Inside iPhone OS 4.0: Multitasking vs Mac OS X, Android

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  • Reply 21 of 110
    Sorry to be off topic a little.



    As much as Apple's tools impress me, including the new C lang and LLVM compiler, I can't help but ask myself why, in the interest of developer productivity and adoption, they haven't, at the very least, tried to give developers an alternative language.



    Having read about Objective-C, I know that it's a very thin object-oriented layer around the C language itself. This gives it advantages in that it makes it easy to call a wide variety of C libraries, but it has the jarring disadvantage, at least from my point of view, as being somewhat primitive, as well as overly verbose. Granted, there is the flexibility of being able to instantly take advantage of new C features, such as closures (blocks) pretty much instantly., whereas Sun had to design new languages with that feature, and is now going through a painful process of getting them into Java 7.



    Still, with more modern languages such as C#, Scala, and, to a lesser extent, Java abstracting away such complexities, I wonder why Apple doesn't devote resources to developing a wrapper language for Objective-C that maintains all the advantages of the Cocoa runtime, without the massive verboseness (ex header files needed for every class, as well as declaring methods and properties in each).



    Don't get me wrong, Apple does many things right. Objective-C accomplishes its objectives (no pun intended), and is a critical factor in the success of Apple's growing empire. It's just, from my perspective, not a very pretty language to use.



    Still, with their own Clang compiler without the GPL restrictions of gcc, anything's possible.
  • Reply 22 of 110
    On another topic, I saw the lack of multitasking as being the #1 disadvantage of the iPad. I see multitasking as being far more critical for the iPad than the iPhone/iPod touch because it's far more closer to a general computing device.



    Having said that, Apple's implementation of multitasking in iPhone OS 4.0 (do they need to rename it now?) does solve this particular issue adequately.
  • Reply 23 of 110
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    This may yet come. From the past Apple did not show many user based UI changes during the developer preview. Its likely more is to come when the OS is officially launched.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    That would be nice to have widget apps on the Lockscreen but I think a much more pressing need than that (or multitasking) is a robust system notification app with a running history. The current Popover only shows text from one item, and if it's too long even that gets cut off. If it pops up while you are working and hit Cancel or Ok without reading it you then have to hunt for what app it came from and what message it was. Android does this pretty well and WebOS does a great job here. If any iPhone user has an issue with iPhone OS v4.0 I think that is much more important that being able to run a full Twitter app in the background constantly.



  • Reply 24 of 110
    stormjstormj Posts: 42member
    I think it's interesting how virtually every post on every site turns into a pie fight of apple vs. anti-apple. The fact is, there is iPhone and there is Android... and there is everything else. The rest are garbage. Compared to the rest, these two are so close and the carping between the two is kinda funny.



    Android and iPhone are both amazing and benefit from each other's competition.



    For those that feel like Apple's industrial design and user experience aren't worth paying for (or for whom AT&T's user experience is worth avoiding) an Android phone is the unparalleled champ, and in a ton of ways is better than the iPhone. And if you don't care about design, the sorta clunky bigger battery models justify the extra uses Android is put to.



    Flash for Android is still vaporware at this point, promised for the "second half of 2010." So the whole Flash war is silly at this point! (And those phones that can't do 2.1 won't see it either.)
  • Reply 25 of 110
    zc456zc456 Posts: 96member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brainless View Post


    Oh, man, this is just a bad article. Regret the time spent reading it.



    If there is one part of the article I can't disagree more it is this sentence : "Apple ... own approach to multitasking that it believed to be better" Who believe this ? You ? Why ? Because Divine Steve at his speech said so ? Ridiculous. You threw no arguments to support this.



    Ahh... yes. Another one of those people who think Android is king of the hill.
  • Reply 26 of 110
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    This may yet come. From the past Apple did not show many user based UI changes during the developer preview. Its likely more is to come when the OS is officially launched.



    I hope so.
  • Reply 27 of 110
    stormjstormj Posts: 42member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post


    ***



    Having read about Objective-C, I know that it's a very thin object-oriented layer around the C language itself. This gives it advantages in that it makes it easy to call a wide variety of C libraries, but it has the jarring disadvantage, at least from my point of view, as being somewhat primitive, as well as overly verbose.



    I think if you actually tried using it in XCode, especially since Objective C 2.0 has come out, these concerns would be lessened or eliminated.



    One thing you might want to add to your consideration is the Objective C is not just C with a very thin OOP layer. Or, at least, that OOP layer is based on SmallTalk, which makes for not-so-verbose code most of the time.



    I started using it even for Linux after I got used to it when I could. I've never written anything other than the most trivial demo app for the iPhone, but on the Mac you can use XCode in a number of languages including Ruby, Python, and AppleScript.
  • Reply 28 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    The key missing component for background processing in iPhone OS 4 is time line based applications, like IM and twitter. These can run in the background on an Android phone and can nicely stack up new messages until the user wants to read them. iPhone OS 4, bizarrely, can't do this (surely the popularity of Twitter can't have escaped Jobs and co), and requires the twitter/IM client to log in anew and refresh each time the user wants to see all the new messages. The push notification system is totally usless in this case (and in most cases to be frank).



    I also think Apple are behind on glanceable information/widgets. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to have some widgets on the home page?



    I'm all for saving the battery but I'm also all for choice, and it should be my choice if I want to run IM/twitter in the background, not Steve's.



    It is your choice. Each company has their "way" of doing things. Choose the one that works for you.



    It's boring when people act like Apple has a monopoly on bread and milk. Sheesh.
  • Reply 29 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brainless View Post


    Oh, man, this is just a bad article. Regret the time spent reading it.



    If there is one part of the article I can't disagree more it is this sentence : "Apple ... own approach to multitasking that it believed to be better" Who believe this ? You ? Why ? Because Divine Steve at his speech said so ? Ridiculous. You threw no arguments to support this.



    Let's get the facts straight :



    1, Apple was late to the game, and it mostly copied the Android approach. They might call it differently, but the Apple's multitasking is not any advanced to the one in the Android.It is just copycat work not to be too far behind.



    2, There is no client-server model in Android multitasking. It is not any more difficult to do efficient background tasks on Android than with iPhone OS 4. You just don't understand the idea, that's all.



    3, Android still maintains the technological lead in the multitasking. There are some areas that weren't copied by Apple (yet), such as broadcasting the system-wide events (not the same as local notifications, although it might be extended this way in iPhone OS 5). This kind of background processing can actually help to save battery life (you do you background networking at the time some other process established - battery expensive - data connection, so you can post your tiny bit of data needed to send to remote server with almost no energy penalty. This is not copied to iPhone, i.e. iPhone is still technologically behind Android in the area of multitasking. This is reason you can't say iPhone is best multitasking mobile implementation, it is just a lie.



    4, Apple was overtaken and still plays catchup game. By the time iPhone OS 4 gets to the real users, Android will probably have version 3 released (believed to be announced on Google IO in late May). The the gap, narrowed by iPhone OS 4 will widen again.





    One quick question : are you actually paid by Apple to do this kind of marketing for them or goes this from your fanboy nature ?



    Well, which is it...? Did Apple "copy" Android multi-tasking or is Android multi-tasking better? Apple's is different. So they didn't copy. Get real. Google had a spy on Apple's board and stole Apple's ideas for the iPhone and now they want to copy the iPad like all the other crappy non innovative companies out there. Does anyone really believe Android and the other also-rans would even EXIST if it weren't for Apple????
  • Reply 30 of 110
    http://www.androidtapp.com/advanced-task-killer/



    What next? CONTROL_ALT_DELETE???????????????
  • Reply 31 of 110
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,321member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brainless View Post


    Oh, man, this is just a bad article. Regret the time spent reading it.



    If there is one part of the article I can't disagree more it is this sentence : "Apple ... own approach to multitasking that it believed to be better" Who believe this ? You ? Why ? Because Divine Steve at his speech said so ? Ridiculous. You threw no arguments to support this.



    Let's get the facts straight :



    1, Apple was late to the game, and it mostly copied the Android approach. They might call it differently, but the Apple's multitasking is not any advanced to the one in the Android.It is just copycat work not to be too far behind.



    2, There is no client-server model in Android multitasking. It is not any more difficult to do efficient background tasks on Android than with iPhone OS 4. You just don't understand the idea, that's all.



    3, Android still maintains the technological lead in the multitasking. There are some areas that weren't copied by Apple (yet), such as broadcasting the system-wide events (not the same as local notifications, although it might be extended this way in iPhone OS 5). This kind of background processing can actually help to save battery life (you do you background networking at the time some other process established - battery expensive - data connection, so you can post your tiny bit of data needed to send to remote server with almost no energy penalty. This is not copied to iPhone, i.e. iPhone is still technologically behind Android in the area of multitasking. This is reason you can't say iPhone is best multitasking mobile implementation, it is just a lie.



    4, Apple was overtaken and still plays catchup game. By the time iPhone OS 4 gets to the real users, Android will probably have version 3 released (believed to be announced on Google IO in late May). The the gap, narrowed by iPhone OS 4 will widen again.





    One quick question : are you actually paid by Apple to do this kind of marketing for them or goes this from your fanboy nature ?



    Hey Brain dead, where the hell do you think Google got the idea for Services? There is a reason they can't patent it.



    NeXT owns it. Look it up.
  • Reply 32 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stormj View Post


    I think if you actually tried using it in XCode, especially since Objective C 2.0 has come out, these concerns would be lessened or eliminated.



    I tried XCode and while there is code completion, it doesn't stack up well against Eclipse and Netbeans (again, I'm talking about the code editor, not the whole IDE).



    Quote:

    One thing you might want to add to your consideration is the Objective C is not just C with a very thin OOP layer. Or, at least, that OOP layer is based on SmallTalk, which makes for not-so-verbose code most of the time.



    Yes, but underneath Objective-C, you have C, with all of its advantages and flaws. For many things, Objective-C is more verbose than languages like Java or Ruby, because you need to define many things twice in the header file and the object file.



    I'm not speaking out of ignorance, I read a book on it and tried Objective-C programming. It's a very powerful and flexible language, but there's boilerplate (ex, object instantiation).



    Quote:

    I started using it even for Linux after I got used to it when I could. I've never written anything other than the most trivial demo app for the iPhone, but on the Mac you can use XCode in a number of languages including Ruby, Python, and AppleScript.



    To my knowledge, Ruby for Cocoa development is still limited, and is impossible for iPhone development.



    Besides, Ruby and Python are dynamic languages. Where's the alternative for somebody like myself who prefers strongly typed languages (Java, Scala, and JavaFX Script are all strongly typed).
  • Reply 33 of 110
    I think a lot of the Android vs. iPhone OS debate that occurs stems from the way the articles are written. They have quite the slant. I understand this is ?AppleInsider? and not a more generic tech site, but can?t they just report Apple news without the constant need for bias?



    At the same time, I realize many readers probably enjoy the slant, due to the psychological principle known as ?confirmation bias.? Similar to how Repubs watch Fox News and Dems watch MSNBC.



    For example:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    Because hitting the Home button no longer exits the app, Apple has now made a touch and hold shortcut that presents a red minus badge on running apps that can be used to quit them and remove them from the task tray of running apps, just like the Home button used to do. There's no manual management of apps and systems processes that could result in unanticipated problems for users.



    What? Isn?t bring up a task manager screen and tapping the red minus badge ?manually managing" apps?



    Another example:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    An Android service can also activate GPS to obtain regular location updates. This can be even more expensive in terms of battery life, as GPS exercises both the mobile network and the GPS antenna (as mobile signals are used to assist in the task of GPS tracking).



    Then they say:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    In the first case, Apple allows apps devoted to driving directions (like TomTom) to remain awake and access GPS in order to provide audible directions even when the app is put into the background. This would normally drain the battery pretty quickly, but most people who are using GPS do so in a car with a kit that supplies constant power.



    Ok, so for Android to allow navigation apps to run in the background is stupid and wastes battery, but as soon as Apple allows this it makes perfect sense because ?most people who are using GPS do so in a car with a kit that supplies constant power.? Perhaps the same could be said of GPS-using Android users?



    And then there are there are posts like these:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Some poster


    Just by the fact alone that you need a task killing app means that multitasking wasn't done properly. These are things needed to be handled by the OS.



    A) You don?t need a task killing app on Android.



    B) Are you kidding me? Do you ever quit a program on your Mac? Yes? Does that mean multitasking wasn?t done properly in Mac OS X?



    I come to this site because I love Apple, but these articles (and a fair share of posters who just lap them up) just annoy the heck out of me. Please guys, let us all be critical consumers of information. I understand there will always be divides, because people want to think the gadget they bought is the best (more psychology at work here). But I think we could discuss the "opposing sides" without being hypocritical and contradictory. Just a thought.
  • Reply 34 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post


    http://www.androidtapp.com/advanced-task-killer/



    What next? CONTROL_ALT_DELETE???????????????



    There?s a reason those apps don?t come with the phone. They aren?t necessary.



    Besides, CTRL+ALT+DELETE is just a non-pretty way of textually listing all the open apps. The iPhone OS 4 way of multitasking is basically CTRL+ALT+DELETE (the double button push) and then instead of having the names of apps, it shows the icons. So I?m really not sure what you?re trying to say here.
  • Reply 35 of 110
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post


    Well, which is it...? Did Apple "copy" Android multi-tasking or is Android multi-tasking better? Apple's is different. So they didn't copy. Get real.



    While I don't agree with any of the trollish comments Brainless made it's possible to blatantly copy something and still end up with a worse result. Exhibit A: Every version of Windows.



    Quote:

    Google had a spy on Apple's board and stole Apple's ideas for the iPhone and now they want to copy the iPad like all the other crappy non innovative companies out there.



    At this point there is no proof of that. Google bought Android in 2005. Schmidt didn't join the board until over a year later.



    Granted, Android wasn't a phone OS at the time but Apple could have and should have vetted these things before agreeing to let him sit on the board during talks about any iPhone plans. Still, Android prototypes I've seen prior to the iPhone announcement in 2007 looked like a Blackberry. It wasn't until later that Google announced plans for touch-based phone.



    My statements aren't aren't a claim to his or Google's innocence, but I think these do shed some doubt over Schidmt simply stealing ideas to best Apple when they've clearly have been and still are behind them at every turn.
    Quote:

    Does anyone really believe Android and the other also-rans would even EXIST if it weren't for Apple????



    That's why I love that Android is at least a viable alternative for those who don't like AT&T, Apple or fall into the small group that want some oddball feature that Apple hasn't offered. Keeps them from resting on their laurels.



    Referring to my previous comment, here is what Android would have looked like without the iPhone...
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post


    http://www.androidtapp.com/advanced-task-killer/



    What next? CONTROL_ALT_DELETE???????????????



    I haven't quite grasped the point of the Fast App Switcher in iPhone OS. If the APIs allow the app to still work in the background as needed and if I can hit the Home Button once and then my new app on the Home Screen for my 2nd press, how is it faster to hit the Home Button 2x and then my app in Tray for my 3rd press? The only useful feature of the Fast App Switching tray is the ability to hold down on it for 2 seconds to get the app to wobble so you can remove it from the tray and kill the threads it's using. To me, that sounds like this inclusion is a Task Killer app posing as way to switch apps quickly.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Hey Brain dead, where the hell do you think Google got the idea for Services? There is a reason they can't patent it.



    NeXT owns it. Look it up.



    If it's patented then why isn't Apple protecting it or is Google licensing it? Do you have links to these patents?
  • Reply 36 of 110
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Planet Blue View Post


    Ok, so for Android to allow navigation apps to run in the background is stupid and wastes battery, but as soon as Apple allows this it makes perfect sense because ?most people who are using GPS do so in a car with a kit that supplies constant power.? Perhaps the same could be said of GPS-using Android users?



    There seems to be a difference in the way location services are accessed between OSes. It's not a black or white issue. It's possible for one a service doing a similar function to require considerably more resources than a more efficient service. What is being stated is that Apple has found a better way to do the same thing.



    We'll have to wait and see an in-depth comparison to see how, for example, Loopt and Skype affect the usage of a Droid v. iPhone 3GS, but preliminary info does appear to indicate Apple's method as being more power efficient.
  • Reply 37 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    There seems to be a difference in the way location services are accessed between OSes. It's not a black or white issue. It's possible for one a service doing a similar function to require considerably more resources than a more efficient service. What is being stated is that Apple has found a better way to do the same thing.



    We'll have to wait and see an in-depth comparison to see how, for example, Loopt and Skype affect the usage of a Droid v. iPhone 3GS, but preliminary info does appear to indicate Apple's method as being more power efficient.



    How is the iPhone OS way more power efficient? In this particular example, both phones are just polling the GPS. Please elaborate a bit more if you can.
  • Reply 38 of 110
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Apple took their time with Cut, Copy, and Paste throughout the OS and they said it was for security reasons. Microsoft's new phone OS will not have Cut, Copy, and Paste initially for the very same reasons. Hence, Apple has real reason to delay some of the features users are complaining the most about. They wanted to get it right. If you want an example of doing it wrong then look no further than the Blackberry OS of which I own a device.
  • Reply 39 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism;






    I haven't quite grasped the point of the Fast App Switcher in iPhone OS. If the APIs allow the app to still work in the background as needed and if I can hit the Home Button once and then my new app on the Home Screen for my 2nd press, how is it faster to hit the Home Button 2x and then my app in Tray for my 3rd press? The only useful feature of the Fast App Switching tray is the ability to hold down on it for 2 seconds to get the app to wobble so you can remove it from the tray and kill the threads it's using. To me, that sounds like this inclusion is a Task Killer app posing as way to switch apps quickly.



    I think the advantage is that the switcher list is a stack of recently used apps... You can bounce back and forth among several apps with a home double-click and app icon tap....



    A lot easier than:



    -- single-click home, flip icon screens, then app icon tap



    Or



    -- slow double-click home, enter spotlight search term, tap selected app icon



    ... App switching is usually 1-2-3... Home 2x, app icon-- usually left-most (last used) app icon.



    .
  • Reply 40 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Planet Blue View Post


    What? Isn?t bring up a task manager screen and tapping the red minus badge ?manually managing" apps?



    Not in the context of the article it's not. What Dan was stating was that with a Task Killer you see all the tasks and so killing off the task say for example Chrome Browser doesn't necessarily mean Chrome Browser has fully been killed because there are other tasks that Chrome Browser uses that may not be killed off doing this method. However from what I take from the article is that Apple's way only gives the applications running and so tapping the red minus badge kills ALL tasks associated with that app. As such NO this is not manually managing apps it's just like clicking the Red X on Mac OS X not using Task Manager on Windows.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Planet Blue View Post


    Ok, so for Android to allow navigation apps to run in the background is stupid and wastes battery, but as soon as Apple allows this it makes perfect sense because ?most people who are using GPS do so in a car with a kit that supplies constant power.? Perhaps the same could be said of GPS-using Android users?



    Once again reinsert the context. Apple doesn't allow GPS to run when the phone is sleeping or when the application is in low power mode because Apple stated this will kill the battery as such they use cell tower triangulation which doesn't use any more power because that service is already running.



    Android however constantly uses the GPS signal which does use more power.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Planet Blue View Post


    A) You don?t need a task killing app on Android.



    B) Are you kidding me? Do you ever quit a program on your Mac? Yes? Does that mean multitasking wasn?t done properly in Mac OS X?



    A): You do if the app doesn't close properly and there's no other method of killing that app once you've clicked the close button or whatever. Mac OS X has one of those as well it's called Activity Monitor and it is required every so often. iPhone OS' method is more akin to Force Quit than Android's Activity Monitor method.



    B): Closing an app doesn't mean multi-tasking is done incorrectly at all it just simply means you have no use for that application anymore. Where did you come up with that ridiculous remark?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Planet Blue View Post


    I come to this site because I love Apple, but these articles (and a fair share of posters who just lap them up) just annoy the heck out of me. Please guys, let us all be critical consumers of information. I understand there will always be divides, because people want to think the gadget they bought is the best (more psychology at work here). But I think we could discuss the "opposing sides" without being hypocritical and contradictory. Just a thought.



    You do know there are other Mac related sites don't you?
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