Tomorrow is the 22nd of June, while that date might not sound familiar, the 21st of June should. The fantastic timezone system we have means tomorrow our time, will be the 21st in the US, or Apple’s iOS4 launch day. While the 4th generation iPhone hardware is still a few days of in the US and a month away in Australia, the software is almost here for iPhone 3G, 3GS and iPod touch owners. This time round, it’s free for everyone, likely because Apple wants the most people on the new platform to see their mobile iAds.
Developers have had iOS4 for months now, ironing out the bugs and working hard to update their apps ready for the launch. Over the past few days we’ve seen a slew of updates coming through the App Store in preparation. So now you know what’s coming, why should you care?
Folders, Multitasking, Complex passcodes
At first try, folders can seem fairly unnecessary and more complicated than just pressing on apps to launch. The extra step of opening the folder, then your app can seem slower, but after using folders for some time, you quickly realise it’s genius. I have 10 pages of apps, but rarely leave the 1st home page. Folders allow quick access your most commonly used applications while the other home pages are for occasional use apps, so flipping to them once in a while, or searching works fine.
Some (currently very limited) applications available now support running in the background or partial multitasking. One of the few scenarios where this comes in handy is streaming audio. Tunemark is one of the first to add multitasking support, allowing music to stream uninterrupted while exiting the app and performing other tasks on the iPhone.
If your extra conscious of security, then maybe the restriction to a 4-digits unlock passcode has concerned you. In iOS4 this is remedied, now allowing for alpha numeric combinations, just make sure you can remember it.
Multiple exchange, Single Inbox, Camera/Photos upgraded.
If your work uses exchange and you use gmail to get personal push email, contacts and calendar, there was previously no way to setup more than one exchange account. In iOS4 you can and it works great ! This is recognition that people have home and work lives and want a single device that’ll do both.
The camera application has been updated to allow focus point shifting while recording video (3GS only) as well as digital zoom while taking photos. The Photos app has also had an update with the addition of Places, this uses the geotag information on photos to overlay pins on a map, indicating where photos were taken. Pressing on a pin shows the photos taken at that location.
The update will appear in iTunes when you have your device selected, click update.
iOS4 is now available, go get it kids. And grab any app updates available to take advantage of multitasking.
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