Well, not really. At least not enough to matter. iOS DOES do multitasking (as others have mentioned.) It's just that it's limited to a few areas of functionality (music, as you note, is the most used.) When applications are "suspended," they consume some very limited memory slots (ram) but they don't impact cpu cycles. (processing.) I suppose it's possible to have so many suspended applications that the 512K of ram in the iPad 2 could not function, but I strongly suspect that (a) the memory footprint is so tiny that it's unlikely to occur and (b) Apple has a way to offload the oldest suspended app data to the storage of the iPad.
Originally Posted by s2mikey
You'll note that you cannot, for example, watch a video and edit a document at the same time. That's partly because streaming audio is a relatively light load but streaming and displaying video would be a much heavier load on the processor. But it's also because without separate resizable windows you can't do that anyway. And even if you could, it would make very little sense on a 9" screen.
I strongly suspect you don't need to worry about suspended apps taking up resources on an iPad 2. You'd know if your iPad's response slows (suggesting swapping) or an app closes unexpectedly. But if you want to keep as much ram free as possible you can get an app like Xsysinfo that will "clear" memory manually (without having to work your way down the line marking the little "x" on each app you've run.) Likewise, of course, rebooting the iPad will clear your memory (ram).
P.S. This whole discussion is needlessly confused by the fact that Apple does not distinguish (or talk much about) ram versus storage. They call the entire data storage of an iPad "memory" when in fact, only 512K is "rapid access memory." (RAM). The rest is the equivalent of a hard disk or an SSD.
Background information for the discussion. Multitasking services defined when iPhone 4, iOS 4 came out.
Excerpted from the article:
Inside, Apple’s SVP of iPhone Software, Scott Forstall explained they looked at existing apps and distilled 7 services those apps needed to run in background, then provided them via API.
According to Apple, these are:
Background audio – Allows your app to play audio continuously. So customers can listen to your app while they surf the web, play games, and more.
Voice over iP – Your VoIP apps can now be even better. Users can now receive VoIP calls and have conversations while using another app. Your users can even receive calls when their phones are locked in their pocket.
Background location – Navigation apps can now continue to guide users who are listening to their iPods, or using other apps. iPhone OS 4 also provides a new and battery efficient way to monitor location when users move between cell towers. This is a great way for your social networking apps to keep track of users and their friends’ locations.
Push notifications – Receive alerts from your remote servers even when your app isn’t running.
Local notifications – Your app can now alert users of scheduled events and alarms in the background, no servers required.
Task finishing – If your app is in mid-task when your customer leaves it, the app can now keep running to finish the task.
Fast app switching – All developers should take advantage of this. This will allow users to leave your app and come right back to where they were when they left – no more having to reload the app.
Thanks for the informative post. I might take a look at that app you mentioned - I tend to be anal about things like open apps hanging around. Id rather them go away if Im done with them. Its too bad there wasnt a way to either truly shut down an app or leave it suspended. There are times when I DO want the app left in the state it was in when I killed it and times when you just want it gone. Maybe a future feature? Memory/App Management :)
Originally Posted by jsh1120
The multitasking feature in iPad/iPhone still very limited (ex. could not get an accelerometer in background)