Finally, the iPhone will be able to multitask. Steve Jobs announced the new feature at an event in Cupertino today, showing how easy it will be to double-click the home button and then you'll see the apps that are running on the dock at the bottom of the iPhone screen. Hooray! Now we can listen to Pandora while using other apps.
We're also happy to see Bluetooth-keyboard support coming to the iPhone, as well as spellcheck, user-defined wallpaper, and playlist creation. A favorite of jailbreakers is the addition of folders, letting you group similar applications together in one place, and you can even place that folder on the dock. The folder icon looks cool, too, like a mini screen with tiny icons situated within.
The camcorder will be enhanced, now letting you use it just like the iPhone's still camera, where you tap an area to focus — and there is 5x digital zoom capability, too. There will also be enhanced email, letting you consolidate all your accounts into one inbox, and you'll be able to organize those messages by thread. Yes, just like Gmail.
The iPhone OS will roll out for iPhone and iPod Touch users "this summer," and it'll be compatible with the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch third generation. Unfortunately, multitasking won't work on the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch second generation or earlier. These OS 4 enhancements won't make it to the iPad until this Fall.
Keep reading for the main enhancements in easy list form:
- Bluetooth-keyboard support
- App folders for sorting apps
- User-defined wallpaper
- Tap to focus camcorder
- 5x digital zoom
- Playlist creation and nested playlists
- Enhanced e-mail: Merged inbox view
- Sync to more than one Exchange account.
- Fast inbox switching
- Threaded messaging and in-app attachment viewing.
- iBooks, able to wirelessly sync between platforms
- Even more remote device management
- Game Center: like Xbox Live, with achievements, leader boards, and matchmaking
- iAds: mobile advertising system that gives free apps a way to earn cash