Is the iPad 2 a truly multi-tasking device? e.g. Can I listen to some kind of audio formats (not via iTunes) in the background while surfing on Safari ?
iOS devices could always play play audio in the background. From iOS 4, 3rd party apps may also run in the background, but the multitasking ability is restricted. Applications which aren't running are frozen to save CPU and battery life. However there are 7 background API's which may execute in the background :
- Background audio
- Voice over IP
- Background location
- Push notifications
- Local notifications
- Task finishing
- Fast app switching
See here for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS_(Apple)#Multitasking
See Ars Technica's review of iOS4 for information on iPad multitasking.
iOS (like the Mac OS) is based on BSD Unix. The OS can 'truly' multitask - and it has done from day one. A lot of processes run under the hood, even whilst your device is 'sleeping'.
As already stated here, Apple have recently opened some of this kind of functionality to developers with a selection of APIs.
This has been possible ever since the first iPhone. When people used to say iOS couldn't multitask, but this wasn't exactly true. You've always been able to quit an app and return to it, and if it was well-coded, it'd return to it's previous state at the time of ur last use of it. People complained applications can't operate in the background, but music was always an exception to this.