iPhone OS 4.0 Announced

Posted by Grey Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On April 8, Apple unveiled iPhone OS 4.0, the most ambitious update of the iPhone operating system.

Promising more than 100 new features, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at the company's Cupertino, Calif. headquarters on April 8th to announce a developer preview and SDK (software development kit) for iPhone OS 4.0, both available immediately to application developers.

During the 60-minute presentation at the Apple iPhone OS 4.0 Press Conference, Jobs, along with Apple's senior vice president of iPhone software, Scott Forestall, made the remarkable announcement that could yet prove to be making a major game changer on the entire mobile industry.

Seven out of the reported hundred over new features were highlighted during the announcement, as Job have called them the "tent poles" for the upcoming update. These 7 main features of iPhone OS 4 are Multitasking, Game Center, iAds, Improved Mail, Folders, iBook, and App folders. We take a look at these seven key new features with inputs directly from the Apple site:

1. Multitasking

iPhone OS 4 delivers seven new multitasking services that allow your apps to perform tasks in the background while preserving battery life and performance. These multitasking services include:

* Background audio - Allows your app to play audio continuously. So customers can listen to your app while they surf the web, play games, and more.
* Voice over IP - Your VoIP apps can now be even better. Users can now receive VoIP calls and have conversations while using another app. Your users can even receive calls when their phones are locked in their pocket.
* Background location - Navigation apps can now continue to guide users who are listening to their iPods, or using other apps. iPhone OS 4 also provides a new and battery efficient way to monitor location when users move between cell towers. This is a great way for your social networking apps to keep track of users and their friends' locations.
* Push notifications - Receive alerts from your remote servers even when your app isn't running.
* Local notifications - Your app can now alert users of scheduled events and alarms in the background, no servers required.
* Task finishing - If your app is in mid-task when your customer leaves it, the app can now keep running to finish the task.
* Fast app switching - All developers should take advantage of this. This will allow users to leave your app and come right back to where they were when they left - no more having to reload the app.

2. Game Center

The iPhone OS 4 beta software and SDK includes a developer preview of the GameKit APIs that allows you to create apps that will work with Game Center, Apple's new social gaming network. Your users can invite friends to play a game, start a multiplayer game through matchmaking, track their achievements, and compare their high scores on a leader board. The APIs are available to you now and Game Center will be available to iPhone and iPod touch users later this year.

3. iAd

Apple's new mobile advertising platform, combines the emotion of TV ads with the interactivity of web ads. When users click on mobile ads they are almost always taken out of their app to a web browser, which loads the advertiser's webpage. Users must then navigate back to their app, and it is often difficult or impossible to return to exactly where they left. iAd solves this problem by displaying full-screen video and interactive ad content without ever leaving the app, and letting users return to their app anytime they choose. iPhone OS 4 lets developers easily embed iAd opportunities within their apps, and the ads are dynamically and wirelessly delivered to the device. Apple will sell and serve the ads, and developers will receive 60 percent of iAd revenue.

4. Improved Mail

iPhone OS 4 allows users to set up multiple Exchange ActiveSync accounts and now works with Exchange Server 2010. With the new unified inbox feature, users can see messages from all their email accounts conveniently displayed in a single inbox, or they can quickly switch between inboxes to see messages from any single account. If users receive an attachment that they want to save or edit, Mail now lets you open attachments with compatible apps from the App Store.

5. Folders

Organize apps into folders with drag-and-drop simplicity. Get faster access to your favorites and browse and manage up to 2160 apps at once — many more than the current limit of 180 apps.

6. iBooks

The best way to browse, buy, and read books on a mobile device. Easily flip through the pages of a book you've downloaded from the iBookstore while listening to your music collection. Browse tens of thousands of books — many of them free — by title, author, or genre. You can even check out reviews and read sample pages before you buy.

7. Enterprise

iPhone OS 4 offers more useful features for businesses. With enhancements to security, scalability, and compatibility, IT managers have even more reasons to deploy iPhone throughout their enterprises.

All hyped up already? iPhone OS 4.0 is due out this summer for iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch (3rd Generation) and in the fall for the iPad. The iPhone 3G and iPod Touch (2nd Generation) will also get a limited update which will include most, but not all, of the new features. For example, multitasking will not be included. This is due to the limited hardware of the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G. Other devices, such as the original iPhone and iPod touch 1G, are not expected to be supported at all.

In the meantime, developers will have access to a set of over 1,500 new APIs with the iPhone SDK 4 Developer Program.

For the rest of the new features, Wikipedia have an article elaborating what is in store for us. Check it out.

* Added
o Ability to multitask /background services by double clicking Home button (iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 3rd Generation only)
o Support for Apple Bluetooth keyboards
o Game Center Social Network
o iBooks and sync with iPad
o Advertising via the iAd network

* Camera
o 5x digital zoom
o Tap to focus video

* Settings
o App-specific location settings
o Cellular data only setting
o Simple Passcode Lock (4 digit number) option
o Voice Dial option in Passcode Lock
o New Wallpapers

* Compass
o remove the button link to Maps

* Home Screen
o Ability to categorize Apps into folders with default folder naming based on Category name in App Store
o up to 2,160 instead of 180 visible apps (12 apps per folder)
o Custom backgrounds for Home screen and Lock Screen
o Dock appearance redesigned and look like in Mac OS X
o quotation mark badge appears at the right top of the folder icon if any app got badge notification
o folder name supports up to 13 characters
o remove 'Rate on Delete' for Apps

* Photos
o categorized by Faces ,Events and Places

* Camera Roll
o Rotate Photos
o Resize photos
o categorized by All/Photos/Videos

* AppStore
o Gift Apps

* Maps
o Unified "locate me" icon
o background location icon shown on Status bar

* iPod
o Playlist creation on device
o Nested playlists
o Lyrics and Podcast info on Setting

* Notes
o Notes syncing with MobileMe/Gmail IMAP/Yahoo! Mail
o Accounts management appears if syncing is enabled
o Notes setting below Mail,Contacts, Calendars Settings if syncing is enabled

* Calendar
o Birthday calendar
o CalDAV invitations

* Calculator
o Updated icon

* Contacts
o Unified Info by linking contacts from different accounts
o CardDAV

* Spotlight
o Search with Web/Wikipedia

* Safari
o Recent Searches below search field
o Top Hit in Search
o Google Suggest appears below search field if Search Engine is set to Google
o Unified "Search" keyboard button when search field being used

* Nike+
o Upload workouts to Nike+

* Accessibility
o Larger fonts in Mail, SMS & alerts

* Message
o include a Search bar
o character count

* Mail
o Unified Inbox
o Edit from Outbox
o Support for multiple Exchange accounts
o File & delete Mail search results
o Organize By Thread in Mail
o Quicklook attachments
o Open attachments by registered filetype with corrsponding Apps from AppStore

* Other
o Spell Check
o Persistent Wi-Fi
o Wake on Wireless
o Auto-join and Auto-login and IPv6 on individual Wi-Fi Networks setting
o Enhanced data protection
o Wireless app distribution
o Mobile device management
o SSL VPN support (both Juniper and Cisco)
o Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 support
o Added Cangjie and Wubihua Keyboards for Simplified and Traditional Chinese
o text replacement between Simplified and Traditional Chinese
o Switch keyboard shortcut (holding the "earth" button on keyboard for a while)
o Added support for Danish voice control


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