iPhone OS 4.0 will be released for iPhone 3GS and third generation iPods later this summer. The new OS 4.0 upgrade will be available for iPad this fall. It has packed around 100 new features for iPhone 3GS something like multitasking, ability to create folders, better mail client, iBook and iAd. But, not all features are compatible with all devices like multitasking is not available for iPhone 3G and earlier iPod touch versions.
New Features in OS 4.0
iPhone’s multitasking solution allow several third party apps to run in the background while the user working with another application. It is handled with a simple task switcher by double click the home button. When click the home button, it will show a list of currently running applications. You have to select the application and it will switch to it. The system gives preferences to running tasks and less preferences to others as needed. It allows the user to pause some applications, while enabling some special service to allow some types of tasks such as answering calls or playing music on the background. Apple has listed seven kinds of services that will give the user the kind of multitasking without choking the system
Background Audio: This can be done apps like Pandora, where user can listen to music while doing another task.
Voice over IP – VoIP: Before multitasking implemented, VoIP applications were limited as they were not active all the time to receive incoming calls
Background Location: There are two kinds of applications—turn-by-turn direction GPS applications like TomTom would run this service in the background to tracks where you are, while you are working on another app, and social networking application like Loopt.
Push notifications: This was already a background task, but it has been expanded in OS 4.0.
Local notifications: These notifications are generated by the iPhone applications and can be sent between the applications. If something important happened in background, a notification will popup whatever the app you are using at the time. This is an effective way of keep tracking between the applications.
Task completion: This will allow applications to finish the tasks started before switching to another application. It pops up an alert when the app task is done, even when you are using some other apps
Fast app switching: This will allow currently running applications to available instantly rather than start them up each time. All the application can now be frozen in full, so when you reopen them, they are restored exactly to the previous state.
The iBook, which was only available for Apple’s iPad, is now available for iPhone, now you can take your books with you wherever you go as oppose to iPad. iBook now available for iPod Touch as well. Currently it is only available in United States only as it has some complexity of geographic distribution deals with publishers.
iAd, Apple’s newest interactive advertisement platform. According to Jobs, it offers ‘interaction and emotions’ which is middle of where web ads and TV ads to the app users. Those ads are going to be served without leaving the current app you are working on, and then you can close the ad at any time and return to the app where you left it. It offers variety of interactive options like sounds and video clips and games within the advertisement. According to Jobs, one ad every three minutes would lead to 1 billion ad impression per day over Apple’s 100 million devices. Apple will host the ads and developers will receive 60% of iAd revenue. The iAd is based on HTML5.
New Mail App
Unified inbox with multiple email exchange accounts with fast inbox switching with a few taps. It allows users to open attachments using specific applications. Organized by thread and groups together messages by date.
For better organizing, OS 4.0 has a folder feature. Now, user can create folders according to App Store category, and users can rename it as well.
Apple’s going to start a centralized gaming service such as Xbox Live to connect players online and the scores can be viewed anyone on the network. This service will be available by the end of this year.
Bluetooth Keyboard Support
This is another feature taken from the iPad. Now, iPhone 4.0 support Bluetooth Keyboard.
Now you can choose different backgrounds for your iPhone 4 and not just for the lockscreen
- Better data protection: Encrypted emails and PIN coded attachments
- Mobile device management: Lets IT managers to deploy iPhone and manage them remotely
- Wireless app distribution. Companies can push out custom apps over the air instead of relying on iTunes sync.
- Support for multiple exchange accounts
- Support for Exchange server 2010
- SSL VPN support from Juniper and Cisco
There are many hardware compatibility issues when migrating to iPhone OS 4.0. You cannot have multitasking features in your iPhone 3G and if you want to have that experience, you have to buy a new iPhone with OS 4.0. Even in 3GS model, it does not have a front camera yet, so you cannot take video calls nor do video chat though it is a multimedia phone. These features are mandatory and people are expecting them on upcoming editions. iPhone OS 4.0 does not support Java. There are number of free Java applications available all over the net but you cannot use them. They have HTML5 as an alternative for Flash. This might be a good idea but you cannot watch flash videos or browse flash sites. Only few sites support HTML5 Currently such as YouTube.
While Apple is trying to implement the multitasking, the windows mobile has implemented it years ago. From the services and enterprise level, Windows mobile is in a leading level around the globe. There are no free things in Apple, if you want a book, you have to buy it from iBook, and for music, you need pay and download it from iTunes. But in windows mobile, there are large number of sites and lot of applications available for free. People love Apple, because of its multimedia features, and it has a great support for gaming. But the future of the Apple’s stability is depends on what are the enterprise level services it offers, how much it supports for free and open source software, and how much its applications support world wide. Most of its features limited to United States. Even though it has many wonderful features, not everyone can get benefit out of them.
After all, there is a question mark in my mind. Will iPhone OS 4.0 be able beat its competitors even with these upgrades?
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