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Multitasking on iOS 4

If you’ve just downloaded the new iOS (the new name for the iPhone operating system) you might be eagerly anticipating how some of the new features affect your favourite applications, such as Yummy.

One of the headline features is multitasking. This encompasses a number of different but connected features.

The most obvious aspect is “fast task switching.” This is where you can double-tap the the home button and return to exactly the same place in the application as when you left it. Since version 2.0, launched at the beginning of last year, Yummy has had the ability to remember where you were the last time you ran it. This isn’t going away in the new version of the OS! 

People who are used to multitasking on desktop computers such as Windows and Macs might be expecting a little more than this, though. For instance, you might be expecting Yummy to be able to refresh your bookmarks in the background so that whenever you launch it they’re fully up to date.

Unfortunately that is not possible.

When we talk about multi-tasking on iOS4 Apple limits exactly what kinds of features applications can have. Apple allows VoIP apps (like Skype), GPS loggers, and music apps. What they don’t allow is periodic Internet access. I’m sure that this restriction is in place for the best of reasons — to maximise battery life — but it does mean that I cannot implement this useful feature.

I will update Yummy to take advantage of some of the features of iOS4 at some point but, unfortunately, multi-tasking is not really one of them. I hope this explains why.