Apple’s iPhone OS 4 Event Highlights


Today Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall gave us a preview of the iPhone 4.0 Operating System. It will have over 1500 new APIs (application programming interface), and over 100 new user features including the ability of creating playlists, 5x digital zoom, tap to focus on video, gift apps, geo-tagging places in the photo app, changing the home screen wallpaper, blue tooth keyboards, and spell checker. But today Jobs and Forstall focused on 7:

1. Multitasking: This is the most wanted feature by iPhone owners since the release of the iPhone. Now users will be able to run multiple applications at once. The way this will work is when double clicking the home button a window will raise showing all the applications running.

Tim Westergren from Pandora was there demonstrating how Pandora can work in the background as well as being able to jump into the iTunes store from Pandora while music plays so you can buy music. David Ponsford from Skype demonstrated how Skype can now run in the background, and when a call from Skype comes in, you will get a popup. Along with multitasking, Apple states that they have improved fast application switching, task completions, and push notifications.

2. Folders: Users will now have the ability to create folders that will give you the ability to drag apps into. Folders can go on the dock bar also. You can have as many folders as you want. The icon becomes a multi-icon icon. You used to be able to see 180 apps on your phone, now it’s over 2000.

3. Enhanced Mail: OS 4 introduces a unified inbox and the ability to have more than 1 exchange account. If you want to focus on one account, there is a fast inbox switching feature. You will also be able to organize by thread now as well as open attachments with an app for the app store.

4. iBooks: The iBook store will be available on the iPhone, and you will be able to sync your books wirelessly between platforms.

5. Enterprise: This includes better data protection, mobile device management, wireless app distribution, support for multiple Exchange accounts, Exchange Server 2010, and new VPN options.

6. Game Center: Game Center will be similar to Xbox Live, a social gaming network. The Apple App store currently has 50,000 games.

7. iAd: iAd will offer motion plus interactivity to their ads. The ads keep you in your app. Today when you click on a banner ad, it takes you out of your app and throws you onto the advertiser’s web page. So people don’t click on the ads. Because iAd is in the iPhone OS itself, Apple has figured out how to do interactive and video content without ever taking you out of the app. Apple will sell and host the ads, and do a 60/40 split on profit. All this is done in HTML5.

Also Steve released some statistics as well:

– The first day Apple sold 300,000 iPads, as of today that number is about 450,000.

– There have been over 600,000 iBooks downloaded.

– On the 1st day of the iPad release, users downloaded over 1 million apps, as of today they have downloaded 3.5 million.

– There are over 3500 apps in the iPad App store.

– Over 50 million iPhones have been sold to date, 85 million if you include the iPod Touch.

– iPhone and iPod Touch users have downloaded well over 4 billion apps to date. There are over 185,000 apps in the App Store.

– Mobile browsers: The iPhone has a 64% mobile browser use share, everything else added together is half the iPhone.

– In 9 months more than 10 billion notifications have been pushed.

Steve Jobs was asked if the iPhone would ever have Flash and he quickly said “no.”

The iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 3rd Generation will get all the features, but the iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2nd Generation will run many things, but there are some things they won’t run, like multitasking. OS 4.0 will be available for the iPad this fall.