Mystery white iPhone sports 64GB, multitasking tweaks

What looks to be an early model iPhone 4 sporting a test version of iOS 4 is causing a stir, giving us a peek at what Apple might have envisioned for multitasking, search, and organization tools.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
The multitasking screen on this iPhone differs from what Apple currently offers, and has used since iOS 4's release.
The multitasking screen on this iPhone differs from what Apple currently offers, and has been used since iOS 4's release. Tinhte/YouTube

Videos demonstrating what appears to be an early development version of a white iPhone 4, as well as a version of iOS with multitasking and search features that differ from existing models, has cropped up on the Web today, showing hints of directions Apple could have taken, or might yet take with its features.

The two videos come from Vietnamese site Tinhte, which is the same outlet that got a hold of the iPhone 4 ahead of its official announcement. Engadget picked up on them this morning, noting that the phone is running a build of iOS aimed at testing the hardware. The build itself is labeled 4.0, dating the software by about a year.

Of special interest is what's inside. The phone sports 64GB of internal memory. 32GB more than what can currently be had with the top of the line iPhone. There are also subtle changes to the way the phone's software handles features that can be found in existing builds of iOS 4, specifically multitasking, folder organization and search.

Instead of putting open apps in a bottom shelf that pops up, the software in the video provides previews of applications in an identical fashion to how Safari displays open tabs. The phone's Spotlight search is also thrown into this screen, presumably to consolidate space. In iOS' current implementation, starting a search can be done by going one swipe left of the first home screen.

The phone also depicts folder management in a different fashion from what iOS 4 shipped with, opting to put applications in folders that would pop up, much like how it's done in Google's Android OS. However the basic movement of holding items to get them to wobble, then dragging them into the folder appears to remain unchanged.

Multitasking changes:

Other small touches include a menu for Facebook, which was uncovered by 9to5mac. Presumably this would be to add social features to the phone, or be a settings menu for a bundled Facebook application.

Apple has said it will be showing off "the future of iOS" at its Worldwide Developers Conference in early June. In the interim, credible reports have pointed to the company finally releasing a white version of the iPhone 4 in the next few weeks, some 10 months after it was originally slated to debut.

Update at 11:30 a.m. PT: Several commenters have pointed out the multitasking interface in the videos bears a resemblance to Multifl0w, a multitasking tool with thumbnails that's available for jailbroken iOS devices. The behavioral and stylistic differences between that application, and system in the video suggest the two are not the same.