This morning, Steve Jobs unveiled plans for Apple’s biggest and most exciting iPhone software update yet at a special keynote presentation.
iPhone OS 4 will include over 100 new user features for iPhone and iPod touch owners to enjoy. iPhone OS 4 will ship this summer (probably around the time a new iPhone is released) for iPhone and iPod touch, and for iPad in the fall. The major new user features are as follows:
iPhone users have asked for this feature for years. Now they will have access to seven multitasking services, which will allow tasks to be performed in the background while preserving performance and battery life. So you’ll be able to make a Voice over IP call while playing a game or checking email, find a restaurant on Urbanspoon while listening to Pandora, and more.
Organize apps into folders with drag-and-drop simplicity. Get faster access to your favorites and browse and manage up to 2160 apps at once — many more than the current limit of 180 apps.
See messages from all your email accounts displayed together in a unified inbox, switch between inboxes more quickly, organize messages by threads, and even open attachments in third-party apps.
The best way to browse, buy, and read books on a mobile device. Easily flip through the pages of a book you’ve downloaded from the iBookstore while listening to your music collection. Browse tens of thousands of books — many of them free — by title, author, or genre. You can even check out reviews and read sample pages before you buy.
Within a game you will have the ability to invite friends to play, start a multiplayer game through matchmaking and track achievements and compare high scores on a leader board. Apple’s new social gaming network will be available to iPhone and iPod touch users later this year.
It’s important to note that iPhone OS 4 will work with iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and the second- and third-generation iPod touch this summer, and with iPad in the fall. Not all features are compatible with all devices. For example, multitasking is available only with iPhone 3GS and the third-generation iPod touch (32GB and 64GB models from late 2009).