Yesterday, Steve Jobs presented the next iPhone OS generation to the developer community as well as to the interested public. Now, iPhone developers have access to experiment with iPhone OS 4 SDK and can optimize their apps for the new operating system. This summer, Apple will roll out the new OS to iPhone- and iPod-touch-users. This fall iPhone OS 4 will also be available for the iPad.
It’s quite obvious, why Apple is revealing the next version of their mobile OS now: The app developers need to implement the new features – like multitasking – to their apps … only if they do so, the iPhone OS 4 will be a success. But, calm down, Steve Ballmer: It will be a success πŸ˜‰
This is a quick overview over the 7 tentpole features, Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall (Senior Vice President iPhone Software) presented at the event (Quicktime-Video-on-Demand of the event):

  1. Multitasking – specific functionalities, like audio or VoIP, can run in the background, now. Also fast switching between apps by preserving the exact status within the app can now be enabled. To achieve all this in a battery- and cpu-preserving way, app developers need to integrate these new features explicitly by using those new APIs. Apple provides the developers with seven multitasking services via the iPhone OS 4.0 SDK:
    – Background audio … example app: Pandora
    – Voice over IP … example app: skype
    – Background location … example apps: tomtom, Loopt
    – Push notification
    – Local notifications
    – Task completion … example app: Flickr
    – Fast app switching … example app: TapTap
  2. Folders – Now, apps can be organized within folders. Using folders, you can install a maximum of 2.160 apps instead of 180 on your iPhone πŸ˜‰
  3. Mail – Improved Mail-app with unified inbox, multi Exchange accounts, fast inbox switching, threaded messages and open attachment with apps.
  4. iBooks – the iPad iBook-Reader and the iBookstore are transformed for the iPhone.
  5. Enterprise – the operating system addresses the needs of major companies for handling large installations of iPhones as their corporate communication devices:
    – Even better data protection
    – Mobile Device Management
    – Wireless app distribution
    – Multiple Exchange Accounts
    – Exchange Server 2010
    – SSL VPN support
  6. Game Center – Now, game developers can use the social gaming network built into the native iPhone SDK:
    – Invite Friends
    – Automatic Matchmaking
    – Leaderborads
    – Achievements
  7. iAd – Mobile Advertisement – Apple implements a mobile advertisement service deep into the iPhone OS itself. The revenue share is an industry “standard” of 60% for the developer and 40% of the advertisement revenues for Apple.

Again, Apple achieved to integrate a bundle of innovations into the next iPhone generation … very good news for the growing number of iPhone-developers. Other players in the mobile industry, like Google’s AdMob, have to expect heavy seas ahead. This leads me to one of these wonderful Bob Dylan songs: “The times they are a changing …”

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