Apple just gave us all a sneak preview of iPhone OS 4, introducing some pretty interesting features after Steve Jobs did his usual numbers update at the start of the keynote. Oh, by the way, since iPad launch day, 450,000 iPads have been sold, and the App Store has hit over 4 billion downloads.
As far as iPhone OS 4 is concerned, well there were 7 new features that were mentioned by Steve Jobs in the Apple keynote announcement event…
It was on the top of a lot of people’s wish-lists for iPhone OS 4, and it was the first thing announced at the release today. Steve said that they figured out how to implement multitasking for third party apps and avoid a drain on battery life and resources. The design of the multitasking implementation is really simple: when you’re in an app, you can double tap the home button to bring up a dock like view of all the apps running and scroll through the list to see all the available apps you can quickly switch between.
Also included in the 4.0 SDK, which is available to developers from today, are over 1500 new API’s to work with. On stage, Pandora was used as an example, which can continue to play music in the background even when the app isn’t running in the foreground. The Pandora developers said it took them only one day to make it fully background aware, and you can now control it from the lock screen too, which is great if you don’t want to go in to the app to change the volume or a track – I’m sure the Spotify iPhone app will be making use of that very soon!
The second feature introduced today was Folders, which allows you to create an icon on your home screen, and drag other icons inside of it, allowing you to view it in a grid view to save you from finding it on all of your home screens. You can name the folder whatever you want, and it becomes an icon housing other icons inside the folder. All you have to do is drag and drop them in to the folder. With more and more apps on the App Store, it’s a feature that definitely helps in keeping things organised and allows you to keep track of all sorts from your home screen.
For those of you with more than one mail account set up on your phone, you’ll love this one – all of your mail can now be viewed in a single inbox, and you can also set up more than one Exchange account too. You can quickly switch between inboxes and sort your mail by thread too, making things a whole lot easier to sort out. If you receive an attachment in an email, you can open it with an app from the App Store, which is another must-have feature for an email client on a phone such as the iPhone.
Ok, so this one isn’t as exciting as the others, but if you’re an iBooks user on the iPad, you can now use it on the iPhone too. All your books are wirelessly synced between your devices too. Oh, and did I mention that you get Winnie The Pooh for free? That’s a winner…
The fifth major addition isn’t too major, but it’s nice to have. With iPhone OS 4 comes better data protection; mobile device Management; wireless app distribution; multiple Exchange accounts; Exchange Server 2010 and new VPN options. You got all that? Good.
Ah, now this is more like it… With over 50,000 games on the App Store, it makes sense to give them all a central location. Gaming on the iPhone just got a whole lot better, with achievements, leaderboards and matchmaking. Think of it as Apple’s answer to Xbox Live and PSN…
Well this is interesting… Steve Jobs said that although he likes the fact that there are lots of free or reasonably priced apps in the store, developers are putting ads into their apps. His reaction? “We think most of this kind of advertising sucks”. iAd is Apple’s answer to Mobile Advertising, keeping you in your current app whilst offering “emotion and interactivity”. Apple sells and hosts the ads, and developers can add the ads to their apps, with developers getting 60% of the revenue from the ads.
The ads are like an app inside an app, offering full interaction and features such as settings posters as wallpapers or playing a game embedded in the ad. It’s a new take on mobile advertising, and is bound to make some developers more revenue.
iPhone OS 4.0 Release Date and Compatibility
iPhone OS 4 is being released for the iPhone and iPod Touch in the Summer. iPad users will have to wait until Autumn 2010 to get their hands on it though! Also, some features such as mutlitasking will only be available for the iPhone 3GS and 3rd generation iPod Touch. If you’ve got an iPhone 3G or earlier, or a 1st or 2nd generation iPod Touch, you won’t be able to use all the features in OS 4.0.
Via – gdgt live & Engadget