'Multitask7' homebrew brings fast-app switching to Windows Phone

A few weeks ago, we saw the advent of a de-hydration hack on Windows Phone that seemingly brought fast-app switching to the OS (and despite claims, we didn't see a hit on battery life).

Now the same hacker, Jaxbot over at Windows Phone Hacker, is bringing it to the next level by adding on an app-switching program to the mix. In short, this brings near full multi-tasking to Windows Phone well before the 'Mango' update, expected this fall.

By utilizing the camera's half-shutter button, a user can bring up a nice UI that allows one to now choose between apps that are "running" instead of just using the back-arrow or "re-launching" the app from your Start screen. Of note, this is just a 'preview' meaning the design is still in development and things can change as it progresses. Either way, we're stoked:

...the application is triggered by pressing the half shutter button (pressing the camera button halfway, not to the point where the camera would launch), and allows the user to jump between desired applications. The applications run in the background to a degree, as shown with the timer, and no time is required to bring the applications back from their background state. It's all very technical, but rest assure that he will be sharing some more details in the future.

Keep in mind the application is a preview-the interface and how it functions may very well change before release, and no release date is available. But if you're interested in having it on your device, share some thoughts about how you think it should look, function, etc, in the comments below.

Very cool stuff. Stay tuned for more as this develops. Of note, you will need a developer unlocked device to have this work when it is finally released.

Source: Windows Phone Hacker


Reader comments

'Multitask7' homebrew brings fast-app switching to Windows Phone


Yeah I'll wait for Mango. I know this is beta but show was the Mango preview we all saw and:1) It was faster.2) It looked better.3) It was easier to use.I love my hacks. But I'm fine with it how it is at the moment.

TBH, I really disliked the multi-tasking implementation in Mango. It screams WebOS copy, and it doesn't follow Microsoft's own guidelines for Metro UI

Damn, this is pretty amazing. So I guess they didn't find out any downsides of having that registry hack enabled? You say there seems to be no impact on battery, what about memory?

In theory it can happen. I did see once my tiles didn't refresh (lots of blanks, had to soft reset) but for the most part, the hack was fine, no issues.

Hmmmmm.......So some hacker did this in his spare time, yet it is taking Microsoft and their 100,000 employees several months to do this........scratches head

I don't think it's a mystery at all. Microsoft didn't suddenly forget how to do WP7 development. I don't believe MS has more than a handful of developers working on WP7 anymore; I suspect the rest are off working on the tablet port of Windows 8. WP7 is a stopgap to try and stem the losses while they work on their long-term solution; it's the Windows ME of the phone world, one last bit of polish on a turkey of an OS. Windows ME managed to scrape two years out of the old 16-bit Windows 3.x OS while Microsoft got Windows NT ready for the desktop (Win XP); WP7 is eking another two years out of Windows Mobile to give MS time to move Windows 8 down to the phone. This is the simplest explanation for why the same company that brought WP7 to its current state in such a short tine is now having trouble getting out a simple cut-and-paste update, and taking another year to do the minor enhancements needed to expose the multitasking support that clearly already exists in the OS.

You're right, MS did a more extensive UI rewrite for WP7 than they did for ME, but in both cases they put their future UI concept onto a creaky old OS (Win3x/Windows Mobile) to distract the customers with shiny things while they used the breathing room to do the hard work of fixing the underlying OS. I do think that WP7 is a more successful execution of this tactic than ME was - ME was hated and abandoned by MS, WP7 is loved and apparently abandoned by MS.Given that MS seems to be embracing the Metro UI concepts elsewhere it seems likely that WP8 will be the same basic UI with the phone port of Windows 8 running underneath. By that time (~2 yrs) dual cores with 1+GB RAM should be cost-effective for mid-upper tier phones, and Windows 8 should be capable of running very effectively on such hardware.I suspect that WP8 will be a really killer system. Unfortunately it's not gonna be WP7 like they promised, and in the Microsoft tradition will be several years late, which is why I've shelved my Focus and gone back to Android (Nexus/Cyanogenmod7). But I will be eagerly following WinPhone's future progress.

what about the HTC HD2 running WP7? the camera button on that device is the call button which has no possibility to be half-way pushed.