it actually *starts* playback of the ipod, stopping the 3rd party app while its at it.

    Completely unacceptable, and could be fixed by Apple without needing 'multitasking' as such - no more than is currently enjoyed by the ipod app.
  10. yyy macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2007
    They said multiple times that multi-tasking drains the battery
    and slows down the machine.
  11. WytRaven macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2009
    Orbiting Mercury
    Why is it that people find it so hard to understand why there is no (general) multi-tasking and, for that matter, why there is no flash (in it's current form).

    Apple has a reputation of creating computing devices "that just work". They have a reputation of stability where other company's products do not.

    The iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad are computing products aimed at the masses so Apple, to maintain it's reputation, must do all it can to ensure flawless operation.

    By controlling certain aspects of what software can be run on these devices Apple goes a LONG WAY toward ensuring as flawless a user experience as possible. The three biggest steps towards achieving this that they have taken on devices running iPhone OS are, firstly, to restrict background processes to those they can control, secondly to disallow plugins to any software running on the iPHone OS, and finally to allow no software to run at all that hasn't been vetted by them (can anyone say "Yay no viruses!").

    The only reason these three things are done is to ensure as stable and as enjoyable experience as possible to the end user. Allowing open multitasking would open the way to inexplicable crashing and slow performance. Allowing plugins of any kind opens the way for inexplicable crashing and slow performance. Allowing anyone to install any kind of software from any source throws the doors wide open for malicious software.

    Exactly when did people forget that what makes Apple different from the rest of the computing industry is that they have a vision for computing (insert Steve Jobs here) which revolves around two main concepts; 1. Quality, 2. Ease of Use.

    Exactly when did this get warped into "Apple is Hitler and all your base are belong to Apple"? The driver behind Apple's decisions to apparently restrict certain "freedoms" are sound and are not driven by some conspiracy theory or other dark evil plan to screw you all but are instead driven by a clearly defined vision of a computing world where everyone is happy and can use a computer without needing an army of IT support just to write a freakin' email. (by the way don't think that last bit is irrational... there was this lady at work the other day that... oh never mind it's beside the point)

    *end rant* Hmmm... this was going to be a simple reply but I got fired up about two sentences in. :D This is not aimed aggressively at anyone in particular. It is just an expression of frustration at what appears to be a lack of "big picture" sight on these forums lately. :eek:
  12. vini-vidi-vici macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2010
    That's exactly it. Not allowing multitasking gives predictable - and fast - performance. Also, it keeps the system more stable, so you don't have some haywire process running amok in the background. Finally, it's more secure... as it removes one of the main ways a virus can operate & propagate.

    Frankly, I don't mind a lack of multi-tasking for something like the iPad. I need multitasking on my PC, but for the iPad, I can live without it for now. If they're able to come up with some scheme to allow limited multitasking & overcome the above problems, I'd be fine with it, but I think they have to be sure to get it right.

    One solution might be to allow pseudo-multitasking... where background apps can be "frozen", but not actively process anything. This would allow easier cut & paste from app to app. But, in a sense, that's what you already have today. If an app can launch in a second or so, it's almost the same thing.
  13. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    IMO, they immediately fail when they open up their devices to thousands of apps, and those apps are prevented from working like the built in ones. Thats just confusing for the end user.

    As a mac user, and an ipod touch user, I expected to be able to pause spotify using the apple remote headphones. I didn't expect it to stop spotify, and start the ipod playing music.

    If it was a completely closed system, the argument that 'it just works' holds water. But it isn't. So Apple need to ensure that 'it just works - for everything'
  14. Mr Bigs macrumors 6502a

    Mr Bigs

    Jan 28, 2010
    Bklyn N.Y
    This certainly isn't the case for most of us Android users.:rolleyes:
  15. dave1812dave macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2009
    so what? let people decide if any performance hit is noticeable or objectionable. I have a multitasking phone and it works fine--I can play Pandora while doing other things. can't do that on the iphone/Touch. sucks!
  16. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    This OS was built for the iPhone

    We've had years to analyze this. It's good to see were making progress :rolleyes:

    They have clearly stated that the do this so the thing doesn't get squirrely.

  17. dave1812dave macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2009
    right....and to hear them tell it, Blu Ray is a "big bag of hurt". right....
  18. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    You assume most consumers are smart enough to make an informed decision. In truth, most computer users have no idea why their computer took a big performance hit. And then they assume it's the computer's fault, not theirs.

    Open up the task manager on your Grandma's PC (or "top" in her Mac's Terminal window). Ask her how many processes were ones that she started.
  19. dave1812dave macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2009
    so does that mean that NO ONE should have access to a multi-tasking machine???? what kind of logic are you applying to this discussion, to say something like that?? (and for your information, women with grandkids aren't all stupid fools that know nothing about computers or high tech. that's quite a stretch to claim "grandmothers" are no-nothings)
  20. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    So when multitasking is officially implemented, are all of you who spout apologetic excuses going to continue in your rejection of this basic process?
  21. WytRaven macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2009
    Orbiting Mercury
    No. Because if it does get implemented in a general sense then it will be done in a way that embodies Apple's driving ideals. Quality of Experience and Ease of Use.
  22. Casiotone macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2008
    So that's why you're here dave1812dave, because you are so afraid that Apple will take over 100% of the mobile OS market and that we will all lose our precious right to multi-task on the go?

    Thank god people like you are here to prevent us from brainwashing the masses into thinking that multi-tasking may not be a good thing for them, up to the point where alternatives to the iPhone/iPad OS platform will simply disappear due to the lack of demand and that the only way to get multi-tasking on mobile device will be to break the law.
  23. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    No, you don't use a detailed task manager, like the one that Jobs the sleazy salesman used as an excuse way back when. He knew he picked the worst possible display.

    Instead, show a person the short list of running apps (or better yet, their windows as Palm does), and it's pretty darned easy for them to manage.

    Heck, look at the attached screen capture below. That's on my WM 6.5 phone. It's a graphical process viewer that I bring up with a single button click. I can then touch the app I want to switch to, or hold my finger down and choose to stop it. Even my seven year old understands it. Jailbroken iPhones have similar tools.

    Attached Files:

  24. briand05 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2005
    If Steve removed multitasking from macs some here would defend it and claim he's protecting the user from the dangers of multitasking. :rolleyes:
  25. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Good point, but eventually someone will make a hacking tool that allows people to use 3rd party apps.

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