Why do we still lack true multi-tasking?

Discussion in 'iOS 8' started by taptic, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. taptic macrumors 65816

    taptic

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    #1
    Yes, I understand we have the app switcher, but what I'm talking about is true multi-tasking. Apps running in the background thing.

    Why don't we have it yet?! I honestly don't understand. It's been about six years since iOS was first introduced... I was hoping so badly they would bring it to iOS 8, though I understand that would leave out a few more devices in the update. It seems the main thing you need is more RAM and that's not too difficult to throw in there, so what is it that keeps Apple from implementing this? In my opinion, it's something that every smartphone and tablet ought to be able to do...
     
  2. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #2
    You do have full background capabilities within reason. My Breeze app tracks me all day and never turns off.

    What you seem to be referring to is the ability for an app to just run in the background without any clearly defined tasks, because outside of that there is background abilities for apps that have a clearly defined use case. (See picture)

    Care to clarify what you are talking about?
     

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  3. ProphetX macrumors regular

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    Feb 8, 2011
    #3
    Have you ever seen the battery life on a top of the line android phone?

    Apple does multitasking the right way. Stop looking for thing to complain about.
     
  4. taptic, Jun 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014

    taptic thread starter macrumors 65816

    taptic

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    #4
    In my experience it has seemed that most apps that aren't open (open and up on the screen) are almost completely suspended, and the only difference is it doesn't take so long to start it up again once you go back to use it.

    When using Android for the little while I did, it seemed the apps had almost full functionality even while in the background. E.g. running a multiplayer game, you get a notification, you switch to mail and then come back and you've been disconnected. Not so on Android.

    Yes, I have and I've used top of the line Android phones and as far as battery life goes, it worked. And no, I'm not just trying to find something to complain about. I am almost the last person you'll hear complaining about iPhones or iOS, but this has been the ONE THING I've been wanting for a while that Apple just doesn't seem to want to budge on... I'm perfectly content with the rest of iOS and think it's a very pleasant little walled garden.

    I'm just wondering, is there some bigger picture I'm not seeing here? Yeah, they'd have to boost the RAM and work on the battery some, but these should both be things they can do...
     
  5. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #5
    The app remains running only if it has a task to do that has been defined by the developer. There is no point to running an app just for the sake of it, frankly its a waste of resources.

    It seems your scenarios involve developers that don't see a point in letting something trivial like a game consuming background resources.
     
  6. bkends35 macrumors 6502a

    bkends35

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    #6
    We do, it works quite well actually. For instance sometimes I'll use a golf gps app and when I lock my phone it'll keep running and keep track of my location for the next time I use it it'll have the yardage ready instead of starting over and getting my location again and again after each shot.

    While android has this for all apps, it's not the greatest thing. It HOGS battery if not managed properly and/or there is a bad app. Sometimes you'll "close" the app and it'll keep executing code for whatever reason, eating battery.
     
  7. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #7
    Mobile devices do not have true multi-tasking because its not needed. What needs to run in the background (Phone, Messages, E-mails, Music) already does. Mobile devices are not used in the same way as a desktop/laptop PC would be.
     
  8. taptic thread starter macrumors 65816

    taptic

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    #8
    Interesting, well... That did help make more sens of things, guys, though I think it would be nice if we were given some setting to decide which apps had full and medium activity... but I guess I can live considering it isn't as bad I thought is was. ;)
     
  9. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

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    #9
    Jailbreak and use OS Experience. It's absolutely great.
     
  10. rodman109110 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    There is still the split screen rumor out there. Maybe the next iPad will get that as the killer feature.
     
  11. fmalloy macrumors 6502

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    #11
    "True" multitasking would let every app have running processes at whim, that does whatever they'd like, with no restriction on CPU usage. So you could have a movie app rendering a huge movie while you're playing a CPU intensive game at the same time as 10 other apps doing who-knows-what.

    That would have been much easier for Apple to implement.

    The problem is you'd complain about why your battery lasts an hour and your phone is so hot to the touch.

    iOS does have true multitasking. But it's very controlled with limitations following very specific rules created by Apple to allow background operations that don't kill the CPU and your battery.

    The rules are detailed and complex. Some apps can keep using the GPS in the background (navigation apps), some can keep playing music in the background (music and streaming apps). There are rules about what gets to run when you press Home and for how long.

    Multitasking and background processes are managed very well in iOS, with a great balance between multitasking and battery life. iOS controls the CPU and memory usage very efficiently. Better than you *think* you can. That's why killing apps manually is almost always a bad idea.
     
  12. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #12
    That's good that you have more insight now.

    One of the things that I appreciate about iOS and how Apple has done things with their mobile devices is the amount of thought that went into the decision for selective multitasking. That requires a lot more thought than a run of the mill multithreaded multitasking system.

    If someone wants a more unrestricted multitasking model, there's Android and Windows Phone OSes. We have a choice now, but if Apple were to implement the same model, then there would cease to be a choice.

    Nothing comes close to comparing to the battery life of my iOS devices. (and I own quite a few)
     
  13. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #13
    True multi-tasking is so easy to implement. What Apple did is harder, balancing everything.
     
  14. sexiewasd macrumors regular

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    #14
    I think that a lot of people would be more satisfied with more ram, and maybe that's what they really want without knowing it. An app dumping views and recreating them after coming back from the suspended state is why a lot of games kick you back to the menu, and Safari reloads pages. Most apps don't need to continue running to very quickly switch between them and pick up where you left off, so long as they don't have to dump memory for the foreground app.
     
  15. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

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    #15
    I think the way iOS does multitasking is pretty genius, actually. It manages to let you do multiple tasks at the same time without allowing an app to completely abuse the battery in the background most times.

    The main thing that bothers me is that any app that requires a continuous session (IRC client, SSH terminal client, etc.) cannot be allowed to run without eventually being suspended by the OS, causing the session to time out.

    Not only that, but even an SSH client like iSSH that supports a connectionless protocol like MOSH will very easily get terminated by iOS under the slightest memory pressure, killing your sessions.

    There should be a switch you can flip in the "Background App Refresh" section that lets you give this sort of app the ability to keep an session open for as long as you wish, and immunity from termination except as an absolute last resort. Ideally it would pop up a dialog saying enabling perpetual sessions could degrade the battery, but.. the idea is to let the USER decide!
     
  16. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #16
    Have you?

    [​IMG]
     
  17. robbrick macrumors member

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    #17


    That chart is meaningless unless every battery is the exact same in terms of specifications.
     
  18. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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    #18
    Android is a true multitasking OS? No? BB10? Sybian? :apple:
     
  19. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #19
    Why would that matter when the devices aren't using the same screen tech, same SOC's, same NAND, same nothing.

    All that matters is the end product in that segment and iPhone has been trumped in terms of battery life several times already. This doesn't even count the LG G3.
     
  20. taptic thread starter macrumors 65816

    taptic

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    #20
    Yes! Although I can see why Apples implementation has had more thought put into it, this would be a nice feature for users with specific wants/needs. Hopefully Apple continues to open up a bit like it has with iOS 8!
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #21
    The discussion in this thread is about multi-tasking and apps running in the background, not simply web browsing. The chart you posted is completely irrelevant to the discussion, as it does not reflect battery life in multi-tasking applications.
    Apple's position is to create hardware and software that meet the needs of a great number of users. By definition, there will always be users with special needs that Apple solutions may not be ideal for. You can't please all the people, all the time.
     
  22. taptic thread starter macrumors 65816

    taptic

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    #22
    The point was just that battery life on Android phones, many of which are capable of true multitasking, is alright- which generally is true.
     
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #23
    It's not about whether battery life is OK on phone that is capable of true multitasking, but whether battery life is good while multitasking. As already described, iOS does support multitasking, but in a way that also preserves battery life during multitasking activities.
     
  24. ErikGrim macrumors 68040

    ErikGrim

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    #24
    Bigger phone = bigger battery

    If we divide the battery life by weight, the iPhone comes out on top:

    M8 = 0.067 hr/g
    LG2 = 0.071 hr/g
    S5 = 0.072 hr/g
    5S = 0.089 hr/g

    So actually for battery life, the iPhone is doing quite well for its category. Show me the battery life for an Android phone that’s the same size and specs as an iPhone and we’ll talk.
     
  25. taptic thread starter macrumors 65816

    taptic

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    #25
    Most Android users probably have multitasking running and the battery seems to work just fine. It did with me at least and I haven't heard complaints about it. Not that I want to ditch my iPhone, but it is incorrect to make it sound like multitasking has ruined every Android's battery life.
     

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