On the iPad and Multi-Tasking

Since the iPad’s announcement there have been countless complaints regarding its lack of multi-tasking, regretfully, myself included. But, while you can’t run native applications in the background, except for the default apps that Apple allows You to (e.g. iPod), there is one way to run applications in the background, web apps. I understand that me saying this is a lot like Apple telling developers that the only way to build apps for the iPhone is using the web, but hear me out.

I’ve heard John Gruber say countless times that he uses Safari on his iPhone more than any other app. And, I’m willing to bet that’s the case for most people who own an iPhone, I know that’s the case for me.

When I initially wrote about the iPad I complained that I couldn’t view a new document window and a web page at the same time, and although that is true I completeley forgot that Safari could be, not just the web page viewer, but also the new document window. This is already the case on my iMac where I view a web page and make use of WordPress’ “Press This” bookmarklet to do all of my writing. I could do the exact same thing on the iPad and simple switch back and forth between the two open Safari windows. If I need to make references, quote, etc. I can do that right in Safari.

From what I’ve gathered (and assuming it’s the same on the iPad), you can have 8 web pages open at a time. From my experience on the iPhone that doesn’t always work out too well. Often times the iPhone has to dump one of the web pages to free up memory for the current page but I wouldn’t be surprised if that doesn’t happen on the iPad, due to the iPad’s faster processor and the likelihood of more RAM.

The further we get from this announcement the more I get it. This is a replacement for my notebook. I can’t think of a single thing that I actually do on my notebook that I couldn’t do on the iPad.