RUMOR: iPhone 4.0 to Have Multitasking with Expose-like Interface
Posted on March 31, 2010 by eli courey
AppleInsider’s sources claim that the upcoming iPhone 4.0 firmware will support multitasking with an interface which resembles Apple’s desktop Expose feature. The iPhone currently doesn’t support background processes for third-party apps. Apple has been able to get around the need for it on many apps with Push Notifications and the ability to quickly suspend apps and resume them almost immediately. Even with these features, background processes is something many people have been waiting for on the iPhone, especially with Android and Palm webOS having this capability.
The upcoming 4.0 reference release of Apple’s iPhone OS will deliver new support for running multiple concurrent third party apps, and allow users to switch between them using a windows management mechanism similar to one made popular on the company’s Mac OS X operating system.
The technology, detailed by people familiar with Apple’s plans for the new firmware, will finally allow users to launch multiple apps in the background and quickly switch between them, asAppleInsider exclusively reported earlier this month. Currently, a running app must be quit when the user returns to the Home screen.
Apple initially avoided an app model supporting multiple apps running at once to help preserve battery life and simplify the user experience. Other platforms that do support the launching of multiple apps, including Android and Windows Mobile, require users to manually manage system resources and kill off performance robbing background tasks.
Those familiar with the design of iPhone 4.0 said that the user interface will resemble Apple’s desktop Expose feature, in that a key combination — reportedly hitting the Home button twice — will trigger an expose-like interface that brings up a series of icons representing the currently running apps, allowing users to quickly select the one they want to switch to directly. When a selection is made, the iPhone OS zooms out of the Expose task manager and transitions to that app.
Apple patented the Mac OS X Expose concept in 2005, but the desktop implementation relies upon scaling each application’s widows so that they all fit into the screen in a single layer without any overlap.
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