iPhone OS 4.0 to bring Multitasking

After months of rumors and insider info floating around the web, it’s now official: Multitasking will be coming to iPhone OS 4.0. While it shouldn’t come as  a surprise, it is still a relief to finally hear it from the man himself. To quote Jobs, “Now we weren’t the first to this party, but we’re gonna be the best. Just like cut and paste”. Damn right!

With multitasking, users will now be able to keep multiple apps running in the background. Want to listen to music while you receive turn-by-turn instructions from your GPS app? Done. Or what receiving a skype call WHILE you’re playing your favorite game? Check that too.

To switch between apps, you simply double click on the Home Button, which will then bring up a dock-like menu displaying apps that are running. You can scroll through the list, pressumably by sliding it left or right. And to combat potential battery and performance issues, Apple are providing 7 mulitasking services as APIs to developers. They’ll come in the form of:

  • Background Audio
  • Voice over IP
  • Background Location
  • Push Notifications
  • Local Notifications
  • Task Completion
  • Fast app switching

Unfortunately, it appears that iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G users will not reap the fruits of multitasking from OS 4.0. It’s likely that the “dated” hardware will not keep up with all the sweet action under the hood. Jobs did say that older iDevices (such as the 3G) will run many things on 4.0, just not multiple apps in the background. So for all those who yearn multitasking, will it be enough to upgrade to a 3GS, iPod Touch 3G or even the upcoming iPhone 4G?

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