As promised here are more tidbits about Apple’s newest mobile operating system, the iOS 4. The iPhone iOS 4 firmware update will officially be available for download this coming June 21, 2010. This is a welcome development. It’s been more than year since the release of iPhone OS 3.0 and iPhone-users have been waiting so long for this one. Android phone owners have been enjoying rapid-fire releases of firmware upgrades and the iPhone OS community has been languishing for almost a year surviving on minor updates.
The wait is finally over. The newly-rechristened iPhone OS 4.0 is a major overhaul of the iPhone OS platform. It comes with so much improvements and add-ons that Apple deemed it necessary to rename it to iOS 4. This new name reflects Apple’s aggressive expansion to other electronic devices. This new operating system is no longer exclusive to smart phones as evidenced by the success of the iPad which sold almost 2.5 million units since its April release. I only hope that Apple remembered to talk to Cisco regarding trademark issues before announcing this new brand name for its mobile OS. Cisco owns the iOS trademark just like it still owns the iPhone trademark. Apple was forced to pay license fees to Cisco since 2007 for the use of the iPhone brand name.
Anyway, iOS 4 provides more than 1,500 APIs to developers to use as foundations for creating new apps. End-users also will enjoy more than 100 new features including Enterprise-worthy applications which have been the exclusive domain of Blackberry phones. Multi-tasking, video calling, unified email, iAd and iBooks will ship embedded within the iOS 4 on June 21. Below is a list of major new features of iOS 4:
- Multi-Tasking: Apple new OS will let you run up to 7 different apps simultaneously.
- Video-Calling with built-in software FaceTime
- Folders: This new OS will you organize apps and files in custom folders. A very nice way to organize your phone’s contents
- Homescreen Wallpapers support
- Enchanced Email: Apple has incorporated one of Blackberry’s strongest features. iOS4 offers Enterprise-strength email service with unified inbox and encryption to boot. No longer will companies dismiss the iPhone as a security risk.
- Threaded email messages are now possible and email attachments can now be opened
- SSL VPN support
- Social gaming features which will allow you to play multi-player games with your friends
- iBooks: This is also a welcome add-on for those who still haven’t bought an iPad.
- iAd: Don’t fear this advertising model from Apple. This is how you can get free games and applications from the iTunes Market. iAd is how freeware developers will get to earn money for their hard work and effort without you paying them a single cent. Steve Jobs promised iAd advertisements to be non-intrusive.
- Bluetooth keyboard support: Onscreen typing is still a pain, thank you for this new feature!
- Gifting feature: Gift or send any apps or games you have to your friends or relatives. If you have the money to spend, why not buy your mom a new game to help her pass her retirement days in a fun way.
Judging from this list of major improvements, iOS 4 still failed to include tethering and WiFi hotspotting options. I hope they will eventually come with future updates. Android OS 2.2 Froyo is still the better operating system because it has these two very useful features.