Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.


Over a year ago, I wrote a long thing about multitasking. I pointed out the difference between multitasking as perceived by the OS and the multiple functions human beings incur to accomplish a single task, and noted that this works fine on a large display, but multiple windows are hard to use on a small display:

Multiple OS tasks may be one user task on that kind of device, and iOS only supports single-window tasks. Viewing only one app at a time is inelegant and inefficient. If you have an Android tablet, a Finnish company has developed an application called Ixonos, which allows you to have multiple windows open at once. But if you watch the video, it also proves itself as inelegant and clunky. The controls are far too small on a 10″ screen.

Now you can have that same clunky experience with tiny controls on iOS. Also, no apps in the demo video use a keyboard, so it’s hard to see how that will integrate. My guess is that it runs within each application’s frame, reducing the size of the keys.

I don’t want to belittle the accomplishments of the developer of Quasar—this is one hell of a hack. But my point stands: controls become too small, and it’s an inelegant way of working.