Support for running third-party apps in the background was added to the iOS last year, and now information leaking out of Asia indicates that Apple is going to modify the way iPhone users control concurrently-running apps. The underlying process isn’t going to change, but the user interface will.
As it stands now, with iOS 4.3, users tap on the Home Button twice to bring up a small window at the bottom of the iPhone’s screen containing four icons for the software that’s currently running in the background. According to the unconfirmed report, this is set to be replaced: when users double-tap the on the Home Button, a full screen window will open displaying nine small screenshots of background applications. Tapping and holding on one of the screenshots will enable the user to close that specific app.
The source for this leaked information says that this modification will be part of an an upcoming update to iOS 4, and won’t wait until the release of iOS 5. It could even debut with the launch of the white iPhone 4, which is expected in the near future, possibly before the end of this month.
As with all unconfirmed reports, this could be a deliberate hoax, but it might not be. The source for the leaked video, the Vietnamese site tinhte.vn, has published unconfirmed reports in the past that were later proved to be true.
Although the new multitasking user interface is shown running on a white iPhone 4, it should also be coming to Apple’s other iOS-based devices, the iPad and iPod touch. That’s assuming this leaked video real, of course, and not a hoax.