Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Why people want to multi-task on phones??

Recently I've been reading about the advantages/disadvantages of different phone models from different companies and I've realised that the inability to multi-task on iPhone Apps have been cited most often as a must-have.

This is the part that puzzles me because when I was using a Windows Mobile phone a long long time ago, I've always make sure the application exits whenever I close a window. I personally find that the mobile phone is too small to effectively multi-task. Form factor is small and sooner or later, you will not know what applications you have running in the background and which applications are the ones draining your battery. It's also super unfriendly to find out what applications are currently running in the background.

I felt that instead, iPhone developers should be educated that there is also another way to "multi-task" on the iPhone. It's called saving the current state of the app.

The concept is very simple. Look at your Messages app. Type a SMS halfway and close the app. Re-open the Messages app and you're back to exactly where you have left off. This is how an iPhone app is suppose to work. However, look at the apps in the AppStore and you'll find very few people developing this functionality in the app. Few developers realised that this is the answer to multi-tasking. The ability to allow the user to quit the application to answer the phone or send an SMS, and get back to the app exactly where they have left off.

It's already possible and few people are using it. To me, this is very similar to the effect of multi-tasking. If you combine push notifications while saving the state of your app when it exits, you can boast to the rest of the developers that your application can be multi-tasked on an iPhone.

That's a real pity.

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