iPhone OS 4: Multitasking, Ads, Folder Creation!

iStuff

Apple officially launched the developer preview of the iPhone OS 4 today. Those of you who use any of the devices that use the iPhone OS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) should have access to the update late this summer. There was nothing said about a potential price for the OS, or if it will be free.

Keep on clickin’ for a list of the features that Apple talked about today.

The bad news: 3G iPhones and iPod touches do not have the hardware to keep up with some of the features of the new OS, so they will not have access to them, including multitasking.

Multitasking

People have been clamoring for it, and rightfully so. Plenty of non-Apple smart phones and media players have it.  Apple finally joins the party.

“We weren’t first to this party, but we’re going to be the best,” Jobs said.

There’s no need to justify yourself, Mr. Jobs. You are Apple, if you didn’t invent it, you’re always late to the party. It’s just how it is. Embrace it.

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Docking: Shifting to another app is as simple as double tapping the home button, then a dock of recent applications will appear and let the user shift to another app. Apps not being used save their state, but the resources being used are transferred to power up something else until the switch is made back to it.

Skype/Other VoIPs: They’ll be able to run in the background, even when it’s locked, and the user will be able to do whatever they need on the phone while chatting away.

GPS/Radio: GPS apps like TomTom, and radio apps like Pandora, will run in the background without the audio cutting out.  And, location tracking on the iPhone can be configured to use cell towers instead of the GPS chips.

Folders: Drag apps on top of each other to create folders. A general name is then generated to describe what’s in the folder. Good for hiding them, or organizing them.

Mail

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Attachments: You can open them now.

Inboxes: Unified inboxes can be created.

Threading: Something else you can do with emails that you can’t do now.

iBooks

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Syncing: Wirelessly sync your iPhone and iPad data for the iBook app, so you can read on either of the devices seamlessly.

Bookstore: The iBook bookstore will be available on the iPhone, and with the syncing available, you’ll be able to purchase on either device.

GameCenter

Social networking and games, blah blah blah, mashed together to make another monster where people connect and compare scores. It’s similar to Xbox Live and PSN. Like we needed another one of those.

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Send/Receive Games: Gift apps to people. Play together.

Multiplayer: Start matches, join matches, invite others to matches.

Achievements: If you’re not familiar with the 360, you get achievements for accomplishing certain things in games, and each game has a list of their own achievements.  (Also, a rip-off. At least Sony called ‘em Trophies. Apple could have called them “Cores.”)

iAd

Apple will host mobile ads, but not design them. They will see 40% of the profit, the developer will see the other 60%.iAdicon

Placement: These ads would be placed within free apps, to “help keep them free.”

Interactive Ads
: Some ads will allow you to download video clips, or games, or interact with them in some way other than wanting them to go away.  For example, the mock Toy Story 3 ad had a feature that would show you movie times at your local theatre and the mock Nike ad took you a place where you could design your own shoe.
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