Sunday, April 04, 2010

iPad: Where the Lack of Multitasking Fails « Steve Wildstrom on Tech [+ iPad hypertext observations]

Some iPad perspectives from Steve Wildstrom (read the full post)

I was of the camp that believed that the lack of multitasking on the iPad wasn’t that big a deal. It took me about 15 minutes of use to discover that I was wrong. Two apps, the Kindle Reader and TweetDeck are hurt badly by the inability to have more than one app running at a time.

[…]

The outstanding Kindle Reader has a similar problem. Links in Kindle text are blessedly live. But when you click on a link, the iPad shuts down Kindle and opens Safari. When you are done with the browser, you have to shut down Safari and reopen Kindle. Kindle at least has the good grace to remember your place.

He also notes the rumored multitasking iP* OS update, but in the meantime I agree the mostly-serial-multitasking model on the iPad is a big constraint, and I also agree the iPad is a poor hypertext client.  If it’s true that “most people in the world are not techies,” I suspect a lot of iPad users are going to be perplexed when, e.g., they click a link in an e-reader context, are launched into Safari, and then can’t use the back button to return to the initial context. 

I imagine the system-wide hypertext model was a source of much Apple designer debate, especially if Steve Jobs dictated the single-button iPad user experience (yes there are also iPad on-off and volume hardware buttons, but the main UX is a single button).  The Kindle has a system-wide back button, and it works as expected (as does the back button/icon in the Kindle’s admittedly basic browser).

iPad: Where the Lack of Multitasking Fails « Steve Wildstrom on Tech

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