The Flying Developer

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28 Jan 2010
The iPad Doesn't Need Multi-Tasking

Lots of people have been quick to point out that Apple’s new iPad (a name which could have been better chosen) will lack multitasking support - just like the iPhone. I don’t think that this is going to be a problem.

Firstly, what kinds of activities were Apple showing off in the keynote? Let’s see:

  • Reading a book

  • Watching a film

  • Answering/Writing email

  • Browsing the web

  • Playing a video game

  • Listening to music

With the exception of the last item, I don’t think I’d want to combine any of those two tasks, especially on the same device. Who watches a movie while they’re trying to read a book? Even if I do want to switch between two such activities - Look up the name of an actor in the movie I’m watching for example - I’d have to pause/save/bookmark my movie/game/page in order to do so. Even if I could keep my movie playing while I did a search on the web, I wouldn’t want to: I’d miss some of the action!

Music is an exception that should be addressed, and indeed already has. Like the iPhone, you can play music ‘in the background’ while you do other things. Problem solved! The same can be said for services that need notification; Mail, Twitter, etc. Can all notify you that a message has arrived without interrupting the current task.

The iPad is definitely not for everyone, but anyone who is on the fence shouldn’t be too concerned by the lack of multi-tasking. When you’re buried in your favourite book or watching the climactic scene of a movie you won’t care.

Thanks for reading! If you like my writing, you may be interested in my book: Healthy Webhook Consumption with Rails

David at 00:01


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