iPhone OS 4.0 Revealed

 

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Thursday was a monumental day in the world of Apple, with the announcement of iPhone OS 4.0 and all of the new features it will bring. The rumor mill also is going strong with word that a new iPad is already under development and new iPhones can be expected this summer.

New iPhones on the Way?

Boy Genius Report noted that Apple’s new iPhone OS 3.2 revealed four containers to new iPhone devices. The listings, which seem to match to two new iPhones, an iPod Touch, and an iPad by some accounts, are not surprising since Apple’s product development timelines call for a refresh of the iPhone in June or July. The current iPod Touch carries a designation of “iPod3.1”, but there are now listings for devices such as “iPhone3.2” and “iPhone3.3”, which are undocumented devices.

iPad Already Out of Date?

Picked up a new iPad this past weekend? Good news! Apple is about to make it obsolete. The rumor mill is going crazy that Apple is planning to launch a smaller version of the iPad as soon as early 2011 that will have a sub-$400 price tag. They are expecting the device to have a display of five to seven inches. The current iPad boasts a gorgeous 9.7-inch screen.

Apple Commercials Discontinued?

Actor Justin Long, known as the Mac from the “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” commercials, said that Apple may have discontinued the commercial series. This isn’t a big surprise since the campaign ran since 2006 and has won a number of awards including AdweekMedia’s Campaign of the Decade.

Apple iPhone OS 4.0 Media Event Held Thursday

All the nerdy Mac freaks were out at the iPhone OS 4.0 Media Preview Event today at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters.  There was no live video or audio coverage, but there were plenty of updates to get information from. Steve Jobs kicked off the event and discussed the iPad’s success, revealing that 450,000 units have been sold so far. There have been 250,000 e-books sold from the iBookstore and there one million iPad apps sold on the first day.

Jobs then boasted how the iPhone has won the J.D. Power satisfaction award for three years in a row. The iPhone OS 4.0 will be coming out this summer and boasts 1,500 new APIs. There will be 100 new user features including play list creation, 5x digital zoom for the camera, tap-to-focus for the video, home screen wallpapers, and spell check enhancements.

The first major feature is one that iPhone and iPod Touch users have been dying to see since the devices originally came out, multitasking. Users can double-click the home button, which will pull up a “dock” showing currently running apps. Jobs had associates join him on stage to show seven different services that benefit from multitasking. Among them was Task Completion for apps like Flickr, where a photo upload may take a while, so you can leave the application and the task will continue.

The second major feature coming in iPhone OS 4.0 is folders.  With people downloading more and more apps, they need better organization. Now, you can drag and drop apps onto one another to create folders. You can automatically name folders based on app categories.  Folders now allow you to see 2,000 apps on your device, up from 180.

The third feature announced was enhanced e-mail, which includes a unified inbox, multiple exchange accounts, fast inbox switching, threaded views, and open attachments.

Another feature is called “Enterprise”, which means better e-mail encryption, APIs for better encryption inside apps, wireless app distribution, mobile device management, multiple exchange accounts, and SSL VPN support. Next up is the “Game Center,” which brings a social aspect to games in the App Store, allowing you to challenge friends and participate in leaderboard contests.

The final feature is “iAd,” which helps developers make the money they need to survive if they are going to develop free apps. Most mobile advertising doesn’t work, so Apple wanted to do something to keep the apps free.  This new feature will allow them to accomplish this feature. Apple will be selling ads, giving developers 60% of the revenue.  Jobs admitted the company was still learning about advertising.

Apple has now released a preview page covering the various iPhone 4.0 announcements. The original iPhone and first Generation iPod Touch devices are excluded from iPhone OS 4.0 compatibility.

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