iPhone OS 4 is on its way. There have been hints that we'd see the next version of the software that powers the iPhone and iPod Touch soon, and on Monday Apple sent invitations to a media-only preview of the software, inviting us to "get a sneak peek" at iPhone OS 4. Apple isn't going to let on what's in the updated iPhone software until then, but there's been some buzz recently about what Apple might have in the works.
When version 4 of the software will be available for download still isn't clear. Thursday is likely just an overview of new features, though Apple might give at least a time frame for the software's release. The best guess is that it will coincide with the release of new iPhone hardware, which has happened in late June or early July every year since 2007.
Here are some things we think Apple will introduce with iPhone OS 4, and some things we're pretty sure it won't but would make a lot of iPhone and iPod Touch owners really happy if they did.
Multitasking: Some consider it the biggest weaknesses of the iPhone in comparison with its smartphone peers: that Apple limits the ability of applications on the iPhone or iPod Touch to run simultaneously. Currently, you can do some multitasking--listening to music while reading e-mail, or browsing Safari during a voice call--but third-party applications can't do this at all.
It sound like this will change soon however. Rumors began floating around last week that Apple is indeed working on multitasking in iPhone OS and could be implemented much the way Expose works on Mac OS. Expose is the feature on Macs in which clicking a certain key or swiping downward on a newer MacBook touch pad shows all the applications currently running and gives the option of toggling through each.
Integrated ads: Apple got into a tug-of-war with Google over AdMob last year--and lost. Apple settled for Quattro Wireless, another mobile advertising company, which it bought in January. Since the purchase, Apple has been mum about its plans for Quattro within Apple, but the event on Thursday could serve as a coming-out party for a new advertising platform that is integrated with the iPhone software development kit.… Read more