Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Dec 2017 23:36 UTC
Google

Android applications, running on either Android itself or on Chrome OS, pause whenever they're not in focus. While this makes sense on a phone, this doesn't make a whole lot of sense on desktop machines such as Chromebooks. As such, Google is addressing this shortcoming with Parallel Tasks.

With that in mind, the expected behavior of an open app is that it would remain active and running even when the user clicks to another window. Coming from Windows, Linux, or Mac OS, this is what users expect and it is a bit confusing unless you understand what is happening.

Parallel tasks on Android allow the OS to keep everything running and open until you pause the activity or close the app down. Again, with Chrome OS, this is much easier to manage. Just click the "X" on the app and it is closed. Simple.

Nothing groundbreaking in and of itself, obviously, but a hugely important 'feature' to have on a laptop or desktop.

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v Android feels like hasty fiddling
by _LC_ on Fri 29th Dec 2017 08:10 UTC
_LC_ Member since:
2017-12-16

Wait - now there's an idea - send me one as a present and I'll sell the brick (no warranty:-).

Reply Score: 0

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Regarding the multitasking issues iOS had in its first incarnations when Android had none (it even had copy/paste and mms to begin with). Who said Android was a half backed operating system ?

Reply Score: 1

CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

To be fair, Android has plenty of things that iOS doesn't have - intents, a mouse pointer, etc. It had keyboard support from the beginning. Android also seems like its accessibility infrastructure is way better than iOS (though I'm not sure it's taken advantage of as much as iOS apps) - text and various UI just scales better for those who need larger text. Everything gets ugly on iOS pretty quickly if you start messing with that stuff.

It's not that Android was hastily put together to stave off iOS - it was hastily converted from a completely different form factor (Palm/BlackBerry) to the screen thing users expect today.

I'm switching back to a feature phone anyway, so I have no horse in the race!

Reply Score: 2

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Oh, you're of the kind just eager to get the job done. Me too, that's why I'm using android 4.

Reply Score: 0

Verenkeitin Member since:
2007-07-01

Android feels like somebody's gotten up on the wrong foot. Can you remember when the API didn't even have a number-picker even though Google used them all over?


I'm not sure what widget you mean by number-picker, but last time I did android development, it still didn't have an actual number input field. What it had was a text input that you could set to accept only numbers and a decimal separator. Then you write the code to convert between inputted strings and number types (with proper localization of course).

Haven't done any IOS development, but in Android development, everything feels like an ugly workaround.

Reply Score: 3

_LC_ Member since:
2017-12-16

A number-picker is a number input optimized for touch, typically like this:

https://i.stack.imgur.com/kS8Fa.png

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I'd rather just have a normal text input with keyboard limited to numbers.

What is that really useful for? An input where the most likely number is 1 or 2? Anymore than that and you're asking for more touches than necessary.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Sat 30th Dec 2017 10:35 UTC
Sidux
Member since:
2015-03-10

It should be called multi-window mode support in ChromeOS (i.e something that is already present in Android and other custom implementations of it).
Neither mobile OS offer "true" parallelism or concurrency for that matter no matter what media usually writes about.
There are so many problems with it but yeah it is a step in the right direction to say at least.

Reply Score: 2

spinnekopje
Member since:
2008-11-29

They do not always pause when switching to another window. If you use alt+tab to a chrome window the app is not paused. I do not know since when, but I've never known otherwise. I do use it for switching between youtube (app) and a secure shell window quite often.
It will be nice to see the same behaviour no matter which way you use to switch windows/apps.

Reply Score: 3

spinnekopje Member since:
2008-11-29

I want to add more to my comment after a quick test:
The android system within chromeos can/could only run 1 app simultaniously. So you can easily switch between the browser itself and one android app, but if you switch between android apps there is only one active.
I've toggled the setting to run them in parallel, so I'm curious about the results in real life.

Reply Score: 2