By Joe Levi | February 4, 2010 12:03 PM
One of the biggest disadvantages of the iPhone OS is the lack of true multitasking. Multitasking, as you probably know, is the ability to run more than one app at a time.
It amazes me that Apple can run an ad touting their new ability to be in a phone call AND an app at the same time, and give the impression that it’s “revolutionary”… and it only allows the phone app plus one other app to run at the same time.
Windows Mobile and Android users have had this functionality since their OS’s were first released.
In Android, running multiple apps is easy. Start an app by tapping on its icon. When you want to switch to another app simply press the Home button and tap another icon. Both apps are now running. To switch between the apps press-and-hold the Home button, a list of your running apps will appear, tap the icon for the app that you want to switch to.
Just like Windows Mobile, Android does its own memory (RAM) management. If you are running more apps than you have available memory, Android will decide which app to close to let the new app run.
Some applications, such as Pandora and Google Maps Navigation, add an icon to the Notification Bar, providing quick access back into the app by dragging the Notification Bar open and picking the app you want to return to.
So, Apple fan boys, listen up: on Android you can stream music with Pandora while getting turn-by-turn navigation directions (with satellite imagery) from Google Maps, then get a phone call (which pauses Pandora), open up your web browser and get some information, and return to your call, and go back to your music and directions, all without missing a beat or having to re-open an app. Oh, and while you were doing all that you were notified of two new emails, four new mentions on Twitter, a couple of Facebook updates, and that video you were uploading to YouTube completed, too.