Beth Callaghan

Recent Posts by Beth Callaghan

With iPhone OS 4, Apple Joins the Multitasking Party

Since the launch of the iPhone’s competitors, the most valid claim for operating system superiority has been the iPhone’s lack of multitasking. Both Palm’s (PALM) webOS and Google’s (GOOG) Android have offered such functionality from the start.

Apple’s main concern about multitasking has always been its negative effect on battery life. But this morning, noting that “we weren’t the first to this party, but we’re going to be the best,” Steve Jobs announced that iPhone OS 4 will, indeed, offer multitasking.

No real specifics yet on how the company overcame the power issue, but SVP of Software Scott Forstall took the stage to talk about seven multitasking services that will be available to developers:

  • Background audio streaming
  • Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP)
  • Background location
  • Push notifications
  • Local notifications
  • Task completion
  • Fast app switching

Jobs noted that multitasking will be available only for the iPhone 3GS, third-generation iPod touch and iPad.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik