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  1. #41  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
    It multitasks from my perspective as i'm one of those end users.

    You just don't see it happening visually, whether it be an icon, a tab or card, or list of open processes.

    But if you open up email, start typing an email, leave it unfinished, go to safari, load a webpage, copy n paste, go back to email and paste, go back to safari and copy some more with the page still loaded, go back to email and paste again, go to pictures, copy, back to email again, paste and send it. All done with music playing in background.

    Though its all done opening and closing apps (which is nearly instant), the processes are still working in background. You're still in essence switching between active programs to finish a task.

    All Apple really has to do is make it visual and allow 3rd party apps.
    Are you sure the processes still run in the background and it's not just the phone saving the state of the apps, closing them and then re-opening them at the previous state?
  2. #42  
    Quote Originally Posted by windzilla View Post
    I just wish we could know that for certain and with some timeframe.
    Wish in one hand, crap in the other, see which fills up first.
  3. s219's Avatar
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    #43  
    Quote Originally Posted by symos View Post
    Are you sure the processes still run in the background and it's not just the phone saving the state of the apps, closing them and then re-opening them at the previous state?
    The apps are running -- look at the output of "top" I posted in the image up above. Anything that shows up with a live process ID is running. This is standard operation for a unix-based OS, like iPhoneOS.

    The only apps that save state are third party apps (they are not allowed to run in the background) or core apps that received a memory warning and shut down (to free up memory for another app that requested it). But all other apps run live in the background.
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    #44  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
    All Apple really has to do is make it visual and allow 3rd party apps.
    And that is the problem, 3rd party apps are what made the iPhone a success and Apple limits you to running one at a time. What point does multi-tasking have if it can't be used with the 85,000 apps in the app store? There are virtually unlimited scenarios where multitasking would be helpful with 3rd party apps but that is not an option which is a shame.
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    #45  
    Quote Originally Posted by abhinandanjain View Post
    GPU access is mainly restricted by not having a driver for OpenGL ES in Linux. I'm sure Palm's working on it. And as far as WebGL is concerned, I'm sure that's a positive for developers who want to code games/flashy apps.

    Palm won't need WebGL to enable GPU access for its code. Most of its code is low-level already and accesses many hardware functions directly - why not the GPU once the driver is available? Please correct me if I'm wrong here..
    The software interface for the GPU -- in other words, the language that it receives commands/instructions in -- is OpenGL ES. If you want to send a render task to the GPU, it needs to be coded up in OpenGL. That's why I mentioned above that they can't just "turn it on" to see benefit. The software also has a role.
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    #46  
    Quote Originally Posted by jayzun View Post
    You can show all the pretty graphs you want, but the fact of the matter is that the iPhone, outside of playing music, is unable to multitask for all intents and purposes. You can play the semantics game all you want.
    Well, if you knew anything about what the top command is or what unix processes are, that image would be indisputable proof. No semantics at all. And by the way, the graphs aren't even relevant, the top output is in the lower section of the image, where you can see all the tasks, their names, their cpu usage, and their memory.

    This is relevant to the discussion because a point was made that webOS is possibly slow because of multi-tasking and iPhone is possibly fast because of no multi-tasking. But that's not the case at all. The iPhone has to balance multiple tasks just like the webOS. The only difference is that webOS will let you run multiple third-party tasks that can hammer the CPU into the ground, whereas Apple does not. They only let their core apps (mail, web, iPod, notifications, phone, etc) run in the background. On the iPhone, third-party apps can only run in front. They are still bound to share CPU with any other background tasks though. You can see that in the top output, where Google Earth is running in front and takes most, but not all, of the CPU.
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       #47  
    Well if the resolution is as (relatively) simple is repartioning the ram allocated to media, why isn't that something that Palm is letting its users do? I'd really like to see a switch under device info/preferences/system info that let you manually resize /var and ram allocation.

    I guess I'm talking about step #697 of #10000 that Palm needs to do to bring the Pre up to speed.
  8. #48  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    Well, if you knew anything about what the top command is or what unix processes are, that image would be indisputable proof. No semantics at all. And by the way, the graphs aren't even relevant, the top output is in the lower section of the image, where you can see all the tasks, their names, their cpu usage, and their memory.
    Well, not really. From what I saw, other than GoogleEarth, all the processes listed were the base processes for the OS. Even DOS could have multiple processes running but no one would consider DOS to be a multi-tasking application.
    Terry Rodecker

    Palm Pilot -> Palm V -> Treo 650 -> Treo 700p -> 700wx -> ppc6700 -> BB 8830 -> Pre -> iPhone (company requirement) -> TouchPad
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    #49  
    Quote Originally Posted by strudel View Post
    And that is the problem, 3rd party apps are what made the iPhone a success and Apple limits you to running one at a time. What point does multi-tasking have if it can't be used with the 85,000 apps in the app store? There are virtually unlimited scenarios where multitasking would be helpful with 3rd party apps but that is not an option which is a shame.
    There is one good reason, and that's because of the wide, wide range of apps possible and available for the iPhone. Not all of those apps should be allowed to run in the background (see example below). Apple would need to integrate tighter control over those apps and provide events so the apps can receive a "you were put into the background" notice from the OS. And then developers would need to observe those events and make sure their apps throttled back and behaved nicely.

    There are limited hooks in the iPhone SDK already, to let third party apps gracefully pause when a call comes in, and to quit if the user takes a call. These would need to be expanded with some sort of "you're in the background now" event, and explicitly obeyed by all the third party developers.

    The classic example I like to give is a sophisticated game like "Real Racing" by Firemint. This is an amazing game with OpenGL, OpenAL, and very heavy content (many cars on screen, rich graphical content, etc). This app would kill any device (iPhone or Pre) if it was simply allowed to run in the background as-is. Were Apple to give third party apps background ability, a game like Real Racing would need to pause, stop sending rendering commands to the GPU, release it's fullscreen graphics context, and go into a sort of hibernation. Otherwise, it would not be a good multi-task citizen. Then it would need to be able to resume gameplay when brought to the front. This capability is not hard to do, and it's already there in limited form. It's just not used by Apple for background traffic cop stuff right now.

    And the Pre? Well, there are no equivalent apps on the Pre to make a comparison with. But if there were a game like RR on the Pre, it would absolutely have to go into a hibernation state when not in front. At the very least, it would have to give up it's full-screen grip on rendering if you want other stuff to draw without killing the CPU/GPU.

    If you have read info about the upcoming Flash on the Pre, or seen the demo videos, you'll notice they make a point about Flash apps being suspended when they are not the front card. Same sort of consideration. It would be foolish to let them run in the background because it would kill the device. I think Flash will be the closest the Pre comes to a sophisticated, resource hungry type of application that demonstrates why some traffic cop oversight is necessary.
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    #50  
    Quote Originally Posted by trodecke View Post
    Well, not really. From what I saw, other than GoogleEarth, all the processes listed were the base processes for the OS. Even DOS could have multiple processes running but no one would consider DOS to be a multi-tasking application.
    All I can do is explain this and show the proof. But seriously, this is exactly the same thing you'd see on a unix box.

    With Google Earth in front, I also see the iPod, Phone, Mail, Safari, Springboard, and DTservices (developer tools) apps running in the background. Anything with a capitalized name is an app. Anything with a lower case name is a background process or daemon.
  11. fid
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    #51  
    Quote Originally Posted by strudel View Post
    And that is the problem, 3rd party apps are what made the iPhone a success and Apple limits you to running one at a time. What point does multi-tasking have if it can't be used with the 85,000 apps in the app store? There are virtually unlimited scenarios where multitasking would be helpful with 3rd party apps but that is not an option which is a shame.
    I disagree. There are very few scenarios where multitasking would be more helpful on the iPhone (more than Apple already supports). Message notification (and eventually background processing) will handle most problems better. Do you want AIM loaded all the time (even when you are not using it?) or just on demand.

    Talk on the phone while browsing on 3G, iPhone can do. listen to music while playing a game or reading a book, iPhone can do. Play 2 games at once, iPhone can't do. Most folks can't multi-task that way anyway. In most cases, as already stated, the game 'state' is saved between.

    Regardless, as the hardware becomes faster and more power efficient (maybe within 2 years) it will be easy for Apple to allow 2 or 3 third-party programs to run through a switching scheme like WebOS.

    Apple has always been obsessed with 'butter' smooth and are not going to give that up. Even the Pre's hickups on memory/GPU affect things such as game design (and play) and music playback. It's up to the user to decide which they prefer.
  12. #52  
    Quote Originally Posted by fid View Post
    I disagree. There are very few scenarios where multitasking would be more helpful on the iPhone (more than Apple already supports). Message notification (and eventually background processing) will handle most problems better. Do you want AIM loaded all the time (even when you are not using it?) or just on demand.

    Talk on the phone while browsing on 3G, iPhone can do. listen to music while playing a game or reading a book, iPhone can do. Play 2 games at once, iPhone can't do. Most folks can't multi-task that way anyway. In most cases, as already stated, the game 'state' is saved between.

    Regardless, as the hardware becomes faster and more power efficient (maybe within 2 years) it will be easy for Apple to allow 2 or 3 third-party programs to run through a switching scheme like WebOS.

    Apple has always been obsessed with 'butter' smooth and are not going to give that up. Even the Pre's hickups on memory/GPU affect things such as game design (and play) and music playback. It's up to the user to decide which they prefer.
    A CDMA iPhone couldn't do this. Only GSM phones can, that is a limitation CDMA, not phones like the Pre.
  13. fid
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    #53  
    Quote Originally Posted by Elysian893 View Post
    A CDMA iPhone couldn't do this. Only GSM phones can, that is a limitation CDMA, not phones like the Pre.
    You're right but the fact is iPhone can and the Pre can't (for people looking for absolutes). They don't care about CDMA and GSM. They only know that they are able to lookup showtimes for their favorite movie while talking on the phone.
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       #54  
    So if we combined diomarks repartitioning of the /tmp RAM and added GPU access, how much better would this phone be?

    A more pertinent question might be: how long is it going to take Palm to make these changes?
  15. #55  
    Quote Originally Posted by fid View Post
    You're right but the fact is iPhone can and the Pre can't (for people looking for absolutes). They don't care about CDMA and GSM. They only know that they are able to lookup showtimes for their favorite movie while talking on the phone.
    The iPhone won't be able to when it comes to a CDMA carrier either, it's an asinine comparison, and not one people think about when purchasing an iPhone. Also, if the Pre goes to a GSM carrier in the states, this argument is again, out the window.
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    #56  
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefy View Post
    So if we combined diomarks repartitioning of the /tmp RAM and added GPU access, how much better would this phone be?

    A more pertinent question might be: how long is it going to take Palm to make these changes?
    Realistically, mid 2010 is the earliest I'd expect GPU usage, based on the webGL project timeline.
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       #57  
    Ugh. 9 months for that?
  18. #58  
    Quote Originally Posted by Elysian893 View Post
    It also means that one day, we'll get an upgrade that makes it feel like we got a brand new phone
    Thing is, will any of us still be using the Pre by the time this 'super upgrade' comes? (If it ever will)

    I know in my case the day I got the Pre a 1yr countdown began.
  19. #59  
    Quote Originally Posted by bryanharig View Post
    Thing is, will any of us still be using the Pre by the time this 'super upgrade' comes? (If it ever will)

    I know in my case the day I got the Pre a 1yr countdown began.
    You don't think it'd come around before that year is up? I admit the countdown began for me as well, but that's because I like to upgrade when my upgrade comes around

    Seriously, with Palm having been so close to going under, do you think they'd waste the money to put the GPU in this phone and never use it? I guarantee you they would not, it would make 0 sense to do that, from a monetary perspective. Give them time.
    Last edited by Elysian893; 10/16/2009 at 11:49 AM.
  20. #60  
    Quote Originally Posted by bryanharig View Post
    Thing is, will any of us still be using the Pre by the time this 'super upgrade' comes? (If it ever will)

    I know in my case the day I got the Pre a 1yr countdown began.
    Normally my wife would get my hand-me-down, but she's probably going to get the Pixi when it comes out (November?), so she won't want my Pre. She usually gets my old phones because she doesn't care, but she really likes the Pixi from what she's seen/read. She likes the Pre but not the form factor.

    Guess I'll have to eBay it when the time comes.

    /Kevin
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