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5/2/2012
01:22 PM
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15-Year-Old's App Turns iPad Into A Windows-like OS

Quasar, an iPad app created by a Brazilian high school student, allows iPad users to multitask.

Pedro Franceschi
Pedro Franceschi
iPad apps normally take up the whole screen, but it doesn't have to be that way. Pedro Franceschi is a 15-year-old Brazilian developer who hacked the iPad, because he wanted his iOS device to run more like a traditional PC.

He created Quasar to allow iPad apps to run as if they are using a desktop operating system such as Windows or Mac OS X. That means iPad users can keep multiple apps open at the same time. Running such software requires "jailbreaking" the iPad, which frees it from the restricted environment in which apps normally run. These environments are called "sandboxing" and are designed to protect users against malicious software.

"I've been using it for weeks mainly to be in Twitter, Facebook, and Google Talk; watch videos; and reply to emails at the same time. Certainly my productivity is way better with Quasar. I think the best use of it is to interact with many applications at the same time and perform tasks quicker," Franceschi said.

The app is available for $9.99 on the Cydia jailbroken app store. The app has been downloaded 1,100 times.

"Certainly multi-tasking is the future of any modern operating system, including iOS. I think Apple will implement in a future version of iOS something similar to Quasar to allow [better ] multi-tasking," Franceschi said.

This isn't Franceschi's first hack. He created PhySwitch, an app that allows users to change applications using volume buttons; PhyScroll, an app that lets users scroll any iOS application by tilting the device or using volume buttons; and most recently, an app that makes Siri speak in Portuguese, which is his native language.

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