PCWorld: Apple iOS multitasking ‘elegant’ vs. Google Android’s which ‘lacks grace and vision’

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!Melissa J. Perenson asks for PC World, “Which mobile OS–Android or iOS 4–makes multitasking easier?”

“As it turns out, the way Apple tackles multitasking is fundamentally different from how Google handles the job–and that difference speaks volumes about Apple’s mature interface polish as opposed to Google’s work-in-progress, developer-optimized approach,” Perenson reports.

“Android needs to take better charge of its own app management, in an integrated and cohesive fashion,” Perenson reports. “Much the way Apple has done.”

Perenson reports, “The bottom line is that, in its visual implementation, Apple’s handling of multitasking is more approachable and elegant. Android’s multitasking has the advantage of working with all apps, but the way it’s implemented lacks grace and vision.”

Full article here.


  1. Yes, it is different. Only certain types of tasks within an app are allowed to “multi-task” (keep running in the background), and they are defined in Apple’s APIs. When you switch to another app, the rest of the app (the portion that does not need to multi-task) shuts down. That is the elegance. That is why an iPad only needs 256mb of RAM to do its magic and run for 10+ hours on a charge.

  2. Edster,
    You do realize PCworld is a magazine, not an individual.
    They have various writers, usually focusing on a specific area of technology and with their own opinions-don’t you?

  3. @nekogami13

    Gee thanks for that good info. I learn new stuff on the internets every day!

    Now don’t you think maybe that a writer should spend a little time reading the articles posted by their colleagues? Was Mary absent the day Joe was assigned to write the hit piece on Apple during an editorial meeting? This article was just posted a couple of days ago.

    At least, the author should acknowledge and/or refute the supposedly well researched claims of a co-worker.

  4. @ken1w

    You DO realize that iOS4 won’t be released for the iPad until the Fall.
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Why does IOS 4 background each application when I hit the home button on my phone? I thought you would be able to choose which apps you want in background by double-tapping the home button.

    It seems wasteful to background every app instead of just the few I want. I hope Apple addresses this in a future software update.

  6. @ Mr. Reeee

    Yes, but an iPad with iPhone OS 3.x is still multi-tasking in the same way, for the Apple-originated apps that already multi-task. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  7. Guys, if you go over to PC Mag and look at the comments, they’re brutal. All these programmer geeks freaking out that it’s not true multitasking, etc.

    Like the average Joe gives a crap.

    What a bunch of losers.

  8. Re: JoeKnows

    once you are in the multitasking window hold on one of the icons and you can click the minus sign and that app will stop multitasking. You can leave the few you want running. I like that way you can fast app switch to any app that is “Running” in the background. no more start-up screens.

  9. @JoeKnows
    “It seems wasteful to background every app instead of just the few I want. I hope Apple addresses this in a future software update.”

    Apple’s implementation of multitasking essentially sleeps/freezes an app and puts it into the background unless the app was written specifically to do something in the background.

    I don’t believe it drains your battery or resources if they are idle in the background.

  10. This may not work as well for the iPad, but for the iPhone and iTouch, how about a simple one or two-fingered swipe from side to side to switch apps. Or would that be too simple and convenient? Boy, talk about overthinking the whole thing. I think they ALL blew it.

    MDN Magic Word: methods as in “their methods could be much simpler”

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