The two main contenders in the mobile OS world today have two vastly different approaches to multitasking. Both have merits, and potential drawbacks. Let’s have a look:
The Android approach to multitasking is all multitasking all the time. An admirable approach, to be sure, but it has it’s drawbacks, chief among these that the device tends to get sluggish.
Apple’s approach is to give you multitasking at your convenience. If you need it, you simply activate it by pressing the home button twice. You then load the programs you need, and swap between them.
I’ve only had any real experience with the Android approach, which I think is a natural one from the point of view of most users. The argument, I believe, goes something like this: The device is really a small computer right? So, if I have a computer with me, I should be able to have as many programs running as I want to, right?
Not necessarily so. Keep in mind that these mobile devices are much like netbooks; not very powerful, but excellent for their use. Simply put; there are limits to how much you can do with 1GHz of processing power
My take is that while the Android approach is compatible with the expectations most people would have from these kinds of devices, it is not necessarily the best choice. I like the thinking behind multiprocessing on demand, and look forward to trying it out further.