Yesterday, Apple unveiled it’s newest generation of software dubbed iPhone 4.0. Steve gave a keynote and noted these important features:
Multitasking – the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch (3rd Gen) will be able to run multiple apps at the same time. By double tapping the home button, users can bring up a dock which shows currently running applications and switch between them. iPhone 3G owners will still be able to upgrade to 4.0, but they will not be given the multitasking feature. The apps are sure to not drain battery life because only certain functions of the app are left running, and entire apps are able to freeze themselves instead of running full steam ahead without you knowing.
Universal Mail – The Mail app has also been redesigned, giving users the power to have one universal mailbox, have multiple Exchange accounts, and threaded messages
iBooks – iBooks will be coming to the iPhone and iPod Touch with the same look and bookstore as are on the iPad. Books can also be synced to your computer back and forth between mobile devices – so you don’t have to re-download them.
Custom Backgrounds – Users can now set a home screen background like the iPad.
Game Center – Apple will attempt to “power up” it’s market-share on gaming by giving users a centralized game center, similar to PSN or Xbox Live, called “Game Center”. It’s a mystery as to what will happen to apps that already perform this funtion, like “Open Feint”.
iAd – Users will no longer be annoyed by links in apps that lead them outside the app. Instead, Apple’s new “iAd” platform will use new tools to push interactivity and emotion to the max, and give users an enjoyable experience in advertising WHILE keeping them in the application. It’s in the OS Dev Tools, but is not necessarily a part of iPhone OS 4.
5x Digital Zoom – Video equipped devices now have 5x digital zoom. However, 3MP seems a little low for that. 😉
Bluetooth Keyboards – the iPhone and iPod Touch will be able to pair will Apple bluetooth keyboards. (Again, like the iPad)
App Folders – Instead of having multiple home screens (topping out at 11), users can categorize their apps into folders. Now users can view over 2,000 apps, instead of only 11 home screens.
The update will be available for iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 3rd Gen. during the summer. The iPhone 3G and older iPod Touches will get the update, but not the multitasking feature. And what about the first iPhone? It seems it’s now an unsupported update product, much like Tiger. You can still use it, but it will never receive the update. The iPad will get the update sometime during the Fall.