Apple's iOS 4 due out June 21, free to all users

Apple logoApple announced today the fourth version of its mobile operating system, renamed iOS 4. While developers have had access to a beta version of the OS for some time and have revealed some of its features, Steve Jobs detailed several new ones at the event, including a unified inbox, new search engine options, folders, new APIs for using the Retina display, and multitasking.

Jobs announced that iOS 4 has 1,500 developer APIs and over 100 new features for users. The Mail app will be capable of creating a unified inbox with conversation threading that allows people to read or delete whole e-mail exchanges at once. The folders that were announced with the beta version of iPhone OS 4.0 remain, and automatically name themselves after the type of apps they contain until the user renames them.

Multitasking in iOS 4 was demoed by streaming music from Pandora while surfing in Safari. The camera and photo apps have been improved, and Apple has added an iMovie for iPhone app, giving users a more sophisticated tool for putting together videos without transferring them to a computer. Developers have also added the option to search in Safari with Yahoo and Bing (a nod to Microsoft's use of HTML5) as well as Google, though Google will remain the default.

iAds are also still in place, and the ads will keep the user in the app even when clicked. Brands that have signed up to advertise via iAd so far include Unilever, Best Buy, Chanel, JC Penney, Disney, Target, and Nissan, whose ad for the Nissan Leaf model served as a demonstration at WWDC. Developers will still receive 60 percent of iAd revenue, as announced in April.

The Enterprise version of iOS 4 will have several new perks, including SSL VPN support, better data protection, and extensive support for Microsoft Exchange. The Enterprise Mail app can now handle multiple Exchange accounts and supports Exchange Server 2010.

As for the name, it seems Apple has decided that a new device (the iPad) necessitated a new name. When the new OS was announced in April, it was referred to as "iPhone OS 4.0," but it has now been pared down to "iOS 4," a trademark that may be owned by Cisco.

Jobs stated that a Golden Master Candidate of iOS 4 would be available to developers today, with the consumer version to be made available on June 21, shortly before the iPhone 4's release. iAds are due to be turned on a bit later, on July 1. Though some features won't work on older models, the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch will all be eligible to receive the upgrade for free.

Source: ars technica

Tags: Apple, iOS

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