Multitasking Features of Your iPhone 4S - dummies

Multitasking Features of Your iPhone 4S

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

The software in your iPhone 4S offers a bevy of important features, with the long-overdue multitasking feature arguably the most significant. So, you can play music from a third-party app such as Slacker in the background while you surf the web, peek at pictures, or check e-mail. Before multitasking hit the iPhone, Slacker would shut itself down the moment you started performing tasks in another app. (Previously, Apple let you multitask but only if you used Apple’s own apps, not those produced by outside developers.)

iPhone 4S multitasking possibilities

Aside from listening to music on a third-party app, the multitasking features of the iPhone 4S give you the ability to

  • Receive notification of an incoming call on an Internet voice-calling app such as Skype, even if you haven’t launched the Skype app.

  • Have a navigation app employing GPS update your position while you’re listening to an Internet radio app such as Pandora. From time to time, the navigation app will pipe in with turn-by-turn directions, lowering the volume of the music so you can hear the instructions.

  • Switch to another app while uploading images to a photo website confident that the images will continue to upload behind the scenes. (Who has time to wait for images to upload?)

  • You can even leave voice notes in the Evernote app while checking out a web page.

How to multitask on the iPhone 4S

Multitasking on the iPhone 4S couldn’t be easier: Double-press the Home button, and a tray holding icons for the most recently use apps appears at the bottom of the screen:


Tap the app you want to switch to: The app remembers where you left off. (Scroll to the right to see more apps. Scroll all the way to the left to see volume controls, AirPlay controls, and an orientation lock.)

Apple insists (and experience generally confirms) that multitasking does not drain the iPhone battery or exhaust system resources. The iPhone conserves power and resources by putting apps in a state of suspended animation. But you can wake them up instantly and return to what you were doing.

To remove an app from the tray holding icons of the most recently used apps — and thus remove the app from those in the multitasking rotation — press and hold your finger against any app until all the apps start to wiggle. Then tap the red circle with the white line that appears inside the app you want to remove. Poof, it’s gone.