What you need to know about 4.0

4 06 2010

Announced earlier this year, iPhone OS 4.0 is the next version of the software that will be powering iPhone, iPod Touch and, in September, iPad users. While the new iteration of the iPhone OS brings hundreds of incrementally changes, we’ll be focusing on a number of the more significant features that you need to know about.

Wallpapers

Finally, we have the ability to slap a bit of colour on our homescreen. Users can pick from a number of set backgrounds, or take one from the photo library. However, we believe that users will have to be careful about which wallpaper they choose, as quite a few wallpapers look downright ugly when integrated into the iPhone OS and act as more of hindrance as they clash with the colours of the app icons.

Want to see the full set of backgrounds that are shipping with 4.0? Click here

Multitasking “We weren’t the first to this party, but we’re going to be the best” – Steve Jobs

Once upon a time, the power of multitasking was restricted to those who were brave enough to go against the mite of Apple and jailbreak their devices- iPhone OS 4.0 changes this. But there’s, a catch- it’s not multitasking as you know it- it’s done the Apple way, so don’t expect a fully blown multitasking experience. To conserve battery life, Apple have created protocols which are the only ways that apps can run in the background. As a result, all apps which take advantage of this, will have to be updated, so for awhile, most users will only be able to run a handful of apps in the background.

Folders

The update allows users to create folders to store applications inside. This feature will be welcome amongst users with a large number of apps as the number of pages will be dramatically cut down. Each folder can contain up to a maximum of 8 applications and software will attempt to assign a name to the folder based on the genre of the apps you put in the folder.

Game Centre

This is Apple’s take on essentially ‘an xbox live’ experience for the platform- I don’t know too much about this at the moment. I can assume that people will create an account- or use their iTunes account, to create a username. Applications can then upload your data and high scores to one central area and the Game Centre will be able to connect you to users for online games.

iAd

This is Apple’s response to admob- the mobile advertising company that Google snapped up from under the noses of Apple a few months back. If you’ve ever noticed in app advertising, then the chances are, you’ve encountered an advert served up by admob. Apple plans to get in on the action, with the introduction of iAd, which will allow advertisers to create media rich experiences to advertise their products. One mock-up example that Apple presented in the keynote, was an advertisement for the new Toy Story movie. The user clicked on the smaller banner at the bottom of the screen, and they were taken, to a homepage, from which they could view trailers for the upcoming film, hear sound clips from the characters, download wallpapers and ringtones for their iPhone, and, using Google maps, find which nearby cinemas will be featuring the film. Steve Jobs was keen to express that clicking on such adverts, would not take them fully away from whatever they were doing. All adverts feature an ‘x’ button, which when pressed, returns the user to the application that they were using. I believe that iAd is going to play an important in shaping how advertisers promote their products to their target audience, and I will be discussing this further, in an upcoming post about the iPad.

UPDATEDiAds goes live on July 1st. 60% of revenue will go to developers.

iBooks

That’s right, the iPad has access to the iBookstore, and so will iPhone and iPod Touch users. You’ll have the ability to download iBooks onto your device and read while on the go. Those luck enough to have an multiple iDevices, such as an iPad and iPhone, will notice that bookmarks will sync across the two devices.

Conclusion

The new iPhone OS is shaping up nicely, and as far I can tell, you can expect it to be released on the 7th of June, at the WWDC10 conference,(see update below) where it is expected that the new iPhone will be revealed.

Despite this, I can’t help be feel that the core user interface of the iPhone OS has not really changed since the original, and as a result, each feature, almost feels, ‘bolted on’ to the OS. I think that by the time 5.0 is rolling round, Apple should be thinking about revamping the whole OS. Furthermore, I felt that the notifications aspect of the OS really needed updating, especially since the introduction of multitasking. The notifications overlay on top of the U.I, completing disrupting whatever experience the user was having before, they then have the option to dismiss it, or acknowledge it, in which case, they are yanked out of whatever they were doing. Apple should follow the example of Android, which takes a different approach when it comes the notifications. On the Google platform,the user is discreetly notified of incoming notification, via an icon on the top ‘taskbar’. The user can continue you to do what they are doing, or pull down on this- called ‘a blind’ which reveals more information about the new notification, and from there, the user can click on it, if they want to see the content of the new notification.

UPDATED: Apple have changed the name of the OS to iOS4 and released a Gold candidate of the software to developers today- the words from Jobs ’21st of June’ and iPhone 4 to go on sale 24th of June

So what to expect?

ipad Owners – You will receive the 4.0 OS upgrade in September. Expect further OS enhancements specifically tailored towards the device.

iPhone 3GS Owners and third generaton iPod Touch users (32gb and 64gb from late 2009)– You will recieve the full 4.0 experience when released 21st of June

iPhone 3G Owners and second generation iPod Touch users (late 2008)– You will receive a cut down version of the 4.0 experience- no multitasking for you

iPhone G1 and G2 and first generation iPod Touch usersSorry, no upgrade to 4.0 for you.

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One response

18 06 2010
Time to prepare for iOS 4 « Appjudge

[…] and much more- if you’re interested in finding out the key features of the new OS, click here. So, I will be covering how to prepare your device for the upgrade, and if, your precious i Device […]

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