Presenting to a large group of audience at Apple's Cupertino campus, Steve Jobs, unvieled the next generation of iPhone Operating System : iPhone OS 4. It's been just 10 months since iPhone OS 3 was launched! This event is a developer preview program, and the OS 4 would be released to public early this summer.
iPhone OS 4 has a LOT to offer to consumers as well as for application developers. The biggest and the best feature is undoubtedly the 'multi-tasking'! It sounds weird but it took 4 iterations for Apple to finally yield to the demands of the consumes and developers and offer this! It's party-time for developers as iPhone OS 4 unlocks access to a set of 1500 APIs that would allow them to experiment with the cool features of iPhone including Background Apps, Folders, iBooks, iAd, Calendar Access, in-App SMS, Video Playback, Map Kit improvements, Quick Look, Background changer, Photo Library Access and much more. Catch up in detail here - 1500 APIs in iPhone OS 4
Let us explore the 'multi-tasking' little more. Users can now switch between multiple applications through a simple double-click on the home button - which will bring up a task menu near the screen bottom. Also, the background Apps extends this multi-tasking and allows users to do jobs or run processes in the background. For example, you can stream music in the background which you are checking out the photos or your can talk using skype while you browse! Unfortunately, the multi-tasking is restricted to iPhone 3GS devices and third generation iPod touch devices. iPhone 3G users and second-generation iPod touch will not benefit from this multi-tasking!
Some of the best features offered through iPhone OS 4 are listed below:
- Multi-tasking through Fast task switching
- Folders [intelligent way to organize apps and documents]
- Enhanced mail application [threaded conversations, unified inbox that allows all mails from different sources to pool into a single inbox, open attachments]
- Local Push notifications
- Background location services [Turn-by-turn navigation, Loopt-kind of services]
- iAd Advertising Network [In steve jobs own words "Average iPhone users spends over 30 minutes a day running third party apps. If you put an ad in every 3 minutes, you'd have 10 ads per day per user. Apple would have soon shipped 100 millions iPhones and iPod touches. 100 million times 10 ads per day is 1 billion ad impressions per day from iPhone and iPod touch community!"]
- Game Center social gaming network
Official page: http://developer.apple.com/technologies/iphone/whats-new.html