iPhone OS 4.0 “Multitasking is overrated”.I couldn’t disagree more

05Jun10

App Chronicles have an article entitled Multitasking is overrated that I couldn’t disagree more with.  A few of the highlights for me:

“How could they design a tablet that only ran one app at a time? No one will want a tablet device that doesn’t multitask!
And here we are now: two months after launch and two million unitasking units later, the iPad is a certified hit.  It’s a funny old world.”
Yup, here we are, after Steve Jobs already told us that the iPad will get OS 4.0 and that OS 4.0 has an implementation of multitasking.  I’m sure a lot of people are buying it knowing that multi-tasking is promised.  Of all my personal reasons for not wanting an iPad, it’s current lack of multitasking isn’t one of them.  Part of the iPad’s attraction isn’t what it does now, it’s what it will do.
I know a few people with iPads and they all say the same thing, lack of multitasking on a tablet is a lot more jarring than lack on the iPhone.  You have more screen real estate, you have a 10 hour battery and you have a 1Ghz processor.  It’s inarguably time for multitasking at this point.  And they all know it’s coming with OS 4.0 so it’s not a barrier to buying.  I think if Steve Jobs hadn’t have announced multitasking it would have been an issue for sales.  Of course, this is a totally unprovable statement and just my view.
“What I can say for sure is that, from the point of view of someone who uses these devices everyday: it’s not some fatal flaw…When I need to, I just close one app and open another. Switching out between apps on the iPad isn’t a problem”

Just because you’ve gotten used to working without something, doesn’t mean it’s not a problem.  I’ve gotten used to not having decent copy and paste in Android’s Gmail, it’s not a fatal flaw. Doesn’t mean that now I have work arounds I shall declare copy and paste in Gmail overrated and not a problem.
The fact remains, like copy and paste, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.  Saying it’s overrated because Steve does won’t cut it.  Steve says a lot of things and then backtracks.  I’m not criticising, it’s what he is paid to do, talk up the good points of the products and convince potential buyers that it’s faults aren’t that important.  There are good reasons that features are left out of products, the battery drain and performance hit were an issue before the increased processor in the 3GS.  But multitasking means increased productivity and more efficient interaction with a device, this is not overrated.  If it were then we’d see a lot more laptops and desktops that eschew it.
A lot of people made the switch to Android for multitasking.  A lot of people jailbroke their iPhones when they reaslised Spotify wouldn’t run in the background.  When you have a use case that someone cares about, that’s when you realise the value of multi-tasking.
A multitasking iPhone is another good reason for me to consider an iPhone.  Now if they would just get rid of the need for iTunes….
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One Response to “iPhone OS 4.0 “Multitasking is overrated”.I couldn’t disagree more”

  1. 1 Jon Fatshuan

    I have to admit the Smart Adopter is rapidly becoming one of my favourite tech blogs already (though perhaps just because we think so alike and I have confirmation bias).
    I’m genuinely impressed at his writing style though. All those years of reading feeds was a constructive use of his/her time afterall.

    I hope he’s heading toward a rewarding career in tech-blogging with it.


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