A research team at the University of California used functional magnetic resonance imaging to figure out that older people are worse at multitasking than younger people. Specifically, they looked at the ability of people between the ages of 60 and 80 to retain information in their working memory for short periods of time and found that the distraction of multitasking had a bigger effect than it did in younger adults, USA Today reports.
Microsoft has revealed some details on their anticipated 2011 updates for Windows Phone 7, and if they follow through, the platform could be looking much more attractive. The first major update that includes copy and paste functionality is set to drop in early March, but that's nothing compared to the features expected for the second update of 2011. Microsoft expects to add Internet Explorer 9 and multitasking to Windows Phone in this second update.
Apple today announced that the long delayed iOS 4.2 update is finally available for download for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, bringing multitasking, Folders, a Unified Inbox, Game Center, AirPlay, and AirPrint to the iPad. It's about friggin' time.
"iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit."
The addition of multitasking addresses one of the iPad's major shortcomings, and the other additions -- like Folders and a Unified Inbox -- ensure the iPad will remain a hot selling product even as competition in the tablet space starts to heat up. But what Apple can't address through software updates are the handful of hardware omissions, like USB ports, a memory card reader, and webcam (which rules out FaceTime support).
So what's the verdict, does iOS 4.2 make the iPad a more compelling option, or is it still an overpriced, oversized iPod touch? Hit the jump and sound off!
AMD has had a tough time keeping up with Intel in terms of performance per core, but if all you’re looking at is price per core they have a definitive advantage over the competition. Instead of focusing their efforts on driving up clock speeds they are now putting more emphasis on increasing the number of cores they can fit on a single die.
In a blog posting titled, “Cores – More is Better”, AMD’s John Fruehe, Director of Product Marketing for Server/Workstation revealed classified shipment data, and according to Fruehe people are obsessed with cores. "In looking through sales data for the first half of 2010, 12-core processors clearly outsold their 8-core counterparts – by a wide margin. I was expecting that there would be a slight bias towards the 12-core, but I figured there were plenty of applications where the extra clock speed of an 8-core might be popular," Fruehe wrote. "Apparently I was wrong, customers are voting with their budgets, and cores matter."
Software developers are starting to catch on to the trend by offering more and more multi-threaded applications, an approach that would clearly favor AMD’s strategy of increasing the core count above all else. The upcoming AMD Bulldozer architecture will feature chips with up to 16 cores, a product that will likely fill a valuable niche in the virtual server market.
What do you think will ultimately be more valuable, more speed per core or more cores per die?
When Android first debuted on the HTC Dream (also known as the G1) back in October of 2008, it was deemed an "iPhone Killer." While it didn't quite slay Apple's handset, it was the first step in a revolution against the tyrannous iPhone. The initial Android platform bested the iPhone OS on several levels, but lacked some key functionalities that the iPhone could provide. Since then, Android has grown - not only meeting all of the functionalities of the iPhone, but besting it in nearly all aspects from an extensive list of devices to a growing Android Marketplace. Here is our list of the top 10 things Android does better than the iPhone.
Ending months of speculation, Apple yesterday finally and formally introduced the world to iPhone OS 4, the upcoming followup to the software that drives the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
As many expected, iPhone OS 4 will bring multitasking to the table, a much needed feature if Apple is to keep its mobile OS relevant. App developers will have access to seven new multitasking services, including background audio and VoIP. This means apps like Pandora will be able to stream music in the background, while VoIP apps can receive calls regardless if the iPhone is asleep or if the user is doing something else.
iPhone OS 4 will also include Folders, another much needed feature and one that brings the OS up to par with competitors like Android. The way it works is users will drag an app icon on top of another to automatically create a folder. The new folder is then given a name based on the App Store category of that app, though these can be renamed. By utilizing folders, users will be able to install and access over 2,000 apps on their iPhone.
Hit the jump to see what else is new in iPhone OS 4!
It seems like the ‘big boys’ are planning to play it safe with their mobile operating systems. Apple has limited the multitasking on the iPhone OS, restricting it only to core apps, while prohibiting third party applications, to optimize battery life and improve security. It seems that Microsoft plans the same thing for Windows Phone 7.
In an interview with Wired.com, Charlie Kindel, the manager of Windows Phone App Platform and Developer Experience program says, “We do not allow third-party applications running on the phone to execute in the background.” He continues, “We’re poised to support it eventually, but in order to support great battery life and great end-user experience, we’re focusing on the integrated experiences first.” That sounds familiar.
This, of course, stands in contrast to devices built on Google’s Android OS and Palm’s WebOS--both of which allow for legitimate multitasking. Users on both platforms do complain about reduced battery life, but also acknowledge, as they control what’s running, it's their choice to make.
See what you can accomplish if you whine about something enough? Even the mighty Apple, which lords it above consumers with it’s ‘my way or the highway’ software approach, will capitulate and give the customer what he wants: the iPhone is getting multitasking.
Not right away, mind you. And, if the sources AppleInsider uses are not as reliable as they claim, maybe not at all. But, should it come to fruition, it will be in version 4.0 of the iPhone OS, for which there is no projected release date.
Between now and then Apple has some issues to contend with, as adding multitasking to the iPhone (and by extension the iPad), will be both a simple and a complex task. Simple because version 3.x of the iPhone OS has fully preemptive multitasking. Apple, for security and technical reasons, blocks all but a select few applications from running in the background. None of these select few are among the thousands of third party apps that populate the iPhone App Store (and which help bolster the iPhone's popularity).
Complex because Apple has to tweak the user interface to make access to multiple applications intuitive and easy. As most applications are shut down when a user goes to the home screen, such interface needs didn’t have to be address. Since Apple is obsessive about such things, this could take a while. And, of course, there’s all those funky technical issues over resource allocation that have to be resolved, so running apps play nice with the OS and with each other.
Once multitasking is implemented, then iPhone users can start whining about slow performance and battery life, like the rest of smartphone users.
What a strange and topsy-turvy world we live in when a competing product from Apple can be considered a bargain next to its PC (as in, Windows) counterpart. What are we talking about?
Behold Netbook Navigator's Nav 9, the new 9-inch tablet which sticks it to Apple's iPad with the ability to multitask. But at $1,200, you had to be seriously committed to multitasking, because you would have been paying twice as much as Apple's entry-level iPad.
Wondering what's with the past tense? Well, the Nav 9 has been given a recent price drop bringing the base model down to a more affordable $799. Still expensive, but a lot easier to swallow than its previous price point.
What that gets you is an 8.9-inch 1024 x 600 multitouch display, an Intel Atom N270 processor, Intel GMA950 graphics, a 16GB SSD, 2GB of RAM, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LAN, 3 USB ports, a MiniSD card slot, SIM card slot, Windows 7 Home Premium, and a 3-cell battery. In other words, it's a netbook that's been flattened out, though at 10 x 6.6 x .8 inches, we hesitate to overstate its flatness.
If you're dead set on paying a premium, there are several higher priced models, the most expensive of which checks in at $1,399 and includes a 128GB SSD.
Nokia on Thursday officially unveiled its N900 smartphone. Built around the open-source, Linux-based Maemo software, Nokia says you can expect "a PC-like experience on a handset-sized device."
Under the hood, the N900 sports an ARM Coretex-A8 CPU, up to 1GB of application memory, and OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics acceleration. According to Nokia, this combination gives the end-user PC-like multitasking, allowing many applications to run simultaneously.
Other features include a high-res WVGA touchscreen, full Adobe Flash 9.4 support, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 32GB of storage expandable up to 48GB via a microSD card, and a built-in 5MB camera with Carl Zeiss optics.
Nokia says the N900 will launch in October for select markets at a price of 500 EUR, or about $718 USD.