Feb 26

Jeff LaMarche on the Nexus One:

“Multitasking” is one of the much lauded benefits of Android over the iPhone. Of course, it’s not really multitasking. Everybody except most “tech pundits” knows that the iPhone’s Mach kernel supports full preemptive multitasking and also knows that at any given moment there are somewhere on the order of twenty daemons and other processes running on a stock (non-jailbroken) iPhone.

What people mean when they misuse this term is the ability to run more than one GUI application at a time, the way we do on our regular computers. And the Android certainly allows this. Only, it’s not really a point in Android’s favor. When you hit the home button, the previous application keeps running, which means it keeps eating memory, keeps using processor cycles, and keeps eating battery. To truly quit most applications requires a multi-step navigation that is neither intuitive nor well-documented. The ability to have more than one GUI application at a time on a device with such a small screen isn’t as important as some make it out to be, since you can’t actually interact with more than one a time.

Lots of interesting points in the post.

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