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Multitasking On Belle OS Still Second To None

Posted by Moverick on November 11, 2012  /   Posted in Tips

Belle OS multitasking

Using the Nokia 808 PureView as my daily smartphone in the last couple of weeks has been fun in different ways. One of the things that sets it apart is how multitasking is implemented on the Belle OS that it runs (and its progenitor, Symbian OS). To summarise it, Belle (and MeeGo) still have the best implementation of multitasking on any smartphone platform.

It will be argued that Android OS also features full multitasking. That argument is only on paper. In everyday use, multitasking on Belle is light years ahead of what obtains on Android. Having used the Samsung Galaxy S II, Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro, and HTC One X, among several others, in the last one year, a common trend on all these Android devices is how if you leave an app open in the background and go do other things for a significant period, when you return to that app, it is actually reloaded. This may not seem like a big deal, unless you are on a limited data plan and using the web browser for example. Any open pages are loaded afresh, thereby eating up your data.

On Belle OS, I comfortably leave webpages open and go away for a whole day, and return to find them there as I left them. It saves me time and it conserves my data.

One other smartphone platform that offers multitasking at this superb level is MeeGo. This is why I am waiting excitedly for smartphones from Jolla Mobile and their MeeGo-based Jolla OS. BlackBerry OS operates similar to this, and I hope to God that RIM will keep the faith and give us proper multitasking on OS 10 as well. WebOS was splendid too on this score, but that platform is effectively dead.

For now, if you desire proper multitasking on your smartphone, Belle OS and BlackBerry OS 7 devices are what the doctor ordered.

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About Moverick

Webmaster and Content Creator. Owned over 120 mobiles. Founder of Mobility Arena, HouseOfMo.com, and MobiNaija.com. Follow him on Twitter @Moverick, on LinkedIn at YomiAdegboye, and circle him on Google+.

19 Comments

  1. eye_bee_kay November 12, 2012 4:50 am / Reply

    And that is hitting your head on the nail!

    if there is one thing I miss badly since ditching Symbian/ Belle for Android, it is rock_solid, reliable multi_tasking

    Poignant, but, “that’s just the way it is..”

  2. emmaedeh November 12, 2012 8:26 am / Reply

    I totally agree. I miss symbian a lot. android is cool but the multitasking on symbian is just light years away.

  3. Harry Echemco November 12, 2012 9:35 am / Reply

    Interesting article.

    Yes, some people may prefer the way multitasking is implemented on Symbian/Belle and I do admit that the Symbian/Belle way may be advantageous in some situations, but light years ahead? What a laugh. Guess it is that standard thing of the dead, no matter who they are, being showered with eulogies at their funerals.

    For now, if you desire proper multitasking on your smartphone, Belle OS and BlackBerry OS 7For now, if you desire proper multitasking on your smartphone, Belle OS and BlackBerry OS 7 devices are what the doctor ordered.devices are what the doctor ordered.

    It should be: If you desire multitasking the Symbian/Belle way… Android implements multitasking properly but with intelligent considerations too. It may not go down well with some people just like the crooked and convoluted way most simple task on Symbian/Belle pisses off some or rather most people.

    Maybe we can also say that Symbian/Belle does not implement UI the proper way or that its implementation lags Android’s by light years.

  4. eye_bee_kay November 12, 2012 12:35 pm / Reply

    @Harry Echemco, here is the issue…

    On Symbian / Belle, you can have tasks running in the background, and be confident you will find those tasks still running when you come back.

    On Android (@ least on my version 2.3.4), I would not dare leave a task running and be totally sure that I would still find it live when I come back.

    A mere call coming in at the wrong time has made tasks close prematurely!

    WHATEVER algorithm is used to decide what apps get closed in the background need serious tweaking. it is just not effective.

    And before someone would rush to tell me it is because I am running a moribund Version, or that my memory is inadequ8, Mr. Mo with ICS omplains too.

    And if you tell me I have low memory, pleeeease. Android is fond of felling up that same memory with apps I hardly ever use! Why can it not simply close low priority apps running on the background.?

    A low priority app would include an app I hardly ever run. Or that I ran a looong time ago.

    So, if we are to say it as it is, Symbian/Belle way of multitasking is indisputably superior to the current Androidal method, in real life usage …

  5. efe November 12, 2012 2:32 pm / Reply

    @eyebeekay, your OS is outdated. ICS has a feature that allows you disable specific background apps. And I can categorically tell you your phone has a very small RAM. My phone is very similar to yours. I also have problems with apps closing. These things are relative. I used a nokia symbian phone before this. It was practically impossible to run 3 apps simultaneously. At a point I couldnt use Nokia Maps Navigation feature because I d always get a Memory Too low message. On the other hand, you can open an infinite number of apps on Nokia E5. I also use a galaxy tab. Yesterday, I used a number of apps and forgot to close them. I woke up today and used those apps exactly as I left them. My brother once opened all the apps he had on his Galaxy S2 in an attempt to max out his RAM and force some apps to close. He failed. All ran simultaneously without problems

  6. Harry Echemco November 12, 2012 4:00 pm / Reply

    @Eye.Bee.Kay:

    Efe has said it all. You were talking of the algorithm used in deciding apps to close when resources is low. Android services take priority, followed by the myriads of apps/services you clip to your notification bar, then the current app in the foreground and going back to recently used apps. It is also important that you don’t put apps you intend to remain active to the background with the home or back button. Instead, just use any of those methods that will allow you open another app while the current one is visibly open like Smart Taskbar or 1Tap Quick Bar.

    Some of your problems are that you simply want Android to do it exactly the way you are used to on Symbian. This is modern era guys. You need a little adjustment.

  7. eye_bee_kay November 12, 2012 6:41 pm / Reply

    Well, Mr. Mo uses an HTC 1X. Now, the OS on THAT phone is not outdated. Neither is the RAM on THAT phone low. Wet know Mr. No is not an App Junkie. I bet he has less than twenty apps installed on his phone.

    How come he is experiencing the same issue as I am?

    I think Mr. Mo ought to speak out here!

    Talking of Gingerbread being outdated, the majority of Android phones out there run Gingerbread, so you guys running something more recent are far fewer.

    MAYBE I will just update to ICS to see for myself..

    The logic expressed up there by both Efe and Harry do not sound convincing.

    When I use a Task manager to kill thirdparty apps, many of those apps just get loaded into memory almost immediately.

    So where is this logic of low memory if Android is busy filling my memory with unneeded apps? ? Many of the apps loaded unnecessarily into memory are thirdparty, not systems app!

    My
    brother once opened all
    the apps he had on his
    Galaxy S2 in an attempt to
    max out his RAM and
    force some apps to close.

    I would love to see that. but then, we are not talking about getting the memory maxed out. Instead, we are talking about an Opera Mini closing when I leave it to use a calculator, and I come back immediately afterwards. Or I poured the home key to check something I need on the current app, and find I have to start all over.

    the way Android operates makes maxing out the memory almost impossible to accomplish. it will merely close some apps instead.

    And Harry saying I should not use the HOME key is also unconvincing. the home key is supposed to take me to the home screen. finish.

    is Harry saying I cannot multitask unless I have third party apps like 1Tap QuickBar installed, or what?

  8. Harry Echemco November 12, 2012 11:00 pm / Reply

    @Eye.Bee.Kay:

    And Harry saying I should not use the HOME key is also unconvincing. the home key is supposed to take me to the home screen. finish.

    I only said that because of the problems you are having. I’m only trying to be helpful not really telling you to never use your Home key. It is obvious that part of your problem is Harry saying I cannot multitask unless I have third party apps like 1Tap QuickBar installed, or what?is insufficient RAM. And again, you just have to understand the way Android works and adjust accordingly. Android handles memory management by closing some apps based on its analysis of the priority of the running apps.

    You should know that most system or bundled apps that start themselves at boot up are usually services and cannot be killed by merely using task managers, they most likely would start themselves up immediately. The better option is to tap and hold until options pops out and from there you can select More Information which would take you to the screen where you will have the option of uninstalling, clearing cache, move to SDCard/internal storage and force close. If you use force close option, it is more effective in closing the app permanently until next boot. But of course, because of the nature of Android, another app may cause it to start again, like the sharing feature.

    is Harry saying I cannot multitask unless I have third party apps like 1Tap QuickBar installed, or what?

    I am not saying that. I would rather let you know that when you have following apps:
    * aNdClip
    * 1Tap Quick Bar
    * My Data Manager
    * Bird Bar Premium
    * Clip Ninja
    * AD Blocker
    * AutomateIt
    * Elixir 2
    * WhatsApp
    among others clipped to your Status Bar and always on, you are already multitasking heavily without giving any thought to the lean resources of your device. I will also let you know that multitasking is not all about letting you decide what to close when you exhaust the resources of your device through excessive multitasking but rather running more than one applications at the same time and it is obvious you are doing just that with the list here.

    The system is intelligent enough to know that those services you have clipped to the notification bar are more important to you than other apps you have in the background and you are here complaining. With that number of apps constantly running in the background, now tell me what proper multitasking is all about or what you mean by not being able to multitask without third party applications

  9. efe November 12, 2012 11:10 pm / Reply

    That is why you need to update to a version that lets you disable background processes. And I still maintain that many of the issues you are having have a lot to do with low memory. As we speak, the book app I have been using on my tab is still very much open. No change. It hasnt reloaded. I have run several apps. Other people have used the tab to watch videos and play games, but the apps have not reloaded. You misunderstood my example involving my brother. His intention was to max out the RAM. During his “experiment”, not one app closed. Not one reloaded. He had to manually kill all the apps. I dont know about Mr Mo’s one x, but I know I have read many reviews of htc one x where the reviewer raved about the multitasking capabilities of that particular phone.

    Finally, your problem with opera mini may be with operamini itself. I noticed that when you are loading a page on opera mini and the screen times out or you switched to another app, the page stops loading and gives a network error message. This doesnt happen with dolphin or other browsers. Interestingly, this doesnt happen on my tab or my brother’s S2 because ( I am guessing) we have background data on on our ics devices. But it happens on my xperia neo running Gingerbread with background data off

    • Mister Mo November 13, 2012 5:44 am /

      Efe,

      Trust me, half of those other “reviewers” don’t know what they are doing or talking about.

      Also, besides my One X, I owned a Galaxy S II and it was running ICS before I sold it off. Yet the same phenomenon occurred.

      If you guys say it is because of low RAM, and we are talking about flagship devices here, then we are back to the subject of Android being a resource hog. I have had enough experiences with Android and Belle devices to tell you that without doubt, Belle handles multitasking better. It isn’t just a case of being different.

      It is getting amusing, because all these tutorials you guys are giving suggest that one might need a PhD in order to be able to use an Android phone properly.

      I better go buy an iPhone.

  10. Harry Echemco November 13, 2012 4:33 am / Reply

    Yes, just like efe said, it is important to note that if you turn off background data on your Android device, you will be having problems with some apps running in the background, and browsers generally are going to be affected when background data is turned off. So please, if you think you are having problems running applications in the background and believe your device has enough resources to support multitasking, make sure that background data is turned on and always on.

    • Mister Mo November 13, 2012 5:38 am /

      Harry,

      Disabling background processes and enabling background data are two different things, and what Efe said is quite different from what you have alluded to.

  11. eye_bee_kay November 13, 2012 5:55 am / Reply

    Yeah, good tutorials all round.

    I think I totally align with Mr Mo here. Totally.

    And I have nothing to add.

  12. Harry Echemco November 13, 2012 6:30 am / Reply

    Mr. Mo, I think efe and I are just saying quite the same thing.

    It is getting amusing, because all these tutorials you guys are giving suggest that one might need a PhD in order to be able to use an Android phone properly.
    I better go buy an iPhone.

    LOL. Mr. Mo going political there. I’ve read articles by Mr. Mo himself giving more complicated tutorials on this same site on how to make some apps work on BB subscription without warning the audience that a PhD is required. Talk of shifting goal post. LOL.

    If enabling background data on Android would require PhD degree, then fiddling with APN and internet profiles on Symbian/Belle and the crooked ways they are implemented should require something out of this planet.

  13. Mister Mo November 13, 2012 6:41 am / Reply

    Harry,

    Oh, for sure, those users need a PhD to setup those apps on BlackBerry, as they do to use multitasking on Android as a whole. No questions.

    Just to be sure, I will also collate the tips that you and Efe have provided here and put up a post on how to get the best of multi-tasking on Android.

  14. Harry Echemco November 13, 2012 7:18 am / Reply

    Oh, for sure, those users need a PhD to setup those apps on BlackBerry, as they do to use multitasking on Android as a whole. No questions.

    Mr. Mo on a suicide bomb mission. LOL.

    It’s like Mr. Mo is in the mood today and maybe the former Symbian faithfuls have come together for this one, unfortunately I’m not in the mood. Ok, Symbian/Belle and Blackberry win. LOL.

  15. Efe November 13, 2012 7:54 am / Reply

    A quick check confirms Mr Mo’s problem with the htc one x. Apparently, Sense UI 4 was tweaked to “multitask” more like iOS.
    I kinda agree with eyebeekay, android seems to run unnecessary apps in the background. It annoys me sometimes to see ‘dialer’ as one of the processes that uses data. I can testify to the multitasking prowess of symbian (am yet to use belle) when the appropriate device is used. A low resource symbian phone will give you high blood pressure. As Mr Mo said, it boils down to resources. Android is too resource hungry. Hardware that is sufficient for other platforms may not be adequate for android

  16. bosun99uk November 13, 2012 8:33 am / Reply

    Waiting to see the true multitasking on BB10 to.
    Its amazing what multitasking is on other platforms.
    I would have preferred an option to choose apps that can have full multitasking on my device.

  17. Belushi November 14, 2012 4:47 am / Reply

    I don’t experience these issues on my Android as mentioned by Mr Mo. May be rarely on my galaxy s days. But right from the s2 to my present note2…naaaa

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