The big fat smartphone multitasking challenge - can anybody beat our champion?
The smartphone world has been full of challenges recently, not least various campaigns from the Windows Phone community, trying to 'smoke' other user interfaces, pointing out how fast some things can be done with the new OS. However, I have a challenge of my own - being something of a fan of hardware shortcut keys and multitasking, I thought I'd invite anybody who fancied themselves (and their devices of choice) to try and beat my time for a common enough set of actions, set below.
Here are the steps I plucked out of the air to do. Note that you don't have to do them in exactly the same order as I did!
- Unlock your phone's screen
- Swipe to another homescreen (or, if you're on an iPhone, another page of applications)
- Take a photo of something in front of you
- Launch any music application of your choice and start a track playing
- Check your email, open one of the emails up full-screen
- Check your Calendar, see what you're doing on the 17th of next month
- Check for your latest Twitter mentions
- Share the photo you took earlier with the world somehow
- Return to your homescreen
A fairly common set of smartphone actions and ones which should be easy enough on every single phone platform these days. Check out the video below, on the Nokia E6. I'd love to know your best time on other hardware and platforms.
In fact, I needn't have waited for Gravity to finish uploading the photo, I could have just let it do this in the background, which would have shaved another 4 seconds off the total, bringing my best time on the E6 down to 49 seconds.
My gut feel is that for sheer 'nipping around between applications, getting stuff done', having hardware shortcut keys (in the E6's case, with assignable 'long presses' as well, is a real speed boon. Anybody remember the dedicated application buttons on the fabulously underrated (and abandoned by its manufacturer) Nokia E90?
So... if you've got a minute or two to try the steps above - what's your best time? How do full touchscreen phones like the iPhone, SGS2 and N8 fare in these sort of trials?
Steve Litchfield, 30th April, AAS
Published by Steve Litchfield at 11:12 UTC, April 30th