Just about everyone I know who has updated to iOS 4.2 and tried out the Multitasking Bar for rapid app switching loves this new feature. I definitely do as well. But .. nearly everyone I talk to about the ‘multitasking’ of apps (which is misused term, but that’s another story) is concerned about how many apps end up running in the Multitasking Bar. They worry about what effect this has on their battery life or even on general performance of their iPad.
From what I can gather about how the Multitasking Bar works, there are a couple of things to note about apps and ‘running’ in the background via the Multitasking Bar (which I’m going to shorten to MT Bar for the rest of this post), such as:
— Very few apps are actually running in the background when you see them listed in the MT Bar. The only ones that are really running (and multitasking) are ones that use one of the very limited set of allowed background services – for example navigation apps or music apps like Pandora Radio – each of which are allowed to have a defined sort of process that can run in the background.
— The vast majority of apps that are shown in the MT Bar are just recently used apps that are ‘resident’ to some extent, but without any truly active process associated with them, but not fully closed. To fully close them you tap and hold on any one of them, wait for the apps to wiggle and show a red minus symbol above each, and tap the minus symbol for the one you want to close.
Multitasking and rapid app switching via the Multitasking Bar on the iPad are by far and away my favorite new feature that we’ve gained in the recent iOS 4.2 update. Multitasking support has been extended to a defined range of services within 3rd party apps – where previously only Apple’s built-in apps were supported. Much more importantly, we now have the ability to (very) rapidly and easily switch between apps, via the new Multitasking Bar.
This is a big timesaver when swapping between apps and a huge productivity enhancer. For me it is hands-down the outstanding new feature in the 4.2 update, and one that makes working on the iPad an infinitely better experience.
So I decided to do a quick demo on how to use the Multitasking Bar for rapid app switching on the iPad. Hope this is helpful for those of you who are just discovering this superb new feature.
At today’s special Apple event, Steve Jobs announced that iOS 4.2 will be released in November and that it is ‘all about the iPad’.
So the good news is that we now have a better timeframe for when mutlitasking and a major OS update will hit the iPad. The not so good news is that the timeframe is November. So much for hoping Fall might mean September.
iOS 4.2 will be a major update though, and as impatient as I am to see it, I know it will be well worth the wait.
Multitasking is coming to the iPad soon, via a free operating system update
So … one bit of fantastic news for the iPad today. Multitasking will be coming to it via the iPhone OS 4.0 update (iPhone OS is the operating system that both the iPad and the iPhone run) – which was previewed at Apple’s big event today. See our sister site for heaps of great coverage on the Apple event and what we learned: http://justanotheriphoneblog.com/
The not quite so fantastic news is that the iPad has to wait longer for the OS 4.0 update than the iPhone. The iPhone will get the update ‘this summer’ and the iPad ‘this fall. Still, hopefully that means right around 6 months from now.