RUMOR: Apple’s iPhone 4.0 to support third-party multitasking via Exposé-like interface

Run Windows on Mac OS X with no reboot!“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,” Kasper Jade and Prince McLean report for AppleInsider.

“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, as AppleInsider exclusively reported earlier this month. Currently, a running app must be quit when the user returns to the Home screen,” Jade and McLean report.

“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,” Jade and McLean report. “Today’s iPhone 3.x firmware is a fully preemptive multitasking operating system, but it artificially restricts apps (other than specific ones bundled with the system by Apple) from running in the background.”

Jade and McLean report, “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.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Andrew W.” for the heads up.]


  1. If this is true, this sounds like a great UI approach for managing multiple apps running.

    HOWEVER – this doesn’t answer the question of whether or not the user will be made aware of apps which want to run in the background. I very much hope that Apple will be smart, and make each app ask for permission in the same way they have to ask permission for notification alerts. I’m also hopeful that there will be a central location these permissions can be reviewed and modified from, as with push notifications.

  2. I’d say it’s safe to implement, I wonder how they will give you initial control over what u want to keep running, it could be eneficial to some, I could honestly live without it

  3. I also wonder how one will quit a running app instead of leaving it running while switching to another app? Maybe, in Expose mode, you can press and hold an icon and get the same X you get when you press & hold icons on the home screen to delete them. Instead of deleting them, you just would just be able to close them.

    It will be great to see what they come up with…

  4. @R2

    If you don’t like Apple’s products/methods, then go get an Android or save your loose change and get the Windows Phone 7 units…they’re bound to be much better! After all, isn’t that what America is all about, consumer choice?

  5. My battery barely last a day now.

    Multiple apps at once, I will have to be constantly charge my iPhone.

    Would love a new iPhone 4.0 this summer, but I can only get an upgrade very two years from ATT so I will have to wait for iPhone 4.5 next summer.

  6. @deepdish

    If you have a smartphone and paying about $100 a month then you only have to wait 18 months to upgrade.

    Unless they changed things.. so maybe you can get one at 4.25 instead 😀

  7. Isn’t double clicking the home button the user-defined shortcut ? It’s often configured to quickly select the camera mode.

    I’m not at all convinced that Apple would take away that shortcut and replace it with a multi-task switcher. At the very least, I would expect the multi=task switcher to be one of the options for double clicking the home button, bat that means that there would have to be another way to access it if you don’t use the shortcut.

  8. I think at&t;will be a little forgiving on the upgrade front like they were last year. Losing their exclusive may make it more likely that they would try and get an extra year out of folks who whose contract might be up in a year or less.

  9. I hope it’s something else than double-clicking the Home button. My 6-month-old iPod touch’s Home button has become defective probably because my using it to bring up the mini-iPod controls too often.

    Jobs is right in abhoring buttons.

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