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Multitasking Apps for iPhone

1 rating: 5.0
Applications that enable the multitasking of third party applications on a jailbroken iPhone.

Multitasking apps are applications that enable the multitasking of third party applications on a jailbroken iPhone.

1 review about Multitasking Apps for iPhone

Multitasking Apps for the iPhone

  • Feb 14, 2010
  • by
 One of the big knocks against the iPhone has always been that it does not allow multitasking by third party apps - as in, the only apps that can run in the background are a few of the built-in apps: Mail, iPod, Safari etc.  So you cannot, for instance, have Pandora playing music for you while you jump over to Notes to jot something down.  Or quickly copy a link from Safari into a notes app and then skip straight back to Safari without two trips to the home screen during the process.

If you jailbreak your iPhone, quick, easy app switching and full-blown multitasking are both possible. In fact, not only are they possible, but there are some very good apps around for doing these things with.  

** It's worth noting that while older iPhones are able to multiask, the iPhone 3GS is where app switching and multitasking really shine - due to its faster processor and larger amount of RAM memory (double that of the iPhone 3G).

Here are the leading jailbreak apps for quick app switching and multitasking:

Backgrounder: the foundation app.  Once Backgrounder is installed, you simply press and hold the home button for a couple seconds while any app is open to enable or disable that app's ability ti stay running in the background.  You'll see a notification on screen to indicate 'Backgrounding Enabled' or disabled once you've done your press and hold. 

QuickDo: This app has multiple purposes but my favorites are these:

-- Adds a Favorites bar on your lock screen that contains five apps of your choosing, that all be launched with a quick tap
-- And an action bar that can be invoked at any time via various swipe gestures on your home screen - this shows your favorite five apps as well as any apps that are currently running in the background - and all are launchable with a single tap.

Kirikae:  Similar to QuickDo.  This one is invoked via home screen double-taps and similar actions, allows you to choose as many instant launch favorites as you like, and also will launch currently backgrounded apps.

ProSwitcher: The slickest and maybe most impressive of the current apps that work with Backgrounder.  It offers a Palm Pre style 'cards' view of all apps currently running in the background (showing thumbnails of them) and you can launch an app with a quick double-tap on it, or stop it running via an 'X' to close it or just a swipe to close.  You can call up ProSwitcher via a large number of different invocation methods - my favorite is just using a double-tap on the status bar. 

I've used all of these and they all work extremely well.

A couple quick points about multitasking on an iPhone 3GS in particular:

-- The 3GS doesn't seem to even break a sweat when you let a handful of apps run in the background and multitask.  Battery life does not seem much affected and performance is still every bit as fast and rock solid.  

-- Just for testing purposes, I've at times run up to a dozen apps in the background - including games and some resource-hungry apps.

You can find all of these apps in the Cydia jailbreak app store. 
ProSwitcher QuickDo

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February 22, 2010
Great review. I've been on the fence regarding jailbreaking, but it was good to see some info regarding 3G vs. 3GS. I'm currently stuck on the 3G, so I may just hold off on my jailbreaking until a hardware upgrade.
February 23, 2010
Thanks. And yeah, if you're on a 3G the performance is nowhere near as good as on the 3GS.
February 22, 2010
This is a very good review. Thanks for sharing this info. Very useful.
February 23, 2010
Thanks for the kind words - glad it was helpful.
February 16, 2010
Nice, Patrick!  Thanks for sharing.  I can't tell you how many times I've had my Pandora interrupted while I was driving or on the treadmill, because of text messages, emails, etc., so this is something that I would love on my iPhone.  I didn't realize that the original iPhones had the ability to multitask, but that seems pretty shady of Apple to take away.  This would actually make a great list with Lunch's list feature, like what @jolson did with his Essential iPhone Apps list.

By the way, did you hear about the iPhone hackers who go their Apple ID banned from the app store?  You can read it here.  It's crazy stuff!
February 16, 2010
There are a number of things the iPhone does very, very well that Apple will not allow - especially if we're talking about the 3GS. It's a beast and can handle so much more than Apple restrictions let it show. Yes, I've read the reports on the two hackers and posted about it on my site as well. I think it's really a bit of a grand but empty gesture on Apple's part - it is incredibly simple for those guys to just create new iTunes IDs, and not be silly enough second time round to use their very public hacker names. :)
February 22, 2010
Those were my same thoughts on those hackers! Plus... if they can hack into an iPhone, they could surely hack into the iPhone app store if they really wanted to ;)
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