During yesterday’s much hyped iPhone OS 4.0 Keynote event, we saw some great new features that’ll be implemented in the upcoming OS update, including Multitasking and folders support. Well, for those of you who missed most or all of yesterday’s coverage (or simply wish to watch the event in its entirety), Apple have now posted the event online for all to see. Alternatively,you can find the video right here on Youtube (via 7 separate clips).
Aside from multitasking and folders support in OS 4.0, the mail app on your iPhone and iPod Touch will receive some great new additions. First and foremost is the Unified Inbox. This will mean that users can soon have all their mail in one inbox. That’s right, no more tapping your screen hundreds of times in order to jump to the next email account. For those with multiple accounts, this can save loads of time.
Threaded messages (where emails between all parties are saved in a “conversation” format) will also be part of the new OS. As a Gmail user myself, I’m definitely liking this feature and it should eliminate all the needless vertical scrolling when attempting to find that 10th email from the same sender. And aside from being able to have more than one Exchange account, users will soon be able to open received attachments with a 3rd party app from the App Store. Business users who’re constantly on the road or those who receive lots of files in a particular format will benefit most from this new option. Overall, the new mail enhancements are a much welcomed addition to OS 4.0.
Seems like the first video of OS 4.0 has just surfaced, thanks to youtube user EthanIn1970. Have a look for yourself how multitasking on the new OS will be implemented. Pretty sweet if you ask me.
Update: A more comprehensive video showcasing several 4.0 features after the gap.
Another great new feature of the upcoming OS 4.0 is the ability to create Folders right from your iPhone. No longer will users have to jailbreak their iPhones and iPod Touches just for folder management (via Cydia app Categories). Sure, iTunes 9 did give us some control over app arrangement, but sorting apps and games into their own folders just makes much more sense.
To create a folder in 4.0, simply tap and hold an app until it jiggles. All you need to do next is drag that app on top of another and a folder will automagically be created. The OS will even rename the folder based on the categories of these apps/games, or you can simply create your own name. Folders can be dragged around on any springboard page and also be placed in the dock at the bottom of your screen. Currently, you’re only allowed to have 180 apps on your iPhone. With 4.0, over 2000 is possible thanks to folders.
After months of rumors and insider info floating around the web, it’s now official: Multitasking will be coming to iPhone OS 4.0. While it shouldn’t come as a surprise, it is still a relief to finally hear it from the man himself. To quote Jobs, “Now we weren’t the first to this party, but we’re gonna be the best. Just like cut and paste”. Damn right!
With multitasking, users will now be able to keep multiple apps running in the background. Want to listen to music while you receive turn-by-turn instructions from your GPS app? Done. Or what receiving a skype call WHILE you’re playing your favorite game? Check that too.
To switch between apps, you simply double click on the Home Button, which will then bring up a dock-like menu displaying apps that are running. You can scroll through the list, pressumably by sliding it left or right. And to combat potential battery and performance issues, Apple are providing 7 mulitasking services as APIs to developers. They’ll come in the form of:
- Background Audio
- Voice over IP
- Background Location
- Push Notifications
- Local Notifications
- Task Completion
- Fast app switching
Unfortunately, it appears that iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G users will not reap the fruits of multitasking from OS 4.0. It’s likely that the “dated” hardware will not keep up with all the sweet action under the hood. Jobs did say that older iDevices (such as the 3G) will run many things on 4.0, just not multiple apps in the background. So for all those who yearn multitasking, will it be enough to upgrade to a 3GS, iPod Touch 3G or even the upcoming iPhone 4G?
Apple’s iPhone OS 4.0 event is on the verge of wrapping up and Jobs delivered plenty of good news for iPhone users. Over 100 new features will be included in the upcoming OS, some of which will likely change the way you currently interact with your phone. The major highlights include: Multitasking (finally!), the ability to create folders for your apps/games, iBooks for iPhone and iPod Touch, enhanced mail (all your mail will be in one inbox), the launch of Apple’s own version of Xbox Live (dubbed Game Center) and much much more. Here are some of the other more noteworthy 4.0 features and enhancements :
- Playlist Creation
- 5x digital zoom
- tap to focus on video
- Gifting of apps
- Change the homescreen wallpaper
- Bluetooth keyboards
- Search SMS/MMS messages
- iPod out
- Websearch suggestions
- Birthday Calendar
- Choose Image Size in mail mesages
There is certainly a tonne of stuff to digest from the 4.0 event. Not only will we be seeing multitasking and folder support this summer, but it seems 4.0 is ready to take the iPhone to the next level. So, is OS 4.0 pretty much what you expected?
Fresh off the launch of the iPad this past Saturday, Apple have announced that an iPhone 4.0 OS event will take place on April 8th (this Thursday) at 10AM PT. Tagged with the caption “Get a sneak peek into the future of iPhone OS”, this upcoming event should give us a much better idea as to what can be expected (officially) from this major OS update. It has already been reported that 4.0 will have multitasking implemented, though we won’t know for sure until the 8th. If multitasking does surface, will it mean the same for the iPad in the near future? We’ll be sure to follow this one closely…
In the mean time, have a look at what our forum members are hoping for in the iPhone 4.0 OS.
With Copy and Paste and MMS Support now out of the way, Multitasking on the iPhone (non-jailbroken) remains one of the most sought after and desirable features for the next major OS update. While it has been rumored that OS 4.0 will implement some form of multitasking, AppleInsider has just reported that the 4.0 software will indeed allow 3rd party apps to run in the background. To switch between apps, users will experience something similar to Mac OS X’s Expose interface:
Those familiar with the design of iPhone 4.0 said that the user interface will resemble Apple’s desktop Expose feature, in that a key combination — reportedly hitting the Home button twice — will trigger an expose-like interface that brings up a series of icons representing the currently running apps, allowing users to quickly select the one they want to switch to directly. When a selection is made, the iPhone OS zooms out of the Expose task manager and transitions to that app.
When Multitasking does come to fruition for the iPhone, users will no longer have to complain about lagging behind other smart phones that DO support it. So, will Apple eventually cave in and allow for flash on the iDevice? Only time will tell.
The development community have wrapped 140 000 apps under their collective belt; Apple have seen 3 billion apps downloaded from the App store; and the hitherto iconic iPod is fading into Apple’s focal background even as it surpasses an impressive number of its own: 250 million units sold. Steve Jobs and Apple haven’t made any promises – the iPad isn’t even at market yet. But it has pulled at myriad heartstrings: it has grabbed the spotlight. But why is it important and is it worthwhile to buy, and if so, who will benefit from it?