Evidence is mounting that the iPhone will soon be getting a highly-requested feature: multitasking. This will allow users of Apple’s smartphone to run several third-party applications at the same time.
As it stands now, Apple’s own apps are able to run in the background, but third-party apps close when the user switches to another. Several sources indicate that this is going to change soon.
Apple recently released the software development kit for the next version of the iPhone OS. People combing through this have found references to multitasking scattered throughout it — references that are new in version 3.2.
Full Multitasking Coming Soon?
In addition, there’s a new unconfirmed report citing unnamed but supposedly reliable sources which says Apple is going to bring full multitasking support to the next version of the iPhone OS.
Part of this will be a new system to make it easy for users to switch between currently running apps.
This will reportedly be included in iPhone OS 4.0, which will debut this summer.
Why the Change?
This operating system has been technically capable of offering multitasking from its inception, but this feature has been blocked because of concerns over performance. Running a half dozen apps simultaneously puts a strain on the smartphone, degrading performance and using up battery life.
It’s not clear at this point why Apple has decided to reverse course and allow support for multitasking in iPhone OS 4.0 — assuming that’s what it is doing, of course/