An explanation of how multitasking works on iOS [video]

One of the questions asked most often when it comes to multitasking on the iPhone/iPad is “Do I need to manually kill apps in the background to improve performance?”. And you’ve surely heard people telling you:  yes you do, and no you don’t need to. So which is it? Well, developer Frasier Spiers aims to put this to rest as he explains on his blog why killing apps in the multitasking bar isn’t necessary.

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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?

iPhone OS 4.0 to include over 100 new features

Apple’s iPhone OS 4.0 event is on the verge of wrapping up and Jobs delivered plenty of good news for iPhone users. Over 100 new features will be included in the upcoming OS, some of which will likely change the way you currently interact with your phone. The major highlights include: Multitasking (finally!), the ability to create folders for your apps/games, iBooks for iPhone and iPod Touch, enhanced mail (all your mail will be in one inbox), the launch of Apple’s own version of Xbox Live (dubbed Game Center) and much much more. Here are some of the other more noteworthy 4.0 features and enhancements :

  • Playlist Creation
  • 5x digital zoom
  • tap to focus on video
  • Gifting of apps
  • Change the homescreen wallpaper
  • Bluetooth keyboards
  • Search SMS/MMS messages
  • iPod out
  • Websearch suggestions
  • Birthday Calendar
  • Choose Image Size in mail mesages

There is certainly a tonne of stuff to digest from the 4.0 event. Not only will we be seeing multitasking and folder support this summer, but it seems 4.0 is ready to take the iPhone to the next level. So, is OS 4.0 pretty much what you expected?