One of the shortcomings that many feel was not addressed with the iPhone 3.0 update was multitasking. Apple made a decision to forgo multitasking in order to ensure optimal performance and battery life. Instead they opted to add Notifications that let you know when there has been a server change to the information you were accessing. This can certainly be handy for things such as IM clients, twitter, facebook and other services but it doesn’t address more basic advantages of multitasking. The crazy thing about this lack of multitasking is that Apple could have simulated multitasking quite easily on the iPhone/iPod Touch.
With multitasking environments you can have multiple programs running at the same time. Many mobile OS’ have been doing this for a while now and it makes so much sense to have. We are continually becoming more used to multitasking ourselves; especially while on the go. Having a multitasked OS means you can be in the middle of writing an email or editing a contact and jump over to the calendar to check on an appointment. When you jump back to the email or contact you are right where you left off, mid-edit; your cursor is in the same place and ready for you to continue. It makes for a MUCH more powerful and productive use of on-the-go time.
Apple could have easily simulated this without breaking from their decision to opt out of multitasking the iPhone. They could have had applications open up to exactly the state they were in when last closed, especially if you were mid-edit. That would mean you could be editing a contact and go to a webpage to copy their address and jump back to the contact to paste it in.
By combining notifications with this little change to applications Apple would have a sort-of-multitasking environment without any of the performance hit they are worried about. With the new iPhone 3Gs being so fast this makes even more sense, as switching between apps is much faster.
I also think they should have a quick pop-up menu that shows the last 3 or 5 apps used so that you can jump to those apps quickly rather than having to go back to the application launcher every time.
Anyway, now that my idea is on the intertubes I can sue Apple if they implement it. Kthxbai