A friend of mine once made this comment about his iPhone and eBuddy, "Without multi-tasking, I can't be constantly connected to my eBuddy on the iPhone. Once I swap to another app, there goes the connection." To that, I answered, "Are you sure you want to have eBuddy constantly active and draining power from the battery?"
And that's a question I pose once again to the addition of multi-tasking onto Apple's iPhone OS 4.0. According to Apple, the new multi-tasking feature has been optimized to the point of not affecting the iPhone's battery life and performance. Most iPhone users would agree that battery life has been one of the nagging issues, keeping them on their toes to keep the iPhone full charged. But to be fair, other phones will face the same problem, if you thoroughly abuse it with heavy internet usage.
Think about this - if you obsessively check your emails with your iPhone, do you foresee a huge dip in your battery mileage with more apps running, albeit as services in the background? If you look at any Google Android devices that plummets to sleep in less than a day with constant push notification, you'll get pretty wary.
Don't get me wrong, I'm just as glad as any iPhone user out there that we finally have multi-tasking available on the iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 3rd generation (yes, none for iPhone 3G and below). I know of people who jailbreak the iPhone for the sake of having multi-tasking, and still fervently purchase apps off the App Store. So this timely update should be able to appease some of the irrate iPhone users.
Currently, reports from the web have indicated that the iPhone OS 4.0 multi-tasking involves seven background services: background audio, Voice over IP, location services for GPS and social networking, updated push notifications with local notifications, task completion for background downloads and uploads, and fast app switching. With similar multit-tasking features and a stronger app presence than Google's Android, the iPhone will most likely regain an advantage over the green, dessert loving droid.
Hopefully, the supposedly new generation iPhone (yes, we did say hopefully) will have an improved battery life and power management to handle all the goodies that come with iPhone OS 4.0. Oh, and another thing, there's still no indication of instant messaging or Twitter multi-tasking according to Engadget. Tough luck to the abovementioned friend out there.
Seow Tein Hee / Former Associate Editor
Attuned to the latest mobile technology and news, Tein Hee is always on the lookout for innovation and creativity in the mobile industry.