This morning at Apple’s iPhone OS 4.0 event, the company officially introduced iPhone OS 4.0 for iPad. iPhone OS 3.2 made its debut on the Apple iPad and now the new tablet computer will receive a 4.0 refresh.
With the debut of iPhone OS 4.0, Apple introduced over 1,500 new API’s and has revealed 100 new features, many of which have been long time wishes of many users such as Multitasking. Among multitasking, other features include:
- Automated testing
- Full map overlays
- Carrier information
- ICC profiles
- Image I/O
- Half-curl page transition
- Quick Look
- Package-based documents
- iPod remote control accessories
- Draggable map annotations
- Gift apps
Multitasking (iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch Third Gen)
One of the key highlights of the iPhone OS 4.0 event was Multitasking support. During the demo, Jobs could open Safari, go into Mail, come back to Safari, then go into Tap Tap Revenge and still be kept where he was before. Jobs then tapped on a multitask button and went back to Mail.
With each newly opened app, every one of the apps such as Mail, the game, and Safari retained the state that they were in instead of launching from the start (as apps would typically do). From the Home Screen, users can also access the Multitasking Tray.
Multitasking was made possible from the combination of seven features in iPhone OS 4.0:
- Background Audio: Ability to play audio while using any app (like playing Pandora)
- Voice over IP: Skype calling while using other apps
- Background Location: The iPad constantly updates your location
- Push Notifications: Alerts pushed to the users home screen immediately
- Local Notifications: Like push notifications but does not access Apple’s servers. The notification is local on the device
- Task Completion: Processes compete downloading even if they are exited
- Fast app switching: Exited apps save their current state and restart where the user left off
Folders are also debuting on iPhone OS 4.0. This feature operates exactly as you would expect folders to work on a computer. Users can drag existing home screen apps into a folder to create a single folder with up to nine apps.
To create a folder, users simply drag one app over top of another and a new folder is created with the two apps. The folder is also automatically named based on the category that these apps came from. For example, if users drag in two utilities, the folder will be named “Utilities”.
iPhone OS 4.0 also introduced support for multiple Exchange accounts. Previously, the iPhone could only support one Exchange account at a time.
Other mail enhancements include a Unified Inbox, similar to what is seen on Mac Mail. Users can now have multiple email accounts filling into one unified inbox. The benefit of this is not having to jump between inboxes to view mail.
Game Center is Apple’s new gaming platform. The best example of this is Microsoft’s Xbox Live but on the iPad.
Game Center will include such features as achievements, leaderboards, and match making. The latter feature is what matches two players of similar skill together in a game.
iPhone OS 4.0 Release Date
- iPad WiFi: Fall 2010; All features available
- iPad WiFi + 3G: Fall 2010; All features available
[Photo Credit: Engadget, Gizmodo]
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