iPad - Single Tasking Good or Bad?

A nerd missing out on life around him while deeply focusing on the single tasking iPad.

So I loaded my iPad with a few video podcasts and decided to type while I listened to the podcast. This is a no go. You can't have video running in the background or an app like Pandora while doing anything else. You can jailbreak this device but then that is not what Apple wanted you to do. So, is this single tasking a good thing?


I felt like an old person. Not that old is bad, but being able to do only one thing is sometimes frustrating. Especially because I'm used to running several applications at the same time with my desktop pc, my S10-3T netbook, and even my Palm Pre. Where is multi-tasking alright and where is single tasking best?

Multi-tasking alright when it compliments work flow and affects mood. Example:
Repetitive tasks enhanced with tempo of music

Through my automated work at BurrellesLuce I found that music enhanced my ability to deal with monotonous repetitive tasks. It actually made my job more enjoyable. Sometimes a killer soundtrack would come on my mp3 player and enabled me to quickly go through things without slowing my brain.

Bad example of multi-tasking:
  • Watching a video while reading or writing a document

Both require the same human component, your eyes. Jumping back and forth gives you less than half of each content's value. You are not getting anything done. I quickly noticed that the iPad forced me to watch a video and focus on just that. The end result is achieving better comprehension.

I'm guessing I can turn some of my video podcasts into audio so I just listen to them in the background and still manage to go through email and web stuff at the same time. The iPad's single tasking might just be what I actually need.  Especially with books and movies.

What is right for you?  Single tasking or multi-tasking?

Published: Jun 11, 2010

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Hi. My name is Jesse, and I'm a technology enthusiast. I play with technology and share what I find on this blog. If you have any questions then please use the contact form below. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.


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