I’ve recently re-jailbroken my iPhone. Primarily this was to get access to two apps that the App Store refused to carry (uMonitor and GV Mobile), plus I really like skinning my interface (hint hint, Apple! For a company that claims to be about individuality, you make it damn difficult to customize your products). I have a 3G iPhone so I can’t do much with it. But I saw a few posts on a variety of iPhone and gadget blogs talking about a multitasking application called ProSwitcher. It looked interesting enough that I wanted to try it out. I’ve been using it for about two weeks now and I gotta say that these guys have a great idea.
The basic concept of ProSwitcher is to replicate on the iPhone an interface similar to that of the Palm Pre. It is a front end to Backgrounder, an app that allows you to set certain apps to run in the background. Backgrounder is a must-have app for jailbroken iPhones but it has a distinctly minimalist interface, plus switching among the various running apps requires the standard interface actions so it’s hard to keep track of what’s running in the background.
When installed, ProSwitcher creates an icon plus a Settings entry. You never need to touch the ProSwitcher app itself – everything is handled through its Settings.
The settings primarily revolve around how ProSwitcher is activated, though there are a number of other parameters that can be set using the interface.
The activation options are many and varied, and you should play around with them to figure out which method works for you. When activated, ProSwitcher cards look very Pre-like.
There are a small set of dots underneath the application title – these describe the number of running apps. To switch between the apps, just flick the cards left or right. To close a running app, just hit the “X” button in the top left corner. You can activate any of the dock icons directly as well as flicking between the active apps. And that’s pretty much it.
The main issue I had with ProSwitcher was that I didn’t have an iPhone 3GS. On the faster processor with the larger free memory, I’m sure this app would have been really amazing. But on a 3G, the lack of RAM plus the slow processor makes this app worthless for running more than three or four apps at the same time, and since two of those slots are typically taken up by the Mail and Phone apps, and since I use my iPod app more than just about any other app on my phone, I was pretty much only single-tasking anyways. But if you’ve got a jailbroken 3GS, definitely check out ProSwitcher. I think it’s a great little app, and the fact that it’s (currently) freeware is even more amazing. I was going to buy MultiFl0w, the other highly rated multitasking manager, but I’m glad I tried ProSwitcher first. Not because it’s necessarily better, but because it showed me that I really don’t multitask very much.
ProSwitcher is available via Cydia.