Why can the BlackBerry PlayBook multitask so well?Tweet
Date: Aug 4, 2011 | Views: 119 | Comments: 0
The BlackBerry PlayBook is called the first truly multitasking tablet. What this actually means is that the PlayBook can run applications in the background properly - videos go on playing, files go on synchronising, etc, while you work in another app.
So why is the BlackBerry PlayBook so good at multitasking?
To do multitasking, you need reasonably powerful hardware specifications. Lots of memory, so the computer can keep all your apps ready and working at the same time. Lots of processor power, because users expect each application to feel like the only one on the system as they use it. The PlayBook’s specs are high-end for this reason: a dual-core 1Ghz processor on the OMAP4430 chipset, and 1GB of RAM. According to the BlackBerry PlayBook review at BGR,
"Apps load quickly, tend to be impressively responsive, and switching from one to the next is effortless."
However, even on pumped hardware, multitasking depends on the operating system correctly managing the needs of many different apps written by different teams. Any app can misbehave, and the OS needs to give each its own resources so the system as a whole stays stable. The PlayBook achieved this by choosing the QNX Neutrino OS for portable devices; this is a powerful UNIX-derived OS that has modern multitasking capabilities, and can gracefully handle any misbehaving applications. With that OS running the PlayBook, you can pull up as many apps as you like, and swipe between them as they work.
Finally, the GUI that the OS presents on the PlayBook is designed to make the most of the device’s multitasking powers. All applications are presented in scaled windows, to be scrolled and made full-screen - rather than just icons, you can see the running programs as they multitask. It’s very simple to monitor and switch between applications like this. If you need multitasking, there’s no better choice than the PlayBook.