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iPhone Os 4, multitasking and folder management arrive but not for everyone

Multitasking is coming for the next iPhone Os. Here is one of the many (100 Jobs said that he always loves round numbers) news of the new operating system, presented tonight during the event held in Cupertino. Alongside multitasking also other important new features, from a completely new mail application to better support for business customers, from managing applications in folders to a special game development kit, passing through iBooks and ending with the expected and foreseeable landing of iAd, the "in app" advertising system managed directly by Apple. Interesting features that will not be for all iPhone owners, but only for those who have the latest devices.


But let's go in order, starting from the beginning, when Jobs presented some interesting data starting with iPad numbers. To date, 450 thousand pieces have been sold, a very significant number, which has been "spiced" by the download of 600 thousand digital books and 3.5 million iPad applications. As if to say that the new device is already making an important contribution to the iPhone and iPod touch universe which until yesterday represented the only platform for the Apps. Currently there are 185,000 programs for the iPhone Os, Jobs said, for a total of about 4 billion downloaded programs.

The Apple CEO, who appeared in fairly good shape although always very thin, then pitted the numbers iPhones and iPod touches quickly approaching 100 million. To date, the iPhone ended up in the hands of customers have been 50 million, the touch 35 million. To this platform – Jobs said by introducing the central theme of the day – we will give version 4.0 of the operating system later this summer

The new OS will have 1500 new APIs, developers will have access to calendars, photo library and put SMS in their applications. There will also be a new framework called Accelerate whose rather self-explanatory name: it serves to accelerate mathematical functions using hardware.

Jobs then set the target for NEWS for end users. There are more than 100 new functionsApple chief said; the list, apparently incomplete, includes: 5X digital zoom, tap to focus, places in images, mail search, CalDAV invitations, image rotation and even support for Bluetooth keyboards. But the most important are 7 – Jobs said -; seven stakes to keep in mind.


The first, in fact, multitasking. We don't get there first – Jobs said – but we get better than others. easy to introduce this function in such a way that it consumes too much battery or reduces the performance of the device. We managed to do this by giving access to it to third-party applications as well, without these problems, even if it took us a little longer. Jobs then showed on the screen how the Apple system works which, in fact, transforms the lower bar of the iPhone into a real dock where there are active applications that can be scrolled and chosen for use.

Scott Forstall then called on the stage some developers including David Ponsford of Skype who showed the functioning of the VoIP application in the version capable of operating in the background. Thanks to multitasking you can do other operations without losing the voice connection. Then the background location was presented, a function that tracks the position using cell transmission cells, less precise than GPS but also less expensive in terms of battery consumption. Thanks to multiasking, local push notifications also arrive (they are the applications that provide information to the user without resorting to Apple servers) and task completions (an application can manage a task in the background and warn the user when he has finished performing it) .


The second "stake" of the new Os are the folders; with iPhone Os you can collect all the applications in groups. Just drag the icons one over the other to create a "multi-icon" folder; the folders can then be brought into the new dock. iPhone Os 4.0 will also be able to manage the desktop wallpaper (like iPad) and, thanks also to the folders, load 2160 applications instead of just 180.

The third stake concerns the email. Mail will have, as already known, unified mailboxes, the ability to organize messages in hierarchical threads and, above all, to open attachments using an application of your choice and not the one predetermined by Apple. Mail will also be able to switch between folders very quickly and will also allow you to have multiple Exchange accounts.


The fourth relevant element is iBooks, the function already seen on iPad, which migrates (very predictably) on iPhone and iPod touch. Among the interesting features the possibility to exchange (via wireless) the books between the various devices registered with our Mac or PC.

Fifth strength of iPhone Os the best support for businesses (data protection with encryption of mail, attach and even applications, easy and unified management of multiple devices, wireless distribution of applications without having to connect to a computer, remote management of devices ) and the sixth Game Center.

This function basically opens the iPhone and iPod touch (and iPad) to social gaming, a sort of Xbox live that allows you to challenge friends, look for people interested in the same game we are trying, participate in tournaments.


nfine the seventh and final cardinal point: iAd. This is the announced advertising system within iPhone Os. Many programs are free, others are free – Jobs said – we wanted to find a way to help developers make money. The business – Jobs specified using numbers – the huge business. An iPhone user spends 30 minutes a day using an application; giving an advertisement every three minutes we have 10 banners per day per device. With 100 million devices in circulation, we will have a billion advertising opportunities, but we need to improve quality. Internet ads are not able to give emotion and we wanted to change this situation.

The system designed by Apple provides that each App carries within itself the advertising and browsing experience on the product. You do not exit it by clicking on the banner but it generates an interactive video content without closing the application. The demo, carried out with advertisements from Toy Story, Nike, Target, was very explanatory. The banners themselves generate interactive and visually appealing content; when you want, go back to the application you were using. Apple will collect and manage advertising entirely, using its infrastructure. 60% of the profit from advertising will go to the developer, 40% to Apple.


All these functions, well to say, will not be for all iPhones but for iPhone 3GS and third generation iPod touch. iPhone 3G and iPod touch will be able to use many of what you have seen tonight; not all, given the hardware that cannot support everything such as multitasking, Jobs said. The features will arrive on iPad in the fall, while the old iPhone EDGE has not been mentioned.


In the final part with questions and answers (Schiller, Jobs and Forstall present) there was time to ask about the international launch of the iPad to which Jobs replied indicating the date of the end of April, confirming that for now there is no mention of Java or n Flash for iPhone Os and the fact that applications will verify the hardware, disabling some of the features that cannot be supported. Many other questions have revolved around the advertising system, how Apple will manage the banners, the choice to cut out some of the owners of old phones ("no choice – Jobs said – simply hardware that cannot support them") and launch a few arrows at the competition when the CEO mentioned the task manager (typical of some mobile operating systems such as Windows): It's like the pen for input – Jobs said – when people see it, they run away

The entire direct that Macity held during the Cupertino meeting, with various questions also from our readers, is at this link, archived in an easily accessible form