iPhone OS 4: Quasiliveblog

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I’m here at Building 4, Town Hall, in Cupertino, CA at the developer unveiling of iPhone OS 4.0. The new OS is available to iPhone developers today, while the general public will get the update sometime this summer.

Jobs and company have announced over 100 new user features and they’re focusing on 7 “tentpole” features today. Before we get to the tentpole features, here are a few other notable features in OS 4: playlist creation, gift apps, Bluetooth keyboards, 5x digital zoom, places in photos, home screen wallpaper, file and delete mail search results, spell check, search sms/mms.

The 7 “tentpole” features are as follows:

• Double click Home button to reveal a dock to show all apps that are running
• Apps cache for fast switching: You’ll pick up right where you left off if you switch out of and back into a particular app
• VoIP services like Skype run in the background allowing you to switch apps
• Background audio enabled for services like Pandora
• Task completion: For example, uploading to Flickr won’t stop if you switch apps
• Background notification: Turn by turn apps will use the actual GPS chip, location-based social networking apps like Loopt and FourSquare will use cell tower triangulation to conserve battery power
• Push notifications can now be localized so they don’t have to rely on Apple’s servers

Folders and Wallpaper
• Ability to create folders for games or utilities or whatever else you can think
• App limit is defunct
• Create a folder simply by dragging one program icon onto another one
• You can put folders directly into the dock
• You can change the home screen’s wallpaper

Enhanced Mail
• Unified inbox: multiple e-mail accounts in one inbox, even multiple Exchange accounts
• Threaded messaging
• Fast inbox switching
• Open attachments with various apps: For example “Open in…” whichever compatible programs you have installed

• Wireless syncing and bookmarking
• Same book reader as on the iPad, just smaller
• Buy once, read anywhere

• Better data protection
• Mobile Device Management
• Wireless app distribution
• Multiple Exchange accounts
• Exchange Server 2010
• SSL VPN support

Game Center
• Social gaming network: invite friends, matchmaking, leaderboards, achievements

• iAds will be more interactive than Internet ads and just as emotional as ads on TV
• 60% revenue split to the developer, 40% to Apple

iPhone OS 4 will be available for iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 3rd gen with full functionality this summer. iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2nd gens will run some of the new features, but not multitasking. iPhone OS 4 will come to the iPad in the fall.