Sure, the big dog of the week was the preview we got of what iPhone OS 4 will (and won't) do for our lovely iPhones, but let's not forget the smaller dogs.
We also have the first impressions of the lovely iPad and, for the most part, we like it. And the apps. And the accessories. It's a win.
But it's not all Apple news. Research In Motion finally released an official Twitter client for BlackBerrys. It's an open beta test, and it seems pretty solid so far, though it could use a few more … Read more
Now that you know the highlights of iPhone OS 4, we offer you the chance to see the new features for yourself. We've loaded the developer release on Brian Tong's iPhone 3GS and took it for a spin. As we mentioned, it's not quite the update that OS 3.0 was, but it brings some sorely needed features like multitasking, home screen folders, and a unified e-mail in-box.
Rumors that Bing was to be the default search engine in an upcoming iPhone OS update can continue to be filed in the rumor bin, at least based on the developer preview release of OS 4.
Bing is still nowhere to be seen in the iPhone's Safari app, or anywhere else in the preview version of the OS. Besides Google, which remains the default search engine, the only other option remains Yahoo.
It's still possible that the Apple/Microsoft deal could be under way though. And if that's the case, it could just as easily make it … Read more
One big takeaway from Thursday's Apple announcements was that some features of iPhone OS 4.0, most notably multitasking, won't be available to iPhone 3G users, and most won't be available to users of the original iPhone at all.
This means that some iPhone owners who don't have an iPhone 3GS may be thinking about upgrading. But many don't have that option. Those who bought a 3G right before the 3GS came out, for example, have to wait until they're eligible for an upgrade or buy used.
I, myself, am in that latter camp, … Read more
Gamers who use Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch, and now the iPad are likely to be looking forward to Apple's "Game Center" network, which was announced among the other updates as part of iPhone OS 4.0. But what about the companies that are running existing social networks for the platform?
It's not the end of the world, apparently.
Ngmoco, maker of popular game titles such as Rolando, We Rule, and Touch Pets, also created the Plus+ social network. It's built in to all of its own titles, as well as a select group of games from other developers. Ngmoco's chief publishing officer, Simon Jeffrey, told CNET that the company "has anticipated this move from Apple for some time," and that it should bring a "cleaner developer and consumer experience."
But what does that mean for the Plus+ implementation that has been built into more than 75 titles? "Plus+ took a strategic shift in direction a few months ago toward being a service, and less about being a set of social-gaming features," Jeffery said in a statement. "Plus+ is all about empowering monetization and discoverability mechanisms for the development community, and we have clearly demonstrated with games like We Rule that these mechanisms work."
Discoverability was, in fact, one of the biggest benefits of using services like Plus+, but it's also something Apple plans to offer within its Game Center. Plus+'s implementation was to show you what your friends were playing, as well as show off games that had just been launched. According to the very few details mentioned by Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iPhone software, during Thursday's press event, both of these things will be a part of the Game Center framework.
So does that mean that Plus+ is going to be more focused on advertising and the metrics of what users are doing within apps? If so, that's another area where Apple has delved into with its iAds platform.… Read more
Apple CEO Steve Jobs answered many an iPhone user's prayer on Thursday, as he showed off some of the key new features that will be included in the next generation of Apple's iPhone OS--namely, multitasking. Here is a roundup of video clips from his presentation.
iPhone OS 4.0 revealed Apple announces multitasking, Game Center, iAds, and more. We recap all of Apple's iPhone OS 4.0 announcements from Apple headquarters.
Apple unveils iPhone OS 4.0 with multitasking At an Apple press event, Jobs announces multitasking support in the newest iPhone operating system. Users will finally … Read more
The continued evolution of the iPhone operating system has been rather like completing a puzzle. In its original form, the puzzle lacked important pieces like multimedia messaging and a landscape keyboard, but with each subsequent update, Apple filled those gaps.
For screenshots of OS 4 in action, see our slideshow.
Thursday, the company added more missing pieces when it introduced the fourth generation of the iPhone operating system at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. After a wait of almost three years, we finally get multitasking--though not for everyone--and other sorely needed features like home screen folders and a unified e-mail in-box. The update is available for developers now with the general release for the iPhone and iPod Touch coming this summer and the iPad in the fall.
It doesn't deliver quite the changes that we got from the iPhone 3.0 release last year (at least for now), but rest assured that OS 4 is a major update that checks off more boxes from our standing iPhone wish list. Though OS 4 is set to bring 100 new features, CEO Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iPhone software, focused on the seven biggest changes, or "tent poles," during the course of Thursday's event.
Multitasking In our review of the iPhone 3GS, multitasking led our list of common cell phone features that were lacking. Granted, that list was shorter than it had been with previous iPhone versions, but multitasking remained a major omission in light of Android and the Palm Web OS.
Apple, however, has a special talent for making us forget such things by packaging an existing feature in a flashy new way. As Jobs said, Apple isn't about being first, but rather about "being the best." We'll have to get our hands on the update before we fully agree, but Apple appears to have hit the mark. During the demo, Jobs showed how you'll be able to tap the Home button twice to get a pop-up menu of running apps at the bottom of the display. As you switch back and forth, you'll return to the exact point you left, even if you're in the middle of a game. There's no task manager of any kind and Jobs dismissed competitor devices that have one. As he put it, "If you see a task manager, they blew it."
Though the pop-up menu only shows four apps at a time (you can swipe sideways through the full list), you'll be able to run at least 12 apps simultaneously. Jobs did not say if that number is a hard limit, but we'll confirm that one exists when we get to play with the OS ourselves. Forstall insisted that multitasking would not affect performance because Apple distilled background processes into seven API services. They include audio from apps like Pandora Radio (yay!), VoIP (for Skype calls), push notifications, and task completion. Multitasking also will support local notifications and related security setting enhancements.
There is bad news with multitasking, though. The feature is compatible only with the iPhone 3GS and the third generation of the iPod Touch. Owners of other iPhone and iPod Touch models still get other OS 4 benefits, but you'll need to upgrade if you want the full package. Before you run to the store, however, keep in mind that OS 4 probably won't appear until after the Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. At that event--we're still waiting for firm dates--we should get new hardware, so make your upgrade decision then.
With Thursday's announcement/town hall demo of iPhone OS 4, a few more gripes about Apple's growing OS and software platform were erased. Multitasking, organized app folders, and more robust e-mail joined the fold, adding to the usability of any iPhone, iPod Touch, or eventually iPad, and closing the gap just a little bit more.
What gap? Why, the gap between our conceptions of what a smartphone or tablet is versus a traditional computer.
Last year, universal search and held-back tools like cut and paste may have been available on other smartphones, but the iPhone benefitted greatly from … Read more