iPhone OS 4.0 Event Coverage

iPhone 4.0

Apple's special event where it will be giving us a sneak peak of iPhone OS 4.0 should be underway shortly.

Apple's special event is being held at at the Yerba Buena Centre for Arts in San Francisco.

So if you’re looking for all the iPhone related news from Apple's special event then hit the jump for our coverage of the event.

The event will start in a few minutes until then you can checkout the rumors and speculations we’ve heard of so far about Apple’s next generation iPhone OS and also our iPhone OS 4.0 wish list and post your predictions in the comments.

Updates will be posted from top to bottom (bottom newest) so stay tuned (hit refresh to get the latest).

The event is about to start. Don't forget to tweet this link to your friends.

Steve Jobs is on stage now.

Steve Jobs starts off by talking about the iPad.

Apple has sold about 450k iPads so far with 3.5 million iPad apps, 600k iBooks downloaded, which is quite amazing.

Update on the App Store. Over 4 billions iPhone apps downloaded, more than 185k iPhone apps and 3.5k iPad apps.

He is now demoing some iPad games like Scrabble, Labyrinth and many more.

He is talking about the mobile market share and about winning the JD Power award for customer satisfaction.

Apple has sold more than 50 million iPhones. 

He is now talking about iPhone OS 4.0. It will bring 1500 new APIs to app developers.

iPhone OS 4.0 will include 100 new user features. We can't wait to hear what they are.

Finally, iPhone OS 4.0 will allow multitasking.

Steve Jobs about multitasking: "We aren't the first to the party, but we're going to be the best". Just like Copy and Paste.

He is now giving a demo of how it will work.

Double click home button, window raises, shows app's that are running right now.

iPhone 4.0

Scott Forstall, SVP of iPhone Software has come on stage to explain how they've managed to achieve this while preserving battery life.

They're offering seven services to app developers to provide multitasking.

The first service is background audio so it can be used by iPhone radio apps like Pandora.

Forstall has demoed the performance of the Safari browser while Pandora is playing in the background. Pretty cool!

The second service is VoIP and he demos Skype's iPhone app, now we know why we haven't seen Skype's iPhone app to work over 3G.

You will be able to receive Skype calls even if you lock the screen. It’s everything you’d expect it to be. Your status is still online when you switch to another app, so you can receive calls and messages. You receive a notification and you can answer the call directly from there.

Third service is background location. So it can be used in two classes of iPhone apps like turn-by-turn iPhone app like TomTom and social networking iPhone apps like Loopt. 

Apple is adding an indicator to the status bar if something is tracking your location. They’re also adding fine-grained settings so you can enable/disable location on per application.

iPhone OS 4.0 will also bring location notifications, which will be like Push Notifications but without a server.

The other services available to developers is task completion and fast app switching.

The second major feature in iPhone OS 4.0 is Folders. 

You can drag and drop apps on one another to create folders with Intelligent naming, which you can edit. Folders can also live in the dock. Brilliant!

iPhone Mail app gets a unified inbox.

You can also organize your mails by thread like you have in Gmail. 

iBooks comes to the iPhone. We're hoping that Apple will also bring it to the iPhone and iPod Touch. iBooks will wirelessly syncing pages and bookmarks automatically.

Apple is announcing some great features for the enterprise.

Some of the features include: mobile device management, wireless app distribution and support for multiple Exchange accounts on the same phone. iPhone OS 4.0 gets support for SSL VPN.

Apple has announced a major feature for iPhone games: "We wanted to make this even better — we’ve added a social gaming network. We do automatic matchmaking, we’ll find others with a similar ability and match them against you. You can see how you’re progressing in a game with achievements.” 

Apple has announced iAd. It’s mobile advertising platform.

Steve Jobs about iAd:

“Well, we’ve got a lot of free apps — we like that, users like that, but these developers have to find a way to make some money, and we’d like to help them.”

“What some of them are starting to do is put mobile ads in their apps… and most of this advertising sucks. We want to help developers make money with ads so they can keep their free ads free.”

“On a mobile device, search is not where it’s at, not like on the desktop. They’re spending all their time on these apps — they’re using apps to get to data on the internet, not generalized search.”

“The average user spends over 30 minutes using apps on their phone. If we said we wanted to put an ad up every 3 minutes, that’d be 10 ads per device per day — about the same as a TV show. We’re going to soon have 100m devices. That’s a billion ad opportunities per day!”

“This is a pretty serious opportunity, and it’s an incredible demographic. But we want to do more than that. We want to change the quality of the advertising. We’re all familiar with interactive ads on the web. They’re interactive, but they’re not capable of delivering emotion.”

“We want to be even more interactive than the ads on the web, and we want to get some of that interactivity from video. The ads keep you in your app.” 

“Because iAd is in the OS itself, we’ve figured out how to do interactive and video content without ever taking you out of your app!”

Apple will sell and host the ads, and will give developers 60% split of the revenue.

When you click on the ad, the ad takes over the screen. Apple has apparently achieved this in HTML5. Watch out Google.

Apple has previewed 7 big features of iPhone OS 4.0:  Multitasking, folders, improved Mail, iBooks, enterprise features, preview of Game Center and iAd.

The developer preview of iPhone OS 4.0 will be available today.

Users will get these features this Summer, and will be iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 3rd generation compatible. They will run everything. The iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2nd generation–will run “many things”, but they will not get multitasking. There is no mention of the original iPhone and iPod Touch.

The demo is over and the Q&A session is about to start.

So let us know what you think about the features in iPhone OS 4.0 so far. We thought Apple has nailed it but iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G users are not going to be happy about not getting multitasking and original iPhone and iPod Touch users are going to be pissed to be completely left out.

Some points from the Q&A session:

Apple doesn't expect a major increase in bandwidth by allowing iPhone apps to run in the background.

iPad International launch is as scheduled, towards the end of April.

Apple won't get too involved in approving ads in their iAd platform.

Apple is not releasing any development platform for these ads as these are HTML5 based ads.

There is no change in Apple's position about Flash and Java. So they won't be supported on iPhone OS 4.0.

When someone asked if widgets are possible? Steve Jobs stated everything is possible.

Steve Jobs seems to be very excited about iAd. 

Steve Jobs on iAd:

"We do not have plans to be a worldwide ad agency. We don’t know a lot about advertising, but we’re learning. We tried to buy AdMob, but Google snatched them up because they didn’t want us to have them, so we bought another smaller company, Quattro. But we’re babes in the woods."

“Why is this so different? These 185k apps don’t exist on computers. This is a new phenomenon, this is the first time this kind of thing has ever existed. We never had that on the desktop, so search was the only way to find a lot of things.”

Steve Jobs has clarified that Multitasking won't be available on iPhone 3G and iPhone 2G as  according to Apple
earlier hardware just couldn’t support it.

They’re sensitive to this, they ideally want to make everything simple and able to run on the widest number of devices possible.

Steve Jobs on the iPad:

"Even though we’ve been using these internally for some time, you still have butterflies in your stomach, you’re nervous because you never know what people are going to think. People seem to think this is a profound game changer. We think when people look back on this years from now, they will think of this as a major event in the history of personal computing devices."

"If our competitors ever introduce a competitive product to the iPad, they’ll be HOPING they’ll get 3.5k apps in the first year. And we’ve seen that in the first week — it’s happening fast, and because it’s standing on the shoulders of 85 million people who already know how to use it, and they’re just taking to it like a fish in water."

Phil on the iPad:

"What’s surprised me the most is not that they get [the iPad] — we hoped they would — it’s the speed that people are getting it. It’s happened at a remarkable rate."

Since the App Store is on the server side, Apple can rollout changes without needing an iPhone OS update.

Steve Jobs about multitasking:

"In multitasking, if you see a task manager, they blew it. Users shouldn’t have to ever, ever, ever think about that stuff." We agree but it's a pity that it won't be available to all iPhone users.

That's it folks, with that the event comes to an end. Please let us know what you think about the features in iPhone OS 4.0.

Special thanks to folks at Gizmodo and gdgt for the live blogging.