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Apple gives its Iphone basic functionality

Just in time for the Ipad
Fri Mar 12 2010, 12:57

FRUITY TOYMAKER Apple is likely to bring multitasking to the next version of its Iphone OS, according to various sources.

Fanbois' bible Appleinsider reports that people with a "proven track record" in divining Steve Jobs' thoughts have said that the cappuccino firm has a "full-on solution" to one of the most widely cited criticisms of the Iphone, its lack of multitasking OS support.

Actually the Iphone OS does support multitasking, however Jobs has, in his egomanical zeal to assert control over all he surveys, disabled it for all but the core Apple applications. Apple apologists counter this with flimsy arguments revolving around either their own limitations or those of the hardware. The fact is that Apple intentionally crippled the underlying Iphone OS, which is based on the capable - and multitasking - OS X.

There was perhaps a pragmatic case to be put forward that, on a device such as a smartphone, the need for multitasking is diminished because the screen real-estate naturally limits the display of applications. That didn't fully convince us, but it served as a convenient excuse, perhaps. However today is the day that Apple will start taking orders for its latest toy for the well-heeled, the Ipad. That device will feature a screen that should be physically able to display more than one application at a time, and it will run the Iphone OS.

Surprisingly for Apple, a company that realises that a portion of its users are technologically not to mention logically inert, the latest Iphone SDK has caused some head scratching. First, the release brought in support of two new gestures, including a three finger salute and a single long finger press. The second is the removal of references to video capabilities in Ichat, which had given rise to the notion that a camera might be included on the Ipad.

It stands to reason that, if these references are removed from the SDK, then either Apple doesn't want to allow developers access to it or, more likely, wants to use it as a 'killer feature' for later revisions.

Apple has been unable to capitalise on the falling or plateaued marketshares of its traditional rivals, and it has simply failed to evolve the Iphone OS, which was nothing short of revolutionary in 2007. Aside from a content delivery mechanism, copy and paste functionality is just about the only 'major' software feature that has been added in almost three years. Although coming late to the party, Google's Android has picked up the baton of innovation simply by allowing developers to do what they want with the system.

Those who desperately want basic operating system features from their Apple devices should only have to wait a little while, as the Iphone Dev team is usually not far behind Apple with their releases. In the meantime, we'll let Jobs' Mob bask in some glory for finally providing functionality that it intentionally and somewhat inexplicably took away right from the start. µ


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