RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook offers true multitasking.
Recently BGR got an up-close-and-personal date with the BlackBerry Playbook, RIM's upcoming 7-inch tablet. While the site wasn't allowed to get a hands-on feel for the device (literally, it couldn't be touched), a RIM representative offered a 9-minute demonstration which was captured on video, seen below.
As shown in the demo, all four bevels were touch sensitive, following Palm's lead in providing off-screen swipe-based commands. Typical tablet functions included flicking upwards from the bottom bezel to minimize the current application to flicking inwards from the right bezel to launch a rather nifty task viewer. An on-screen keyboard was even be loaded up by swiping in from the left corner.
One important factor that RIM revealed in the demo was that the tablet has true multitasking capabilities, allowing applications to continuously run when minimized. In this case, the RIM rep could load and manage photos while a music app played in the background. He then closed the music app, minimized the gallery, and played a 1080p video. There was no indication that the music app and the video app couldn't run simultaneously-- the music was likely turned off to keep the noise and annoyance level at a minimum.
The demo also showed how users could move between apps while in "minimize mode." When active apps were minimized, the tablet's screen was divided into two sections-- a larger top area consisting of the running applications displayed like a handful of cards, and a smaller strip residing underneath which rendered the tablet's typical menu of app icons. The latter main section could be "maximized" by a simple touch, allowing the user to launch another application and then reduce the area once more to focus on the running programs.
As shown by the RIM rep, a current open app can be minimized by swiping up from the bottom. Users then move between open application windows by simply moving a fingertip left or right. To close a highlighted app, simply swiping up on the miniature window or tapping its "X."
To see the demonstration, check out the video!