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Rumor: Multitasking coming to iPhone OS 4

Actually, the bigger surprise would be if Apple didn't add this long-awaited feature to the new OS. But now we have an official "unofficial" rumor that it's happening.

The Palm Pre does a nice job with multitasking, and a lot of people want the same for the iPhone. David Carnoy/CNET

"And it's about damn time!"

Sorry, that was just my excited utterance upon reading Thursday morning's AppleInsider story about iPhone OS 4. It cites "people with a proven track record" in claiming that multitasking will finally make its debut.

Multitasking, of course, refers to the operating system's ability to run more than one app at a time and let you switch between them at will, just like you can do in Windows, Mac OS, Android, Palm WebOS, and just about every other OS on the planet--mobile or otherwise.

The iPhone OS currently offers limited multitasking: You can listen to music while, say, reading a book, and keep a phone call active while browsing in Safari, but that's about it.

According to AppleInsider's sources, "Apple plans to deliver a multitasking manager that leverages interface technology already bundled with its Mac OS X operating system." Sounds good to me.

Of course, only Apple knows if, when, and how that will be implemented. Personally, I just want a way to organize my ever-increasing app library--though hopefully that will go hand-in-hand with whatever interface changes bring multitasking.

How about you? Are you champing at the bit for this long-overdue feature, or do you have other items on your wish list? While you're mulling that over (and writing up insightful comments), check out David Carnoy's iPhone 4G: 25 most-wanted features. Hopefully we won't have to wait long for at least some of them.