I followed the live cast of the introduction of iPhone OS 4 last Thursday. Interesting stuff coming down the road. I plan to do a post on the new Enterprise-friendly features that are pushing iPhone closer to the business user group in a later post. I thought I might give a run down here of all of the features I can glean from articles and news sources across the web.
Multitasking: it’s the big news. Double tap the home button to activate. This activates a multitasking tray at the bottom of the screen which swipes to reveal more apps. Closing multitasking apps is similar to how you would delete an app, with a press-and-hold.
Folders: the next big news, in my inventory. If you drop one icon on top of another, they fill a folder button (which can hold up to twelve icons/apps). Folder name defaults to the category of the first app, but you can edit it.
Mail: third biggest news. Now your mailboxes default to an integrated all-in-one mailbox view. You can still select one of the individual accounts and see all of the relevant folders for that inbox. New option threaded view, kind of like Gmail. Email from contacts will show the image associated with that contact. You have the option to keep or delete shared media before sending.
Search: it won’t say “Google” anymore next to the URL in the browser – it will only say “search.” Spotlight search on the phone will allow you to access the Web or Wikipedia within the search screen.
Screen: there are some visual changes that hearken to the iPad, and you can select your own wallpaper for the home screen.
Ipod: you can see your folders and subfolders from iTunes now on the iPhone. There are some editing and display tweaks as well.
Messages: search field added. Character counts can be toggled in the settings.
Calender: now you can select any number or all calendars, rather that all or one.
Photo: will support the iPad “Places and Faces” with syncing based on people identified in the photos. Geotagged images will shop maps of the area. You will be able to rotate pics before emailing or messaging.
Camera: now has digital zoom for camera and video and touch to focus in video.
Notes: wireless sync, multiple accounts. IMAP email, as well as MobileMe.
Location: you can now select on or off for various services in Settings.
Passcode lock: has been beefed up with alphanumeric password support.
Game Center: not sure how this will implement, but it is apparently an on-line gaming community tool to facilitate games-based communication and competition via the iPhone OS. Will support push notifications, which is already found in many iPhone game apps.
There are other minor details and cosmetic changes in OS 4, but I hit the bigger features here. All in all, not a bad set of upgrades.
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- IPhone, iPad Multitasking Tops Wish List For OS 4.0 (huffingtonpost.com)
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- iPhone OS 4.0: Multitasking, Folders, iBooks, iAds and More Coming This Summer (cultofmac.com)