iPad App Review: Multitasking

Noah Kravitz
 from  Oakland, CA
| Published: April 16, 2010

Multitasking for iPad ($2.99) - by Makayama, Inc.

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Pros: Split-screen view lets you monitor Twitter and Facebook accounts while surfing the Web; Toggle button allows full-screen Web view

Cons: Web browser lacks tabbed view functionality of some competitors

Buying Advice: It's not full-fledged user controllable multitasking, but it is a nice way to get your ADD on until iPhone OS 4 drops this Fall


One of the bigger drawbacks to Apple's iPad tablet computer is the lack of multitasking support in its iPhone OS 3.2. While OS 4 promises to fix that - to some extent, anyway - it won't be available for iPad until Fall. Until then, iPad users are relegated to one task at a time use of our fancy pants multitouch tablets. Save for listening to iPod library audio tracks while using other apps, that is.

Some clever developers are out to solve our short-term multitasking ills with some iPad apps that offer stopgap multitasking, if you will, in the form of software that employs split-screen designs to offer access to more than one Web-based service at a time. Makiyama's appropriately-named "Multitasking" is one such app I've had the chance to mess around with over the past few days. Multitasking offers a three-paned screen that combines Web browsing with access to your Twitter and Facebook accounts for a social networked slant on iPad multitasking.

(Makayama promotional video)

Multitasking worked just fine in my testing, and I like that it offers the option between full screen Web browsing and three pane mode, as the browser window does get kinda small when it makes room for the other stuff. While neither the Twitter or Facebook windows provide the full functionality of their respective services, they do offer quite a bit of utility; Multitasking's Twitter app is actually more robust than many stand-alone clients I've tried for iPhone and Android.

One small drawback is that Multitasking's Web browser doesn't offer tabbed windows like some of its competitors; instead, it uses the same multiple-window format as iPad's native Safari browser. Still, the WebKit-based browser renders pages faithfully, and if you're a Twitter and/or Facebook addict, Multitasking offers an easy way to keep tabs on your networks while getting other stuff done. So long as that other stuff can be gotten done in a (Flash-less) Web browser.

Makayama told me that they're working on integrating an Email client into the next release of Multitasking. Stay tuned ... 

See Also: MultiTask ($0.99)

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