Multitasking: Intel does, iPad doesn't

The LG smartphone based on Intel's upcoming "Moorestown" chip does multitasking, a feature Apple's forthcoming iPad tablet lacks. A leg up for the Intel camp?

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read
This Aava Mobile design uses the upcoming Intel Moorestown chip. Devices using the chip can multitask.
This Aava Mobile design uses the upcoming Intel Moorestown chip. Devices using the chip can multitask. Aava Mobile

How important is the ability to multitask on tablet-class devices like Apple's iPad? Important enough that the feature will likely be touted as a trump card for Intel-based smartphones such as a tablet-size phone from LG due later this year.

How do we know this? Watch the embedded CNET video below, which I took at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, and find out. Toward the end of the video (the 2:55 mark), Pankaj Kedia, director of Intel's Global Ecosystems Program for Mobile Internet Devices and Smart Phones, makes it clear that multitasking--in this case using Intel's Moblin operating system--is a marquee feature for devices running on Intel's Moorestown chip technology, due sometime in the next few months.

Kedia shows three applications running but is quick to add that "you can have more apps running."

Of course, on an Apple laptop, where a user can easily have a dozen or more apps active, multitasking is taken for granted. For example, users can watch a video feed while writing an e-mail. For the iPad, however, Apple is betting that the snappy interface, as demonstrated in this CNET video, will more than compensate for the lack of multitasking.

On Friday, I asked Keida about the importance of multitasking on Intel-based smartphones and tablets.

Watch this: Intel gives in-depth demo of new LG smartphone

"Consumers want to do multiple things at the same time: listen to music while browsing the Web, look for directions while looking at your calendar and talking with your friends, and so on," he said in response to an e-mail query. "Multitasking is one of the key differentiators for the LG GW990 smartphone, based on the Intel Moorestown platform," he said.

To date, Intel has gone public on three Moorestown-based designs. The LG GW990 smartphone, the Aava Mobile smartphone, and the OpenPeak tablet. "The LG GW990 is a product, while the Aava and OpenPeak are two of our leading reference designs, which will generate multiple end-user products," he said. "As we launch Moorestown in [the first half of this year] and products begin to ship in (the second half of the year), you will hear about additional customers."