iPhone OS 4.0 Unveiled: 7 New Feature Areas

April 8, 2010

1:08 pm

Today Apple announced details about the upcoming release of iPhone OS 4.0. Steve Jobs started by rattled off some stunning numbers about the iPad launch which included the following:

“250,000 iBooks on day one. 600,000 iBooks downloaded since. 3.5 million apps downloaded so far.”

Pretty amazing numbers. Now on to the iPhone OS 4.0 preview, with the the introduction seven new feature areas or tentpoles. They are as follows:

1. Multitasking! Yes the new iPhone OS 4.0 will the ability for 7 multitasking services (APIs) on the iPhone. Some of these include:

  • Background audio
  • Voice of IP
  • Background location
  • Push notifications
  • Local notifications
  • Task completion

2. Folders – users will be able to add folders to you home screen. Just drag two apps together and an folder is created with intelligent naming. Users will also be able to change their wallpaper background with ease.

3. Enhanced Email – the new mail offering will create a unified inbox pulling together all your account into one account. You can also now have multiple exchange accounts. Messages will be organized by thread which sounds very similar to Gmail.

4. iBooks – Just like the iPad the new iPhone OS will offer iBook with a bookstore where if you buy once you can read the book anywhere. Sync pages and bookmarks between devices. Users also get a free copy of Winnie the Pooh.

5. Enterprise features – The new OS will offer improved data protection, including data protection within third party apps as well as mobile device management which means that up until now companies would have to plug into iTunes to distribute apps but with the new OS they will be able to do it wireleslly from their own servers.

6. Game Center -Allows games players to challenge each other interactively and offers a leaderboard to track game play.

7. iAd – Apple announces the launch of a mobile advertising platform! The platform could serve 1 Billion ad impressions a day. Apple wants to offer amazing advertising experiences leveraging HTML 5. Apple will host and sell the ads and give 60% of the revenue to developers. This could be huge for Apple Developers of free applications. Ads will have access to many of the same Apple APIs as apps (i.e. like location and some level of accelerometer access, etc).

All of the updates specified are going to be released to developers today and to iPhone users later this summer. However, not all the features will work on all the previous iPhone versions. For example if you have an iPhone 3G or iPod Touch 2nd generation then multitasking will not work.

So that’s iPhone OS 4! What do you think? Leave us a comment below.

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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