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Apple Previews iPhone OS4: Mutli-Tasking, Folders, Gaming Platfrom, iAds

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Continuing to dominate the tech news, Apple rolled out its preview of iPhone OS 4.0 today and by and large there weren’t many surprises. On some fronts Apple is playing some much needed catch up to Android and the yet to debut Windows 7 Phone. On other fronts, Apple added what we all expected. Before you ask, no new hardware was announced but then that wasn’t in the game plan.

Here’s a run down of what Apple is calling its 7 Tent Poles for OS 4.0.

1. Multi-tasking. Yep its coming in Apple’s way. The focus was on background processes for GPS, Audio (Pandora fans are loving this) and Voice. The dock at the bottom of the screen shows you what’s running in the background.

2. Folders. You create folders for apps potentially expanding the number of apps from 180 to 2000. Drop one app icon on another and you have a folder.

3. A unified inbox for Email, multiple Exchange accounts, and fast inbox switching.

4. Enterprise Tools get a boost.

5. iBooks. Yeah, we all knew this was coming. You’ll be able to sync your iBooks with other devices.

6. Game Center. Apple goes after Xbox and other gaming platforms.

7. iAds. Apple seemed the most excited about this. The theory is that folks spend 30 minutes a day in apps and if they can show an ad once very 3 minutes that will lead to over a billion ad impressions each day. Ostensibly for free apps, you know this will creep in everywhere. Apple will sell and manage the ads taking 40% of the revenue. Apple showed off a number of examples of how they want the ads to look and also to keep you in the app your playing. Several of them looked like Apps themselves. Get ready of the AdPhone.

In essence, as I said, with the exception of iAds and gaming, this is Apple playing catchup on a number of fronts. They say these 7 tent poles are among 100 feature upgrades, so we’ve got a lot more to hear about in the future. This is due to roll out for the iPhone this summer and the iPad this fall. Note that only the 3Gs and later gen iPod Touches will be able to do multi-tasking.

And continuing on Apple’s roll, I’m guessing we’ll hear about new MacBooks next week.

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

9 Comments

  1. turn.self.off

    04/08/2010 at 1:34 pm

    the ibook point is downright funny given mr jobs comment on ebooks a couple of years back.

  2. Paul Harrigan

    04/08/2010 at 1:45 pm

    After I read about Iads, I seriously considered throwing my Iphone through the window.

    I won’t, for the time being, because it isn’t here yet, but I have no intention of supporting this kind of interruption.

  3. Dan

    04/08/2010 at 2:28 pm

    Ads?!? Aren’t they already rolling in money? Did something think, “we’re too successful, what can we do to screw it up”?

    • Virtuous

      04/08/2010 at 3:29 pm

      Apple has a responsibility to its shareholders to maximize profit.

      • Dan

        04/08/2010 at 6:51 pm

        :-) Well, at this rate, the company might as well go straight to being classified as a monopoly or oligopoly with Google.

  4. Warner Crocker

    04/08/2010 at 2:32 pm

    I think it is a combination of making more dough and going after Google as well.

  5. Mike

    04/08/2010 at 9:00 pm

    I think it is the idiocy of arrogance.
    I have paid (if I own an iphone) several hundreds of dollars for the device.
    Then I am paying several dozens of dollars per month for my data connection…..
    And now… for ‘free’ apps, as I roll through my daily life, I am going to have to put up with ads!?!?!?
    I think it is idiocy.
    I think it is theft of my (very dear and pricey) monthly pipe allowance.
    I think it will be short order before apple will have a revolt of users over it.
    Through all of their iapple iterminology… what they are really saying is there is no such thing as ‘free’ apps with an iphone.
    You can pay outright or you can have adware…
    That is it.
    I wonder how long before their greedy fingers start to look at paid apps on a sliding scale of how many nickles and dimes they can pull from my corpse.

    • Dan

      04/09/2010 at 1:54 am

      A video of the keynote is online{ drank the kool-aid so to speak }. To hear Steve Jobs explain it, doesn’t sound quite so bad. That and after using my iPad after the speech, I realized there were already ads that I just hadn’t noticed. I’m starting to get the impression that this isn’t an introduction of ads to the iphone/ipad, but an introduction of Apple providing the ads.

  6. Osiris

    04/09/2010 at 1:56 am

    Good win for the ipad with m/tasking. the new api’s opened to developers should help with productivity apps too. iAd business sounds rubbish but eh, depending on how intrusive the advertising is and as long as when you buy an app theres no ads should be alright. Any developer who wants you to pay and still has ads in there should be hung, drawn and quartered.

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