In a recent announcement Apple mentioned that they are finally set to bring multitasking to the iPhone OS 4. One of the biggest complaints from iPhone users has been the lack of multitasking that users of other smartphones have recently been able to enjoy. Apple says they have finally been able to figure out how to implement third party multitasking without hurting performance or battery life.
To get the new multitasking feature to work you just double click the home button to see a list of your apps and then you can just tap to switch between the apps that are running. The new system actually runs the services apps need in the background which means the apps do not need to do this themselves. While this does not make it true multitasking it is still very effective in getting the job done.
There are seven services that the new system can run in the background. These services include background audio, Voice over IP, which means you can receive calls in the background, locations services for GPS and social networking, push notifications, task completion so that you can finish downloading in the background and fast app switching which allows apps to sleep and resume instantly.
The one service that is notably missing from the new operating system is the ability to manage a conversation using IM or Twitter. This might be a big omission for some people but the vast majority of iPhone users should be pleasantly surprised with the effectiveness of this new iPhone OS update. One downside to the latest update is that this new OS will only be available for the 3GS and 3rd generation iPod Touches. The 3G and below will not be able to support the new OS due to a hardware limitation.