One of the most anticipated features of 2010’s iOS 4 (which launched alongside the iPhone 4) was multitasking. The feature was one of the few real advantages held over iOS by platforms like Palm’s webOS. As it turned out, though, what iOS users got with iOS 4 was not exactly multitasking – not the kind of multitasking they were used to on their desktop computers. Instead, when the user left an application, the OS saved that application’s state and suspended it, allowing a user to pick up where they left off rather than having to restart the app from scratch.
While definitely a welcome change, iOS 4’s feature didn’t quite reach full multitasking. Now, those with jailbroken iPads can get true window-based multitasking. Quasar is a jailbreak tweak now available in the Cydia store. For those not up on the lingo, a tweak changes the behavior of the operating system, allowing you to do things like put five icons on your iPhone dock or turn off bluetooth and wifi from the Notification Center. While there are apps in the Cydia store, the bulk of Cydia’s content is actually tweaks of various kinds.
Quasar puts your apps in windows, and allows you to put multiple windows on your iPad screen at once. You can easily switch between apps. You can also move and resize your windows, change their orientation, close them, or make them full-screen. You can also run iPhone-only apps on your iPad without having to either double their size or have large amounts of useless black space on your screen. Here’s a video of Quasar in action:
Unlike the standard iOS multitasking, the apps you’re not using with Quasar don’t go into suspension, apparently. If you look closely about 30 seconds into the video, you can see the time on the iPad’s main clock click over to 11:55. The clock at the top of the Twitter app does the same thing at the same time.
Quasar is available in the Cydia store for $9.99. If you’ve got a jailbroken iPad, go check it out and let us know what you think in the comments.