CUPERTINO, California—April 8, 2010—Apple® today previewed its iPhone® OS 4 software and released a beta version of the software to iPhone Developer Program members. The iPhone OS 4 beta release includes an updated Software Development Kit (SDK) with over 1,500 new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and over 100 new features that will be available to iPhone and iPod touch® users this summer. New features include Multitasking for third party apps; Folders to better organize and access apps; improved Mail with a unified inbox, fast inbox switching and threaded messages; enhanced Enterprise support with even better data protection, mobile device management, wireless app distribution and more; Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising platform; and iBooks, the delightful new ebook reader and online bookstore recently debuted on the iPad™.
So what has currently been confirmed so far about iPhone OS 4, well, rumours about the Multitasking support seems to becoming more of a reality now which is great news. The thing that makes me wonder is how exactly will they enforce the quality of applications with iPhone OS 4. At present some apps take up a lot of memory and some even have pretty bad memory leaks. If these apps were allowed to run in the background, think of the effect on the iPhones performance in all the other areas. iPhone OS 4 are going to run more stringent tests with the App submissions if the app is going to support multitasking to ensure stability and performance.
iPhone OS 4 won’t be available to all apps unless approved by Apple (therefore all existing apps won’t be multitasking compatible). Along with the performance factors there is also the security issues of allowing apps to run in the background. One of the reasons why Apple didn’t include multitasking supports is due to the effect of malware and virus, such as bluetooth sniffers etc. This is why iPhone OS 4 will be more enforcement on application approvals (so possibly expect longer times getting apps approved).
I have also heard word of higher screen resolutions in the pipeline, not sure if this will be possible with the current iPhones on the market but definately for the next model (the 4g).
Hopefully iPhone OS 4 will see some improvements to the way Push notifications are handled to make them more user friendly. At the moment you have the issue of not being able to end calls if a notification is on screen and if you don’t respond to the notification with a set time (when your phone is locked) it doesn’t always seem open the application it is related to. Plus if you miss what a notification said, tuff, there isn’t anyway of viewing it again.