iPhone OS 4.0

Highlights from today’s iPhone OS 4.0 announcement.

Multi-tasking
Rather than an ugly task manager, double-tapping the home button will bring up a dock of running applications you can switch to while staying in another app. While this is cool in itself, Apple is taking it up a notch by using the multi-tasking element to add in some new functionality. Location-based services and VoIP are all now included and can stay running even when you’re on the move and not using them.

Revolutionizing the world of mobile advertising
Everyone wondered what Apple was doing when it quietly bought Quattro last year, a mobile advertising firm. Well, it’s become clear – it was launching iAd, to help it change the way we think about mobile advertising.

App developers can add in things like maps, video and e-commerce stores from these iAds, meaning a rich source of revenue that is a lot more entertaining than simply seeing boring words served against your App. Apple has realised the potential here too – it’s taking a massive 40% of the revenue for ‘serving the iAds’, which could be a very tidy extra income indeed.

Folders For Your Icons
Ever been left frustrated by the fact that you can ‘only’ have 180 icons on your home screen? Well, Folders is here to save you from that fate, giving you the ability to hoard up to 2,000 apps on your device.

It’s more about organization than anything else – making it easier to group your applications into elements like gaming, sports apps, utilities etc. The folders themselves will auto-name, or you can call them what you like.

The Unified Inbox
The iPhone has evolved slowly – too slowly, some might say, with Apple seemingly dragging its heels to make sure it has stuff to update. But one of the problems to come out of these slow updates is the existence of so many email inboxes on people’s iPhones, meaning you have to jump in and out of them to see all your mail – tricky if you’re a freelancer or just an @ enthusiast.

So Apple has unified them all into one place – thankfully coinciding with the announcement you can have more than one Exchange account on its devices. Not only will the messages appear in one central place, the conversations will now also be threaded, meaning you won’t have to hop in and out of emails to see what’s been said.

Background Wallpaper
You can now change the background wallpaper on the iPhone. You know, like you’ve been able to do on phones since the dark ages.

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