Originally Posted by teckstud
Let's talk battery life once you start recording video on your iPhone.
Which would you rather have to drain that battery -video or multi Apps?
A while back I linked to a discussion at Ars wherein an iPhone developer (of the very well received "Now Playing" app) discusses why he, as a developer, wouldn't want Apple to allow third party multi-tasking at current hardware levels, and how that very issue has proven to be a pain in the ass when developing for Android.
His argument boils down to this: a phone is a hideously constrained development environment, where memory and CPU cycles are at an intense premium. If "background apps" can steal cycles/ram, it means his
app, when open, is going to take a performance hit, and he
doesn't have any control over that. But the user
only knows that the app is dog slow, or decides that there's something wrong with the phone.
He describes his experience with developing for Android, where this very thing happens.
So when it comes to "multitasking", a hardware manufacturer has several choices: they can open it up so that anyone who want to write an app that runs in the background can do so, and leave it up to the user to figure out what's gone wrong when an app misbehaves-- as indicated by terrible battery life, shitty performance, or both.
Or, they can allow "some" multitasking, by either severely vetting candidate apps, or limiting how many apps can run in the background or both. Apple will likely take this route at some point.
Or you can do what Palm has done, which is to use a lightweight OS that puts fewer demands on the processor/battery/ram, but at the expense of limiting the depth of apps that can be run.
Even then, we don't know yet what the battery life for the Pre will be like, or what mechanisms are in place to insure that a misbehaving app doesn't completely kill performance/battery life, or how a user would go about identifying/killing such an app.
A lot of the "multitasking" discussion is rolling forward from the state of things a few years ago, when it was considered perfectly acceptable to subject the user to a "task manager" and expect him/her to figure out were the trouble lay and kill off processes accordingly.
That kind of thing is why, until the iPhone, "smartphones" lived in their little geek ghetto.
Plenty of enthusiasts posting on the internet think it would be great to have granular control over their phones processes, and don't see it a drawback if they are in fact obliged
to utilize such control, or have their phone not work very well.
But in the iPhone era this is no longer good enough. The average user (and yes, I mean average, not stupid or trendy or sheep like or toy loving, just normal folks) want their phone to work for them, not the other way around, no matter how much that offends the Gizmodo commentariat.
So to answer the "what about video, huh" thing: I get to choose when I record video, and I can make a pretty reliable calculation as to how that is going to effect battery life. With background processes, unless I spend a lot of time monitoring my phone's innards and manually managing tasks, things can happen without my permission or knowledge that are simply going to seem to me as if the app/phone is broken.
Apple will never allow that to happen.