MegatonApps: Multitaskers for iPad
Originally released in June 2010 after completing development in the Spring, Multitaskers was one of the first apps released on the App Store and remains one of the few of its kind today. The app restores several critical features found on the iPhone that did not appear natively on iPad, such as a calculator, weather, to-do list, timer, stopwatch and more. In total, Multitaskers includes eight “Taskers”, each of which fill an important role on the device but aren’t particularly worthy of an app to call their own. I designed the user interface for Multitaskers, including its icon and all of the visual elements seen in the app with the exception of the weather illustrations done by MegatonApps co-founder Sean O’Neill and several of the wallpaper options, which were submitted by friends.
The success of Multitaskers was stymied by unwritten App Store guidelines limiting the ability of applications to have more than one floating window on the iPad at a time. No such rule had been published, either through development channels or publicly, by Apple prior to the submission of Multitaskers to the App Store. Despite the decision and subsequent appeals going to truly the very highest level of Apple’s executive leadership, Multitaskers had to be released with its functionality and future updates far more limited in scope than initially planned. Although the app ran into trouble navigating Apple’s then completely opaque approval system, it was featured as “New and Noteworthy” by Apple following its release in more than a dozen countries worldwide, and the app quickly shot to the top rankings for productivity apps worldwide.
I remain incredibly proud of the work we did on Multitaskers, as we largely finished design and development of the app prior to the iPad’s initial launch. We did so by creating scale models of the hardware, drawing out each interface element by hand in order to confirm its usability in the final app.