The iPhone OS is getting full multitasking, new organizational features, a social gaming platform, and an in-app ad system in version 4.0, which will debut this Summer on the iPhone and iPod touch and this Fall on the iPad, Apple said at a special event today.
- Multitasking - This is a major addition. The OS will now be able to run more than one app at the same time.
- Folders - This will allow users to group apps into folders for easier management.
- Singe Email Inbox - Instead of a separate inbox for each email account as the iPhone OS offers now, in 4.0, all email accounts will flow into a single inbox, like on a desktop OS.
- Threaded Messages - Emails will be grouped as ongoing conversations, as they are mail tools like Gmail
- Improved Business Features - Including improved data security, mobile device management, wireless distribution for in-house apps, Exchange support, and SSL VPN features.
- iBooks app for iPhone, iPod touch
- Many other features - Over 100 other new features, including support for Bluetooth keyboards, spell check, gifting apps, 5x digital zoom, and the ability to change home screen wallpaper.
In addition to iPhone OS 4.0, Apple also debuted iAd, an advertising platform that will allow app developers to include high-quality, interactive ads within their apps. Apple will host and sell these ads, with 60% of the revenue from them going to the app developer. This move is intended to help app developers make more money from their (and to challenge Google's place in mobile advertising, of course). The ads will be built in HTML5 (no Flash or Java) and will be able to access iPhone OS features such as GPS location services.
This new platform will create a social gaming network to allow users to play online and multiplayer apps on the iPhone OS. It will include friend invites, leaderboards, and in-game achievement tracking.
The new OS will work on:
iPhone OS Sales
Apple also revealed sales figures for devices running the iPhone OS:
- 450,000 iPads sold in the first week of availability
- 600,000 eBooks and 3.5 million apps downloaded to iPads
- 50 million iPhones and 35 million iPod touches sold all time; total of 85.5 million devices running iPhone OS