Multitasking on the N90 11:43 on Friday

Day 2 with Nokia N90, part 7.

I’m slowly getting brainwashed to the nerdy possibilities of N90, although I still think it (and Series 60 OS itself) is an early adopter thing not suitable for people who just want a phone. Or just want to take pictures. Or just do anything else, without the hassle of operating a matchbox-sized computer disguised as a handset.

A computer comes with the concepts of a computer UI, and multitasking is the concept of today. Which, I think, is not a good idea for a phone. Multitasking is a sound concept when you actually sit eight hours in front of the machine, moving from task to task. But for me, a phone is a single-tasking device. It is modal. You might be shooting images on the phone and suddenly get a call. You don’t keep on shooting images and answer the phone, but you switch to “discussion mode” and possibly continue shooting when you’re finished. Or, if you actually need to show the caller something while on the phone, the camera functions should reflect the “photography during discussion” mode with appropriate functions, not make me think about two “overlayed” but separate modes.

From a user perspective (in contrast to a technical perspective) effective people are kings of single-tasking, and their tools should support that. A smooth flow from task to task, without the need for constant interruptions and manual juggling of tasks.

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