For Apple, all systems go … forward?

Well, that certainly didn’t take long. Apple is expected to announce an updated operating system for the iPhone, and ultimately the iPad, which hit the customer market April 3. The Web rumor mill is rife with speculation about the new operating system; many people are saying the biggest change will be multitasking with third-party applications.

Currently, only applications native to the iPhone can operate simultaneously; users who want to run other apps concurrently are out of luck. I will welcome the ability to listen to my public-radio app — tuned to KNPR-FM, of course — while checking e-mail or surfing the World Wide Web. I’m betting other iPhone and iPad users will also be thankful that the iPhone will finally be able to do what other smartphones already do.

My biggest concern about iPhone multitasking is its possible effect on already-too-short battery life. Part of my morning routine is to mentally map where I’ll be in the next 12 hours and plan when and how I’ll be able to charge my iPhone. I have a car charger in both of my primary vehicles; a charger plugged into my laptop; two portable battery chargers tucked into my computer bag and another charger waiting on my nightstand. On a typical weekday, my phone is low on juice by 2 p.m. and approaching “20 percent remaining” territory by 5 p.m. if I haven’t plugged it in at least once.

I’ll post more on the new iPhone OS on Thursday. For more on the pending announcement, see this story from The Associated Press:

— IPhone update might address multitasking complaint (

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