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Report: iPhone 4.0 software to support multitasking

Apple will introduce a "full-on solution" to multitasking in version 4.0 of the iPhone operating system, according to a new report.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor on

Love Apple's iPhone, but envy Android and Palm users who can run more than one app at the same time?

According to a new AppleInsider report, that's going to change this summer. Apple will introduce a "full-on solution" to multitasking in version 4.0 of the iPhone operating system.

Questions that remain once Apple flips the multitask switch:

  • How the iPhone will conserve resources and battery life
  • How the interface will manage notifications and switching between apps
  • If there will be a limit to how many apps a user can have open
  • What part push alerts will play now that apps can run in the background

According to the report, Apple plans to deliver a multitasking manager that uses interface technology found in its Mac OS X operating system.

As a reminder, the iPhone can technically already multitask. But Apple artificially restricts third-party apps from doing so.

The feature could really help geolocation apps (Google Latitude, Foursquare, etc.) take off, as well as music streaming such as Pandora and ZDNet corporate cousin Last.fm.

The AppleInsider report raises questions about security -- after all, if an app is running in the background, it could be running without the user being aware of it -- but I don't think this is much of an issue, given Apple's tight restrictions on content for the device.

One last tidbit: the solution has "quite a way to go" before it's ready for prime time.

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