Boy Genius Report claims
to have received information from a source regarding iPhone OS 4.0, which is rumored
to be introduced at next week's media event in San Francisco. According to the source, iPhone OS 4.0 will be limited to the iPhone 3G and 3GS (presumably including at least more recent iPod touch models and omitting the original iPhone) and will incorporate solutions for multitasking by running applications in the background and a revamped user interface for easier navigation.
- There will be multi-touch gestures OS-wide. (Would make sense for that as the rumored OS for the iTablet is close if not the same as the iPhone)
- "A few new ways" to run applications in the background -- multitasking.
- Many graphical and UI changes to make navigating through the OS easier and more efficient. We haven't had this broken down, but we can only hope for improved notifications, a refreshed homescreen, etc.
- The update will supposedly be available for only the iPhone 3G and 3GS, but will "put them ahead in the smartphone market because it will make them more like full-fledged computers" more than any other phone to date. Everyone is "really excited."
- The last piece of information is the most vague, but apparently there will be some brand new syncing ability for the contacts and calendar applications.
The ability to run iPhone applications in the background has been near the top of many users' wish lists, but Apple has yet to implement full backgrounding and multitasking due to its effect on performance and battery life, instead opting to deploy push notifications as a means for closed applications to serve data to users. The expansion of the ability to run applications in the background beyond those few specified by Apple has been a relatively common theme, with multiple reports
suggesting that Apple has been working on ways to deploy the functionality in at least a limited sense, although many expected such developments to be included in iPhone OS 3.0 last year.