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  1. #61  
    Quote Originally Posted by Light and Shadow View Post
    Malatesta wrote: "The iPhone avoids it altogether by acting like PalmOS. But how would *you* enable multi-tasking and app switching on the iPhone? I'm all ears..."

    I'm not sure how you've come to the conclusion that the iPhone doesn't multitask. Mail can be fetching and sending new messages while Safari is downloading a webpage in the background and I'm reading another. I've even installed Unix server applications, such as the Apache webserver, on my iPhone and served web pages over Wi-Fi while talking on the phone.

    The iPhone doesn't explicitly indicate which apps are running because it's not necessary to do so. You can switch between applications by tapping it's icon in Springboard.

    In other words, the lack of a task manager doesn't mean a device is less advanced. In fact, I'd say it is more advanced because it manages the complexity for you.
    Hey, how about criticizing when some-one gets it right. Task managers are optional on all OS's, given enough memory, but the iPhone is the only one who robs you of access to this feature. This is unfortunately, because even the iPhone does not get it right, and does run out of resources. Apps crash, people have problems playing music and surfing the web at the same time, the device becomes unstable, and the only option is rebooting.

    You can pretend everything is great in cloud cookooland, and you dont need whats the hallmark of every multi-tasking OS since Adam and Eve, or you can enjoy having your phone be an appliance for which the solution to every problem is just, you know, rebooting.

    Surur
  2. #62  
    Surur wrote: "This is unfortunately, because even the iPhone does not get it right, and does run out of resources. Apps crash, people have problems playing music and surfing the web at the same time, the device becomes unstable, and the only option is rebooting."

    Surur, you're creating a false dichotomy in which the only choices are add a task manger or reboot. Clearly, these are not the only options available. Instead of spending time and money adding a task manager to the iPhone, Apple should bring Safari back to pre 1.2.1 levels of stability and resource usage. Even with Safari's problems, I'd guess that I reboot my iPhone less than most other mobile devices.

    Surur wrote: "You can pretend everything is great in cloud cookooland, and you dont need whats the hallmark of every multi-tasking OS since Adam and Eve, or you can enjoy having your phone be an appliance for which the solution to every problem is just, you know, rebooting."

    No device or OS is perfect, but shipping with a task manager by default sends a message to users that says, "we expect you to micromanage your phone." and tells developers "It's OK if your applications misbehave or do a poor job of managing memory." This is the wrong message to send on a mobile device. Mobile operating systems and applications should be held to a higher standard than those on the desktop.

    And Pouge was pointing directly to your Adam and Eve comment when he said, "Apparently the Windows Mobile 6 team learned absolutely nothing from Windows Mobile 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5." Using the desktop model on a mobile device wasn't a good fit then, and it's still not a good fit today.
  3. #63  
    You do know, now with 3rd party apps, the situation is only going to get worse. I prefer planning for reality vs some esoteric ideal.

    Surur
  4. #64  
    Quote Originally Posted by Light and Shadow View Post
    Which people are you referring to? You, software engineers or end users?

    The last thing I want to worry about is which apps are running and using a task manager to free up memory so I can take or make a call. You shouldn't have to become smarter to use a smart phone.

    For those who want to see the internals of their device, an optional application can be installed. But making the user dependent on the task manager just so their phone doesn't lock up isn't the solution - it's a band-aid.
    I was referring to end users.

    This statement about worrying about running apps to make a phone call--I've never had it happen, have you? Like I said, WM is designed so that when you run low on memory, the system will automatically close programs to free up resources. When it closes apps, it is based on a priority system meaning features like the phone app, email and core services never get shut down. In other words, the system does manage resources w/o user input.

    On devices with tons of RAM, like the 700wx and Touch, there is no "worrying" about memory. I just don't see how people are "dependent" on the Task manager--it's buried within Settings --> System. It's not exactly easy to get to or in your face, but rather there as an option. (Although the Treo makes it easy by holding down one of the Win key--even then, all it is is a list of running apps--it's not like solving a problem in calculus nor is it "required").
    Quote Originally Posted by Light and Shadow View Post
    I'm not sure how you've come to the conclusion that the iPhone doesn't multitask. Mail can be fetching and sending new messages while Safari is downloading a webpage in the background and I'm reading another. I've even installed Unix server applications, such as the Apache webserver, on my iPhone and served web pages over Wi-Fi while talking on the phone.

    The iPhone doesn't explicitly indicate which apps are running because it's not necessary to do so. You can switch between applications by tapping it's icon in Springboard.

    In other words, the lack of a task manager doesn't mean a device is less advanced. In fact, I'd say it is more advanced because it manages the complexity for you.
    So it works exactly like Palm, a 5 year old OS, where I can have my email, IM, Skype, Weather updates and pTunes all work in the "background". If I want to go back to those apps, I either go to the Launcher screen or switch to the app with the dedicated key or shortcut key (something which again is avoided with the one-button system on the iPhone).

    I'd bring up the need for task switching like in WM when copying/pasting from various programs (Web to Excel to an Email for instance), but obviously this task is beyond the iPhone's capabilities, so why raise it.

    I suppose when your Springboard now has 2 to 3 pages of loaded programs, it will become more and more tedious to "switch" between programs, especially with no dedicated quick keys. Once again, as long as we move beyond basic functions, I don't think the iPhone can compete in task switching and multi-tasking like WM devices can (or even Palm OS devices to a lesser extent).

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  5. #65  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    Once again, as long as we move beyond basic functions, I don't think the iPhone can compete in task switching and multi-tasking like WM devices can (or even Palm OS devices to a lesser extent).
    It actually occurs to be that it would be nice to put a task bar on (like in wisbar and on the windows desktop) to taskswitch even quicker. Let me see if I can track down a free plug-in that does the job.

    Surur
  6. #66  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    It actually occurs to be that it would be nice to put a task bar on (like in wisbar and on the windows desktop) to taskswitch even quicker. Let me see if I can track down a free plug-in that does the job.

    Surur
    Magic Button does the trick:
    (see near the top)

    Picture
    http://tinyurl.com/2rppeo

    ps yes, your off the ignore list, I'm a forgiving type

    WMExperts: News, Reviews & Podcasts + Twitter
  7. #67  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    Magic Button does the trick:
    (see near the top)

    Picture
    http://tinyurl.com/2rppeo
    Thx. I had forgotten about this app.

    ps yes, your off the ignore list, I'm a forgiving type


    Surur
  8. #68  
    Malatesta wrote: "So it works exactly like Palm, a 5 year old OS, where I can have my email, IM, Skype, Weather updates and pTunes all work in the "background".

    No, it's quite different.

    As of Palm OS 6, which was the first version to support a limited form of multitasking, applications are split into groups of smaller sub-applications that work together to perform a single task. This is a form of cooperative multitasking as only one UI sub-app can remain running at once. Developing Palm OS applications is more complex since they must be split into multiple discrete sub-applications that work together, yet can be run independently when required.

    The iPhone is running a mobile version of Mac OS X, which supports true preemptive multitasking at the OS level. This means the kernel interrupts each application, giving each of them a slice of the total CPU time based on their priority. This is based on same kernel and preemptive multitasking model found on Mac OS X, which is similar to Windows NT.

    This is in contrast to Windows Mobile 6, which is based on Windows CE 5.0, not NT. While Windows CE does support true multitasking, it is currently limited to a maximum of 32 processes and a 32MB virtual address space.
  9. #69  
    Surur wrote: "You do know, now with 3rd party apps, the situation is only going to get worse. I prefer planning for reality vs some esoteric ideal."

    You seem to be confusing a quick way of switching between tasks and a task manager. These two functions are not joined at the hip.

    The current iPhone UI is optimized for running a limited number of apps.

    While third-parties have modified Springboard to scroll down using your finger, which works pretty well, my guess is Apple has already created solution which doesn't require a task manager. However, this is purely speculation. We won't know the details until official third-party application support is added to the iPhone approximately than two months from now.
  10. #70  
    Quote Originally Posted by Light and Shadow View Post
    Surur wrote: "You do know, now with 3rd party apps, the situation is only going to get worse. I prefer planning for reality vs some esoteric ideal."

    You seem to be confusing a quick way of switching between tasks and a task manager. These two functions are not joined at the hip.
    I am talking about the ability to kill misbehaving software instead of needing to reboot. With 3rd party software system stability has already decreased, and this will only get worse.

    Surur
  11. #71  
    Surur wrote: "I am talking about the ability to kill misbehaving software instead of needing to reboot. With 3rd party software system stability has already decreased, and this will only get worse."

    Again, you're creating a false dichotomy: Either add a task manager or reboot. Just because your OS and applications are unstable, doesn't mean the iPhone must be as well.

    While the exact details are currently unknown, Apple has indicated that applications will require digital signatures before they can be run. It's also likely that Apple third-party applications will be only be publicly available from the iTunes store and only those which meet a series of quality control tests before they will be made available online. Again, it appears that Apple will be holding the iPhone OS and applications to a higher standard than those on the desktop.

    In addition, the current version of the iPhone OS allows you to end the current application by pressing and holding the front button for more than six seconds. This is a much simpler and more intuitive solution than a separate task manager application.
  12. #72  
    Quote Originally Posted by Light and Shadow View Post
    While the exact details are currently unknown, Apple has indicated that applications will require digital signatures before they can be run. It's also likely that Apple third-party applications will be only be publicly available from the iTunes store and only those which meet a series of quality control tests before they will be made available online. Again, it appears that Apple will be holding the iPhone OS and applications to a higher standard than those on the desktop.
    a) Its impossible for Apple to prove whether a program will hang or not. This is a scientific fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Light and Shadow View Post
    In addition, the current version of the iPhone OS allows you to end the current application by pressing and holding the front button for more than six seconds. This is a much simpler and more intuitive solution than a separate task manager application.
    b) On new HTC devices, pressing and holding on the X button also closes an app, which is more intuitive than pressing and holding the menu button.

    I may as well complain about superfluous software such as the stocks app on the iPhone. Just because you dont like the task manager does not mean you have to use it. At least it doesn't take up valuable space on the launcher screen.

    Surur
    Last edited by surur; 12/03/2007 at 11:46 AM.
  13. #73  
    Quote Originally Posted by Light and Shadow View Post
    No, it's quite different.

    As of Palm OS 6, which was the first version to support a limited form of multitasking, applications are split into groups of smaller sub-applications that work together to perform a single task. .....
    When I said they work the same, I was speaking about the end-user experience and UI, not about the kernel architecture or ease of use in programming, which is completely unrelated.

    When I use an iPhone and want to launch a program, I go to springboard and hit the icon. When I'm done, I hit the home key and go back to springboard to launch my next app. Back and forth.

    That's the same behavior is Palm OS. Except for the difference of having dedicated hardkeys for quick access to apps and bypassing the homescreen (email, PIM, phone, home, plus the Op+ keys and up to 26 favorites). In addition, a lot of core programs like IM, email, pTunes, alarms, weather, etc. run in the background.

    So while the underlying OS is much different and yes, OS X can theoretically do much more, the actual user expereince (including my own) and interaction within the two OSs is very similar.
    Last edited by Malatesta; 12/03/2007 at 05:14 PM.

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  14. #74  
    Isn't it hilarious that WM and POS has always been accused of having the phone component act as just another app, when the iPhone does not even have any phone answer and end keys, and is being praised for it? Bizarre in the extreme.

    Surur
  15. #75  
    Surur wrote: "a) Its impossible for Apple to prove whether a program will hang or not. This is a scientific fact."

    So, you're suggesting that we simply throw up our hands and give up? Clearly, this an important philosophical difference between Apple and Microsoft.

    While it's true that we cannot guarantee within 100% accuracy that a application will not hang, we can significantly reduce the chance and design systems that minimize the need for user interaction when they do. It should be the extreme rare exception, not the norm.

    Surur wrote:"b) On new HTC devices, pressing and holding on the X button also closes an app, which is more intuitive than pressing and holding the menu button."

    While it's great that HTC created a third-party utility that lets you work around a limitation in WM, mobile devices would be more intuitive to use if you didn't need a quit button at all.

    Instead of creating a separate UI element, Apple reused the same button that takes you the home page to force quit an app. In fact, I found out about this feature by accident during one of the rare times i've had to force quit Safari. Holding down the button when the app locked up came naturally since it's the same button you take to get back to the home screen. You just hold it down instead of momentarily pressing it. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this idea came from watching what people do when they couldn't exit an application in usability testing.

    In other words, it appears that Apple tapped in to the fact that, if a button doesn't initially do what you want, people have a natural tendency to continually press it until it does.

    Surur wrote: "I may as well complain about superfluous software such as the stocks app on the iPhone"

    Again, the design of the iPhone is specifically optimized for a limited number of applications. We'll have to wait and see how Apple updates the iPhone's UI in response to the presence of additional third-party apps.
  16. #76  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    Isn't it hilarious that WM and POS has always been accused of having the phone component act as just another app, when the iPhone does not even have any phone answer and end keys, and is being praised for it? Bizarre in the extreme.

    Surur
    I mean, I guess in a free market it's nice to have options, including a 1-button device that is all touch, but I have to say--it's not really for me. Having dedicated keys is a huge help for common tasks.

    I'm glad to see more WM Pro devices are including a dedicated key for email. I see email (Exchange) as the core of WM, so it makes sense to have a button for it.

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  17. #77  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    I would disagree because even with WM03, I was able to use my PPC-6600 without a stylus for several weeks while I was fighting to have my phone replaced due to a cracked screen on a 2 day old phone without using my insurance. I just wrote the next part of the WM Guide for WMExperts focused solely on increasing the one handed usability of any WM phone, when they publish it, breeze through it...it might help.

    As for Palm, I found myself taping just as much or more with Zlauncher to launch a program than I do on my WM phone.
    Here it is:

    Part III: Use your WM Smartphone One-Handed
  18. #78  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    I mean, I guess in a free market it's nice to have options, including a 1-button device that is all touch, but I have to say--it's not really for me. Having dedicated keys is a huge help for common tasks.

    I'm glad to see more WM Pro devices are including a dedicated key for email. I see email (Exchange) as the core of WM, so it makes sense to have a button for it.
    I agree the more programmable hardware buttons available the faster and easier a phone is to use.
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