Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Fri 15th Apr 2011 10:24 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Ever since iPhoneOS (now iOS) has been released, there's an old fight going on about how multitasking should work on personal computers, and more specially what should happen to applications which are put in the background. Some advocate that they should be dipped in virtual liquid nitrogen and stop doing anything, like on iOS, which others advocate that they should continue to run in the background, like on desktop OSs. What about putting a little more flexibility in there?
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RE[4]: Comment by OSbunny
by polaris20 on Fri 15th Apr 2011 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by OSbunny"
Member since:

"Apple's solution has been to point to a task switcher UI and say, "Look! multitasking!" No, it isn't.

Not quite. It's a bit more interesting. As has been mentioned multiple times, iOS 4 offers a number of hacks that allow to get around the "one task at a time" limitation for very specific purposes.

As an example, Skype for iOS works using such a hack, called "voip mode".

The thing is, it's not a sustainable model, because as more people figure out what they can develop, Apple will have to add more and more hacks or to ban more and more applications. But who could explain that to them ?

Right, Skype works that way, as does the Cisco client for iOS. And because of that, my battery while running either one of those in the background is at 50% by noon. Right now, with otherwise same usage but no VoIP client running? 90%.

I'm not in favor of tinkering with how multitasking runs on desktop OSes, but I prefer how iOS does it at this point, for everything but VoIP. If they extended that to all apps, I'd spend most my day killing apps due to battery suckage.

I already got rid of my Android phone because its battery life was terrible. I don't want to deal with that again. It's a phone, and at the end of the day, I need to make phone calls.

It does become a touchier subject when you get to tablets though.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by OSbunny
by Neolander on Fri 15th Apr 2011 19:37 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by OSbunny"
Neolander Member since:

Of course they eat lots of power ! They need a network connection to be permanently on in order to work, how could it work another way ? Those applications simply cannot work without true multitasking, so it's unfair to blame multitasking here, it's as if you were comparing battery life when making phone calls with standby battery time and concluded that phone calls' power consumption sucks, it's just not right.

That being says, your "keep closing apps" nightmare does show that the way many phones manage apps is broken. The "let's put everything in the background as a default setting" philosophy is just wrong, because it encourages wasting resources. If you don't need an app, you should close it. If closing apps is not intuitive, it's a design failure. Switching between opened tasks should be the exception, not the default.

Edited 2011-04-15 19:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1