On the heels of releasing the iPad to the United States Apple has announced the new features of there mobile operating systems fourth version. iPhone OS 4 will include a ton of new api’s for developers to take advantage of, including seven different api’s that will give the illusion of multitasking. Other additions include an enhancement to the email application, being able to collect icons in folders on the home screen, making the iBook app available to the regular sized iPhone and several enterprise enhancements.
You can check out Apple’s web site for some more detail or continue past the break for some more discussion.
Steve talked about their implementation of multitasking being the best on any phone. However Steve did not define what multitasking is to Apple. Steve is not talking about running two different applications at the same time. He is talking about building a structure where applications and run predetermined processes while suspended. There are seven different things apps can do while suspended:
- Play music
- Continue a VOIP session
- Get your location through GPS or cellular triangulation
- Receive push notifications
- Create local notifications
- Finish a task
- Continue from a suspended state quickly
If your idea of multitasking is outside of those seven things then you are out of luck. I am interested to see if an IM client will be allowed to receive IMs while being suspended and when you switch back will the messages be there or will they have to be pulled down. Apple talked about how Skype will keep you logged in while suspended in the background and allow you to take calls still. Also the additional power to run special features like multitasking will not be fully supported in the first generation of iPhone / iPod Touches. No word on pricing either.
I think there are a lot of questions about what is possible and what is not. The development kit was released today and I am sure answers will be provided shortly.
There were several other things Apple talked about today, including their venture in the advertising. There is not a whole lot on information about iAd other than they will get companies to provided the ads while splitting the profits 60 / 40.
More information will be added as it comes in. Look for the full release this summer.