iPhone OS 4.0 will include 100 new features for iPhone users and more than 1500 new APIs for app developers.
Apple previewed the following new features in iPhone OS 4.0 during the special event that was held at the Yerba Buena Centre for Arts in San Francisco:
iPhone users will finally be able to run iPhone apps in the background. To achieve this Apple will be offering developers seven multitasking services, which will allow their iPhone app to run in the background while preserving performance and battery life.
Users will be able to organize iPhone apps on their iPhone home screen into folders. Users will be able to drag and drop apps into folders.
This means iPhone users will be able to install 2160 apps instead of the current limit of 180 iPhone apps.
Better Mail app:
You will now be able to see messages from multiple email accounts in a unified inbox. iPhone OS 4.0 will also allow you to organize messages by threads, and even be able to open attachments in third-party iPhone apps.
iBooks app will be available on the App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch users so they will be able to browse, buy, and read ebooks.
New Enterprise features:
iPhone OS 4.0 also brings new enterprise features such as data protection, wireless app distribution, mobile device management, SSL VPN support, allows users to set up multiple Exchange ActiveSync accounts and will also work with Exchange Server 2010.
New APIs, iAd, Game Centre:
iPhone OS 4.0 includes more than 1500 new APIs for app developers.
Apple has also launched iAd, mobile advertising platform for iPhone apps.
Apple has also announced that it plans to launch Game Center, the social gaming network later this year and has provided GameKit APIs in iPhone OS 4.0 to develop for Game Center.
Availability and Compatibility:
Unfortunately, iPhone OS 4.0 will be available only to iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, second and third generation iPod Touch users. Also the multitasking feature will be available only to iPhone 3GS and the third-generation iPod Touch (32GB and 64GB models from late 2009) users.
Steve Jobs clarified in the Q&A session that Multitasking won't be available on iPhone 3G and iPhone 2G as the hardware just couldn’t support it. This is definitely going to make many iPhone users unhappy.
Apple has released iPhone OS 4.0 beta to developers of its iPhone Developer program. It will be released to iPhone and iPod Touch users in summer and iPad users in fall.
There are many features that Apple didn't talk about, but don't worry, we'll let you know as soon as we get more information on the features that were not announced. So stay tuned here at iPhone Hacks or follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our RSS feed.
As always, let us know what you think about the features previewed in iPhone OS 4.0? How would you rate it?