Apple iPhone OS 4 gets official, multitasking included; will be out in the summer

Just as expected, today Apple has officially introduced iPhone OS 4, which comes with more than 100 new features, some important, others not that important.

But before unveiling iPhone OS 4, Steve Jobs mentioned that there are more than 185,000 apps in App Store, which served more than 4 billion downloads worldwide. He also talked about device sales: more than 50 million iPhones sold and more than 450,000 iPads sold.

OK, so let’s see what iPhone OS 4 has to offer. Perhaps the most important new feature is multitasking – yes, Apple will finally enable multitasking, allowing you to use location-based services, VoIP, social networking and so on, at the same time. Steve Jobs admitted that they weren’t the first to bring multitasking to a smartphone, but he’s confident they’re going to be the best in doing it.

Other new features in iPhone OS 4 include:

  • Folders – you can create folders that include other icons on the homescreen
  • Enhanced email, including unified inbox, threaded messaging and multiple Exchange accounts
  • Game Center, which is some sort of a social gaming network
  • Enhanced enterprise capabilities
  • iAd – a new mobile advertising solution. Apple will sell and host the ads, 60% of the revenues go to developers. Ads will “keep you in your app.”
  • iBooks (already available on the Apple iPad)

Even more new features: tap to focus on video, support for Bluetooth keyboards, 5x digital zoom, geotagging, “gift apps”, spell checker, and the ability to change the homescreen wallpaper.

Live photos via Engadget:

No word yet about a possible deal between Apple and Verizon.

Apple (which works on its own mobile P2P payment service) says that iPhone OS 4 will be available in the summer, when a new iPhone should also be launched (iPhone HD maybe?).

iPhone 3GS and iPod touch 3rd generation will run iPhone OS 4 with all its new features. iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2nd generation will run iPhone 4 OS with most of the new features, but some – like multitasking – won’t be supported. iPad will also get iPhone 4 OS, but only in the fall.

The iPhone SDK 4 beta is available as of today – get it here at Apple.

Author: Ilinca Nita

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