Get an Android fan and an Apple "Fanboy" in the same room and bring up the subject of multitasking. The arguments from both sides regarding the subject are going to both be relevant in regard to their preferred platforms. Yes, the Android operation system can run multiple apps in the background. The "Fanboy" will tell you that the way Apple does it is better with their fast app-switching saved state method because it is better on battery life.
What is the definition of multitasking?
Here is "multi-tasking" in the dictionary:
Who or what is doing the multitasking on mobile devices?
Generally, the multitasking is being done by the device not the user. The user's ability to multitask is limited to phone conversations or the ability to listen to audio while in other applications on the device. As it stands now, the user cannot be in two separate applications simultaneously doing two different things. Even if we could, our brains don't process that information all at once. But devices are different. While I may be reading emails, my device may be updating applications, downloading new podcasts, or syncing with Dropbox. This is true multitasking and both platforms do it and do it well. While the difference between iOS and Android may be the imposed time limit that Apple gives applications to run in the background, it is not due to the limitations of the hardware but rather the decision by Apple to prioritize battery life.
Just because apps are running in the background, does not mean they are multi-tasking. Multitasking occurs when those apps running in the background are actually doing something. Uploading, downloading and syncing information in the background as you interact with your device is true multitasking and both platforms do this. The term multi-tasking has been used and abused in the mobile tech industry. I am just someone trying to make sense of it all.
Now, if you were reading this while enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee? Well, that's my kind of multitasking.