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Why isn't Multitasking taking priority with most apps?

07-20-2010, 02:41 PM
#1
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,530
Why isn't Multitasking taking priority with most apps?

I was expecting most apps to be getting updates that allow Mutitasking (or more appropriately, 'fast app-switching'), but a billion updates in, I think there is honestly only 10% or something (from my app library, at least) that allow it.

I see updates for "iOS4 Compatibility", but that never means support for multitasking. Especially with Gameloft games, I was expecting them to update for multitasking or something (since checkpoints in their games are not always the nicest), but to no avail.

Has anyone else been rather disappointed by the lack of Multitasking implementation?

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07-20-2010, 03:02 PM
#2
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 377
Because supporting a miniscule percentage of your app base should never take priority, a lot of games and apps have so many other things that are more important to everyone who doesn't have a 4G(99%?), content updates and bug fixes should always take priority. Retina support and multitasking will probably be seen implemented in lot's of newer games, and only a few very popular older games, until the 4G has a sizeable userbase. if 1 in 1000 of your customers or potential customers(much lower) has a 4G, what is the point in putting all that effort in? Think of it that way.

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07-20-2010, 03:03 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,530
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinvy View Post
Because supporting a miniscule percentage of your app base should never take priority, a lot of games and apps have so many other things that are more important to everyone who doesn't have a 4G(99%?), content updates and bug fixes should always take priority. Retina support and multitasking will probably be seen implemented in lot's of newer games, and only a few very popular older games, until the 4G has a sizeable userbase. if 1 in 1000 of your customers or potential customers(much lower) has a 4G, what is the point in putting all that effort in? Think of it that way.
Yes I understand that, but so far it seems the iPhone 4's retina display is seeing more implementation in updates than multitasking, which I think is rather odd.

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07-20-2010, 03:25 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 10,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterChief3624 View Post
Has anyone else been rather disappointed by the lack of Multitasking implementation?
Why would most (especially large) games need to support multitasking? Do you really want other apps running in the background while you are playing a game?

It's not like you're going to be switching quickly back and forth from N.O.V.A. to check your shopping lists...

Now if you're talking about small apps like sudoku or something, I can see your point, but when you're talking Gameloft games...

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07-20-2010, 03:40 PM
#5
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,791
iv seen the same thing.. do not care about big apps.. but this multi tasking is a fail to me.. cause i can almost bet good money most of the apps on my ipod will never get multi tasking.. im using a ipod touch gen 2.. so dose not really matter to me at this point.. but come sept when i get a gen 4.. it may.. but i saw this coming. heck so many apps are broken cause of iso4.. ( i would like for them to at least be updated and fixed.. ) and i really doubt some of them will ever be fixed.. maybe dev did not make enough money or what not.. but i see this being a problem as the appstore grows and the years to come..

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07-20-2010, 03:51 PM
#6
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by drelbs View Post
Why would most (especially large) games need to support multitasking? Do you really want other apps running in the background while you are playing a game?

It's not like you're going to be switching quickly back and forth from N.O.V.A. to check your shopping lists...

Now if you're talking about small apps like sudoku or something, I can see your point, but when you're talking Gameloft games...
The OP is specifically referring to Fast App Switching- I think everyone would want to be able to exit a game at any time, and return to it and have it continue exactly where they left off. This was something technically possible before iOS4, but iOS4 makes it much faster and easier for developers to implement (i think it just needs a recompile, as long as they aren't doing anything else that's iOS4 incompatible in their code).

It's annoying to play something like Prince of Persia and have to sit through the opening sequences and the game loading when i just want to leave it for a moment...

Last edited by darkcrayon; 07-20-2010 at 03:54 PM.
07-20-2010, 03:57 PM
#7
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 10,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkcrayon View Post
It's annoying to play something like Prince of Persia and have to sit through the opening sequences and the game loading when i just want to leave it for a moment...
I understand this, however whatever app you switch to has to have enough resources to run, otherwise Prince of Persia ends up unloading anyway. Unless I'm totally wrong (it happens all the time ) multitasking will only benefit people switching around from smaller apps, like between Calendar, Notepad and Calculator.

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07-20-2010, 05:19 PM
#8
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto Canada
Posts: 863
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkcrayon View Post
The OP is specifically referring to Fast App Switching- I think everyone would want to be able to exit a game at any time, and return to it and have it continue exactly where they left off. This was something technically possible before iOS4, but iOS4 makes it much faster and easier for developers to implement (i think it just needs a recompile, as long as they aren't doing anything else that's iOS4 incompatible in their code).
Fast App Switching makes things much more complicated actually - it's in no way a simple recompile. A better name for it would be "Sometimes Maybe Fast App Switching". There's no guarantee an app will still be running when you switch back to it, and if that app is a memory hogging game (and most games are) there's a good chance it'll have to load up from scratch more often than not. Worse yet from a developer's perspective, apps don't get notified when they're forced to quit. It's like Schrödinger's cat - apps have to assume they're both running and not running simultaneously - you can't tell what's going on till the user switches back.

When we get devices with 1GB+ of RAM this stuff might start making more sense, but for right now fast app switching ain't all it's cracked up to be, especially for games.

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07-20-2010, 07:39 PM
#9
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Missouri
Posts: 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinvy View Post
Because supporting a miniscule percentage of your app base should never take priority, a lot of games and apps have so many other things that are more important to everyone who doesn't have a 4G(99%?), content updates and bug fixes should always take priority. Retina support and multitasking will probably be seen implemented in lot's of newer games, and only a few very popular older games, until the 4G has a sizeable userbase. if 1 in 1000 of your customers or potential customers(much lower) has a 4G, what is the point in putting all that effort in? Think of it that way.

Well the 3GS supports multitasking as well as the iPod touch 3rd generation So there is a fairly large userbase that can use multitasking

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07-20-2010, 10:39 PM
#10
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: California
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So far I have abstract war and carcassone which support fast app swithcing and I absolutely love it!!! It's amazing. I dont really mind prince of persia, it loads super fast on my iPhone 4 The one I'd like to see support fast-app switching is Battle for Wesnoth. That would be sweet


And my undestanding is that 3gs also supports fast app switching so it's not like you're targeting a minority of users. In fact, I'd say that by now the first gen and the iPhone 3G, while still in the majority will start diminishing so it'd be nice to see support for the new OS features