Apple is separating the new smartphones into its usual low-cost versus high-cost categories, with big differences between the two models coming down to the camera, display, and battery life.
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Apple's iPhone OS 4.0 Media Event: 'Sneak Peek Into the Future'
Apple today is holding its iPhone OS 4.0 media preview event where it is expected to show off the next-generation operating system for its multi-touch portable devices and begin offering developers tools to build applications for the new operating system.
The event is scheduled to kick off at Apple's Cupertino headquarters at 10:00 AM Pacific Time / 1:00 PM Eastern Time, or just about one hour from now. Apple will not be providing live video or audio coverage of the event, and thus observers will have to rely primarily on text and photo updates coming out of the event. Apple will likely post a video recording of the event later today for full analysis.
Live Web/Twitter Coverage
- Ars Technica
- MacRumors Twitter updates
- Spoiler-Free notification page for Apple's QuickTime video of the presentation
Recent News and Rumors
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- Audience is seated and music is playing.
- Steve Jobs on stage, talking about iPad success. Quoting reviews.
- 450,000 iPads sold so far, up from 300,000 on the first day. Best Buy is out of stock, and we're making them as fast as we can.
- iBooks: 250,000 books downloaded on first day, now up to 600,000.
- iPad apps: 1 million on first day, now up to 3.5 million.
- App Store: over 4 billion apps sold, with over 185,000 apps available in the store, 3,500 iPad apps.
- Jobs quickly showing off a number of iPad apps.
- Moving on to iPhone.
- JD Power satisfaction award for three years in a row. 64% share of mobile browser usage.
- Over 50 million iPhones sold. Add in iPod touches and we're over 85 million total.
- Today is preview of iPhone OS 4.0. Shipping this summer with developer preview today. Over 1,500 new APIs.
- Devs now have access to calendar, camera data, Quick Look, SMS within apps, etc.
- Over 100 new user features: playlist creation, 5x digital zoom for camera, tap-to-focus for video, Photos app has Places support, home screen wallpapers, spellcheck enhancements, etc.
- We'll highlight seven of the features today
- Feature #1: Multitasking. We won't be first, but we'll be best. Now demoing. Double-clicking home button pulls up a "dock" showing currently-running apps.
- Scott Forstall on stage to explain how they accomplished this while preserving battery life and performance.
- Apple has provided seven multitasking services to developers to assist with the functionality
- Service #1: Background audio streaming. Demo from Pandora founder Tim Westergren. Claims it took them one day to implement background streaming. Showing Pandora continuing to play while browsing in Safari, on lock screen, etc.
- Service #2: VoIP. Can now leave Skype app while still running. Can even see calls come in with status bar on the lock screen. Demoing with Skype's David Ponsford.
- Service #3: Background location. GPS apps like TomTom can continue in the background while you exit the app to listen to music. Audio cues overlay other audio. Also a second class of this service uses cell towers for apps like Loopt. For privacy purposes, status bar indicator lets you know if any app (foreground or background) is requesting location. Can also fine-tune approvals for location tracking on an app-by-app basis.
- Service #4: Push notifications. 10 billion push notifications served in past 9 months.
- Service #5: Local notifications. Rather than requiring third-party server to push notifications, iPhone itself can push within the phone. TV Guide application given as example.
- Service #6: Task completion. For apps like Flickr where a photo upload make take awhile, you can now leave the application and task will continue
- Service #7: Fast app switching. Application state stored and preserved instantly, freeing up resources when switching.
- Now back to Steve for more on iPhone OS 4.0's new features.
- Feature #2: Folders. With people downloading more and more apps, we need better organization. Drag and drop apps onto one another to create folders. Automatically names folder based on app categories, but user-editable. Icon becomes a "multi-icon".
- Also demonstrating changing home screen wallpaper.
- Folders now allow you to see 2,000 apps on your device, up from 180.
- Feature #3: Enhanced email. Unified inbox, multiple Exchange accounts, fast inbox switching, threaded views, open attachments with App Store app.
- Feature #4: iBooks for iPhone OS. Same as for iPad, same iBookstore. Showing of Winnie the Pooh.
- Buy books once and read them anywhere. Wireless syncing of content and bookmarks.
- Feature #5: Enterprise. Better email encryption, APIs for better encryption inside apps, wireless app distribution, mobile device management, multiple Exchange accounts, SSL VPN support.
- Feature #6: Game Center. We have over 50,000 gaming titles already. Game Center brings social aspect...challenge friends, leaderboards, achievements
- Feature #7: iAd. Free apps are great, and we want to help developers make the money they need to survive. Most mobile advertising sucks, and we want to help them keep free apps free. On the desktop, search is where advertising is at. But on a phone, users are in dedicated apps.
- Users spend 30 minutes a day in apps. Say an ad every 3 minutes...10 ads per day. We'll be at 100 million devices soon, so that's 1 billion ad opportunities per day.
- Apple wants more interaction and emotion than typical mobile ads. Interactive ads currently take you out of the app, but with iAd in the OS itself, you won't have to leave the app. Users are more likely to click since there is no penalty.
- Apple will sell and host ads, giving developers industry-standard 60% of revenue.
- Demoing Toy Story 3 ad. Everything is done in HTML5. Click an ad and it takes over the screen. Explore the ad...sound clips, video, in-ad purchases, even mini-games. It all plays back right there.
- Now demoing a Nike ad with video. Make your own shoes with Nike ID...link to app in the ad. Store locator right there with Google Maps pop-up.
- Now a faux Target ad allowing user "build" a dorm room.
- That's the demo. Very easy for ad agencies and devs to make the ads, and users are more likely to use them because they stay in the app.
- Jobs reviewing new features, all available in developer preview today.
- Public release in summer for iPhone 3GS and 3rd-generation iPod touch. iPhone 3G and 2nd-generation iPod touch will run many of the new features, but not all. Multitasking will be one of the ones that won't be supported on those. Original iPhone and 1st-generation iPod touch apparently left out. iPhone OS 4.0 coming to iPad in the fall.
- End of presentation, with a short break before Q&A.
- Q: How will multitasking affect AT&T network demands? A: Jobs says not sure that's accurate...background data usage will be minimal. Data intensive tasks are things like video that require user attention.
- Q: Wireless app distribution is possible for all users? A: Jobs says no. Forstall clarifies that it is enterprise-only, requiring signed certificates.
- Q: How will Game Center social network affect Ngmoco and OpenFeint? A: Forstall notes that developers have asked for a unified network, and that's why Apple is providing it.
- Q: Will there be an ad approval process for iAd like the App Store? A: Jobs says that there will some boundaries, but hoping that nothing more than a "light touch" will be necessary.
- Q: Any changes to Apple's stance on Flash/Java? A: Jobs says no.
- Q: Any development tools required for iAds? A: No, with HTML5, they can use whatever tools they want.
- Q: No background APIs for things like monitoring Twitter in background? A: We think Twitter and related services work much better with push notifications.
- Q: Why no widgets on iPad? A: We just shipped it on Saturday, and we rested on Sunday. Everything is possible.
- Further discussion of market for iAd and how users' attention isn't occupied by apps on computers. But on phone things are different. Apple not looking to become worldwide ad agency. Tried to buy AdMob but Google snatched it, so Apple bought Quattro, a smaller but great company. We're learning as fast as we can from them.
- Talking about iPhone OS 4.0 compatibility for older devices. Earlier hardware just can't support some of the features like multitasking.
- Q: What are you doing to address distracted driving? A: Jobs says that they've done more than most, with hands-free calling and integrated displays and controls for cars.
- Q: Any chance of running unsigned applications like on Android? A: Jobs says that because of that ability, there is a porn store for Android, and that's not a place we want to go.
- Q: Any surprises on reactions to iPad? A: Jobs says they "still have butterflies" about it. Reaction has been great...a profound game changer. Schiller is surprised by the quality of the applications coming out already. Jobs says that competitors would be hoping for 3500 apps in the first year, and the iPad has that in a week. Building on the base of 85 million existing iPhone OS users helps.
- Q: With so much in the App Store, how can developers get their apps discovered? A: Jobs says that the App Store is not part of iPhone OS, and so the server-side stuff can be enhanced constantly. They've added the Genius feature and a lot of third-party sites have sprung up to feature and recommend apps. Game Center will also help the viral spread of apps. And gifting.
- Q: Are you concerned that multitasking and other new features not compatible with older devices will alienate existing customers? Will it encourage them to upgrade? A: The growth curve for these products has been very steep, so most of the devices out there are the newer models. The older models will get some great new feature, but will be missing some like multitasking. If they upgrade because of that, fantastic.
- Q: How do you close apps when multitasking? A: You don't have to. Jobs says that if you see task manager, you blew it. Users shouldn't have to think about it.
- End of Q&A