Apple Insider yesterday told us that the expected 4.0 release of iPhone OS will deliver new support for running multiple concurrent third-party apps. According to the report, users will be able to switch between running apps using a system similar to Expose in OS X.
The report mentions that today’s iPhone 3.x firmware is a fully preemptive multitasking operating system but includes artificial restrictions on most third-party apps. It offers only limited multi-tasking on some of the built-in apps such as phone and iPod.
Multi-tasking, together with Flash Player, has been slated repeatedly by Apple as a processor hog. At the time of the phone’s launch in 2007 the simple, uncomplicated single-tasking interface undoubtedly added to stability and probably did much to popularise the new touch phone among the general population. The vast majority of users probably don’t even know they need multi-tasking. Now, however, competition from Android and Windows 7 operating systems means that Apple have to join the party
For iPhone, here, read iPad. In fact, I feel sure that the enhancements in iPhone OS 4.0 are driven largely by the need to give the new kid more of a computer feel. And as I have said before, the moniker "iPhone OS" is now redundant and needs to be changed as soon as possible. What we have, in reality, is iTouch OS with the iPhone, the iPod Touch and the iPad being merely clients. What's the betting Apple will rename the OS when 4.0 is announced?