iOS 6: How Multitasking Can Be Refined Without Losing Its Essence

9 October 2012, 9:31 am EDT By Jonathan Charles Mobile & Apps

Pre-iOS 6 launch, the expectation from a section of users was that Apple would refine the user interface alongside the desire to improve multitasking. While a suggestion was to build an Exposé-esque system, a user recently proposed a refinement of the current multitasking tray.

Due to the new iPhone 5 using a 4-inch screen, and a 16:9 aspect ratio, developers have had to increase app resolutions to avoid black bars. Apple introduced a fifth row of icons to use the additional real estate. Multitasking, according to a forum post on The Verge, should offer preview 'cards' when opening the app tray.

Users would need to double tap the home button or swipe with four fingers on iPads, post that the previews of windows would be shown for apps. This preview system would give users a visual representation of what is in store, rather than opening an application to see its content. On larger displays, the functionality could be particularly useful for information-heavy apps like Eurosport. An added problem with iOS is that switching between apps individually can be time consuming.

"It's functional enough to get the task done while remaining ostentatious enough to not be a visual nuisance," user Sentry said on multitasking's current form. He noted that functionality like Expose is probably the "visual nuisance."

Along with apps giving visual previews, music app shows album art, the artist, and album alongside song names. Assuming that just four apps are in the tray, Portrait Orientation is moved to the right-hand side of the tray with two swipes and with it are a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G toggle. A brightness slider is below the toggles, like on iPads.

Whether Apple will introduce the changes is yet unknown and it would not come as a surprise to see the jailbreak community create the feature.

iOS 6 drew criticism for being an iterative improvement from iOS 5, with its major new feature failing to live up to expectations. Maps' competitors are pushed by Apple in the App Store, and Apple boss Tim Cook apologized for its faults.

iOS 6 is available to download now via iTunes or over-the-air.

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