iPhone OS 4.0: multitasking (not for everyone) and all the latest news

The fourth version of Apple's mobile operating system arrives full of new features, and although most were expected, we wanted to know how they would be implemented. I am sure that iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users expect the update as May water, but they will have to wait until the summer to enjoy it. In the case of the iPad, the new version will arrive in the fall.

Before going to describe the news, we inform you that unfortunately not all the possibilities will be present in all the devices, and that is that the star novelty of the update, multitasking, will only be available for the iPhone 3GS and the third generation of iPod Touch . To improve the system, and as it seemed inevitable, it was time to drop ballast.


The presentation started typically, Steve reviewed the state of Apple's business, which are in excellent health, we highlight the magnificent start of the iPad in the market, with 450,000 units sold, 3.5 million applications downloaded and more than 600,000 books purchased .

The Apple Store has reached 185,000 applications, of which 3,500 are from iPad. Sales of the other devices are also scary, with 50 million iPhones, a figure that rises to 85 million if we count the iPod Touchs.

Moving on to the operating system, we know that until summer we will not have the possibility to test the new features, but from today an update is available in the developer kit so that they can start working with them, with more than 1500 new APIs, and more than 100 news. Let's get to know them in more detail:

Multitask on iPhone OS 4.0

The most anticipated functionality in the update comes in a simple but effective way for the user, no exposure nor bizarre methods to manage it, by double clicking on the start button a screen appears in the lower area of ​​the screen with four icons that represent the currently active tasks.

The folks at Apple assure us that their multitasking is accomplished without compromising battery life, based on seven different services, which we can understand as the types of multitasking that developers can associate their applications with:

  • Background audio, with it it is achieved that applications based on audio can be kept in the background, in the demonstration they show us this possibility with Pandora.
  • Voice over IP, as its name suggests, it is possible to leave services such as Skype in the background while we check mail or surf the net.
  • Background location, there are two types, the first referring to applications that are continuously making use of the Gps, and a second way in which the antennas of the telephone network are used, the device wakes up every time there is a change in them and updates the data for the specific application.
  • Push notifications and Local notifications, notifications in the background, in the first case they come from a server, while in the second they are from the phone itself, for example: we have an application that is a television guide and warns us that our favorite program is going lets start.
  • Task Completion, in this case applications that have pending processes are included, such as uploading an image to Flickr.
  • Fast app switching, perhaps the most important for developers, allows them to save the state of the application that is working so that when leaving and returning everything is as it was.

iBooks, small screen e-books

We could summarize the functionality as that it is a copy of what we have seen on iPad, but on a small screen, being able to synchronize the books between the different platforms.

The reading interface and the library are displayed in the same way as in the iPad version, it is up to each one to determine if they can read a book on such a small screen.

iAd, advertising reaches applications

Apple creates its own advertising platform and launches it on the new operating system. If the developer wishes, they can include interactive advertising in their applications, it can be composed of video, music or even games, and it will appear cyclically, although it can be skipped at any time.

Advertising is served by Apple, and gives the developer 60% of the profits.

Enhanced email

We find a unified mailbox for multiple accounts, the possibility of multiple Exchange accounts, and switch between them with ease. A big change considering that email on iPhone hasn't been updated much since 2007.

We can also see the emails in the form of threads, optionally.

Folders, or how to optimize the desktop

We have the possibility of creating folders that take the place of an icon, within them we can group applications according to the theme or our interest, with what we earn in order and in the number of applications on our desktop.

Game Center, a gaming platform

If you know Xbox Live, you can get an idea of ​​what Apple intends with this service.In it we will be able to access our games in a kind of social network, with a contact system to facilitate online gaming, with news on current events, and ranking boards.

Other system improvements

Facing the developers, and with the consequent advantages for the user, we find that:

  • They will have greater access to the possibilities of the camera, the digital zoom is enlarged to five times, and the option of focusing by touch when recording video is added.
  • There is also the possibility for applications to generate their own messages, and full access to the calendar.
  • Support arrives for Bluetooth keyboards.
  • possibility to change the background image of the desktop and the lock screen.

Images | Gizmodo.

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