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Apple iPhone OS 4.0 to offer multitasking support

Multiple apps could run simultaneously on OS 4.0

The latest version of Apple’s iPhone operating system (4.0) will allow consumers to run several third-party applications at once, according to rumours circulating last week.

The speculation, which was detailed on the AppleInsider website, indicates that the forthcoming update will allow third-party developers to create applications which run concurrently and in the background on the iPhone 3GS.

Currently, the iPhone 3.0 runs on a pre-emptive multi-tasking operating system which artificially restricts apps, other than those which were bundled with the handset by Apple, from running in the background.

If you’re looking for a multi-tasking smartphone check out the Which? mobile phone reviews to see how the latest handsets from Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung rate in our expert lab tests. 

If the rumours turn out to be true, many commentators believe that the multi-tasking support will finally silence those who have been critical of Apple’s reluctance to work with systems other than its own. An Apple spokesperson refused to confirm or deny the rumours, and said the company never commented on speculation.

Google Android OS allows app multi-tasking

In contrast to Apple’s approach to allowing multi-tasking on the iPhone 3G and 3GS, smartphones running the Android operating system allow users to run multiple apps at the same time. 

Handsets such as the Google Nexus One, HTC Legend and T-Mobile Pulse Mini can all run apps such as Twitter or email at the same time as Facebook, music player or sat nav apps, although this can slow the user interface down when multiple processor-intensive apps are running simultaneously. 

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