New iPhone OS 4 Features


Along with the announcement of multitasking coming to the iPhone, new refinements are the improvements to the user interface.

You can now set a background image to your Home screen — the screen where all your applications are — instead of the dull black background.

New Dock
The Dock at the bottom of your screen, housing four of you most important apps, now has a new look, akin to the iPad and the Mac OS X dock.

You can sort applications by folders. This is done by pressing and holding onto an icon, until the icons start wiggling. Then, start dragging apps you want to group together one on top of another, and they immediately form into a folder. This is great for organizing similar-themed apps like Games. The OS is so clever, that it can figure out what to name your folders for you, by what's stored in them. So, by creating a folder for games, your iPhone will immediately name that folder "Games". Pretty clever.

Enhanced Mail — the Unified Mailbox
You can now manage more than one email account on your iPhone, and receive all mail into your "Inbox", or organize mail by thread.

iBooks comes to iPhone
Not one of the most exciting additions, but the new iBooks app from the iPad now comes to the iPhone. Perhaps Apple wants to bask in the glory of their success with iBooks for iPad?

Over 1500 New APIs
This will help developers to build the best possible apps out there. Included in the new Application Programming Interfaces are 5x Digital Zoom for the camera application, support for bluetooth keyboards, "tap-to-focus" video, the ability to gift apps to friends, and the ability to create playlists in apps like iPod.

The new OS is set to launch this summer in America (winter for us South Africans), and will be available in its entirety to users of the latest iPhone (we expect). It'll also be available to users of the 3rd generation iPod touch, and the iPhone 3GS. Users of the iPhone and iPhone 3G can use it, but certain features, like multitasking, won't be available to them.

The iPad gets OS 4.0 this fall in America (spring in South Africa).

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