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Yes, I know the iPhone multitasks perfectly well. I also know that it's possible to make apps that multitask on the standard SDK, or at least run in the background, without jailbreaking.

Apple won't let you sell those apps through the store. It's a political issue. Currently if you have the App Store, which Apple seems to quite like, you can't have apps that multitask.

What's strange about this, exactly? It's one of the single most reliable criticisms of the iPad. It also happens to be true. I happen to want a Twitter client that can be set to foreground itself when a message comes in, or stays hidden when I don't. This is not an unreasonable requirement.

As for social computing - no, you're right, you don't understand the conversation.

A lot of other people do. I'd guess many of them are younger than either of us.

But since it's not clear, I'll spell it out - social computing means full-time contact with friends, family and co-workers. Full-time means that you can message casually, gossip, collaborate, and exchange text, video, photos, music, and other media near-instantly, from any location, without being tied to a desktop.

It also means that instead of being a slightly weird geeky adjunct to the real relationship, it becomes a seamless feature of the f2f relationship. It's not a substitute or a poor imitation, it is the relationship, or at least a significant part of it.

What's happened so far is that there platforms for all of these options, but they don't work together. You can share photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube, and text via SMS, Twitter, longer text via blogs, and so on.

People like all of these options. They'll like them more when they can do more of them at the same time in a single environment.

The iPad could be good for that, but currently it isn't.

It's about building networks of attention, not applications that do one social thing.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 2nd, 2010 at 10:00:14 AM EST
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