Multitasking vs Parallelism

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

In my mind, “multitasking” in computers is the ability for the user to actively work on several things at the same time.

Then there’s “parallelism,” which I think of as multitasking+. Yes, it’s partially me working on different things, but also the ability to me to tell my computer to do something, and then I move on to totally different things while it does its thing. For me it’s out of sight, out of mind, but it’s still happening. Examples of this could be rendering a video in Final Cut, downloading a large file in Safari, running a script on a remote server, or moving a file onto an external hard drive. Foreground, background, whatever, the computer knows I want to do it, and will keep going no matter what.

iOS 9 gave us multitasking on the iPad, and I really hope iPadOS 15 makes parallelism more powerful. At the very lest, I’d love it if I could simply start a video export in LumaFusion on my iPad Pro, throw the app in the background, and do other things while it works on it, I’d be very happy.