Continue reading for a breakdown of my favorite iPhone OS 4 features, some limitations, and what’s missing in this latest iPhone update, which will become available for download on iTunes this summer.
The new multitasking update in iPhone OS 4.0 will make it possible to run location tracking services in the background, along with VOIP services such as Skype, background audio such as Pandora, and other services. This is going to make iPhone dramatically more useful. I have always wanted the ability to run location tracking apps in the background, so that I could use apps like Google Latitude to broadcast my location no matter what app I am running. Currently, you can only broadcast your location in Latitude if you’re in Safari with the web app open. This renders Latitude for iPhone pretty useless, since you can’t exit Safari and still share your location. Worry no more, for multitasking will fix that.
No Multitasking for 3G Users
Perhaps not surprisingly, Apple is shamelessly omitting the multitasking feature from iPhone 3G. They say the 3G’s hardware would not be able to handle multitasking, but I beg to differ, considering jailbroken 3G iPhones can multitask just fine.
Clearly, Apple’s intention is to make 3G users feel left out of the party so that they buy the latest iPhone model. That’s called planned obsolescence. They deliberately impose an artificial limit on the iPhone 3G so that you consider it obsolete and buy a 3GS or the next generation iPhone at full price. This practice may be good for sales, but it is wasteful and unfairly costs you money.
Update: I have just learned that the original iPhone will not be supported at all by iPhone OS 4.
The folders update was another much anticipated feature of iPhone 4.0. The clutter of iPhone apps right now makes a mess of my home screens, so it will be great to be able to group apps together in a more organized fashion. To create a folder, all it takes is dragging one app onto the other.
iPhone OS 4 Feature List
In all, the iPhone 4.0 OS will include 7 major feature updates:
- A unified mailbox
- Game Center, a social gaming network
- Broader Enterprise support
- The new iAd mobile advertising system
iPhone 4.0 debuts sometime this summer. Learn more about the next iPhone update in Mashable’s iPhone 4.0 OS overview.
Although the iPhone 4.0 update adds over 100 new user features, there are a couple of features I was hoping to see that were not discussed at the OS 4 unveiling.
iPhone is notably lacking a streamlined notifications system. For example, when you get a notification now, it disappears forever after you view or close it. If a new notification pops up before you’ve read the previous one, the first notification disappears. iPhone needs a better notifications system so that, like Facebook, you can refer back to your notifications and see them in a list.
Better App Interaction
Another feature I would like to have in the future is the ability to change the default apps that my iPhone uses under certain circumstances. For example, I want to be able to tell my iPhone to open the TomTom navigation app instead of the Google Maps app when I click a hyperlinked address. Or to share an image from my Photos album via the Facebook app. Or to open the WordPress app from within Safari so that I could blog about pages that I liked. This would certainly be a feature that would appeal mostly to power users, but it would be great to have the option.
What do you think? Are you excited about iPhone 4.0? Which features do you love, and what features do you think are missing? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.