Just prior to the release of the new iPhone 4, Apple has rolled out the latest version of its iPhone operating system: iOS 4. The long awaited update, first announced in early April, is now available on iPhone 3G, 3GS and both second and third generation iPod touches.
Free to download, the new operating system boasts a number of modifications which aim to improve usability on the iPhone. iPhone users will not be the only one to benefit from the system; there is also a variety of new opportunities for app developers with over estimated 1,500 changes to the API.
One of the most important changes made in iOS 4 is the ability for greater organisation. Users can now tidy up their Home Screen by storing apps in folders which they have created (as demonstrated in the screenshot on the right). The new feature also makes it easier to organise the home screen, saving users time when finding apps.
Perhaps the most highly anticipated of the upgrade however, is the ability to multitask. The new multitasking feature allows users to switch easily between apps without having to close and reopen them. Apple hopes that the multitasking function will improve the battery life of the iPhone by simplifying tasks such as listening to music while browsing, for example.
Other new features include tapping to focus video, a 5x digital zoom and Bluetooth keyboard connectivity which allows users to connect a keyboard to the iPhone. A spellchecker function has also been improved in the new system; spelling mistakes are now underlined and alternatives offered.
iOS 4 problems
While iOS 4 solves many of the problems identified in previous iPhone operating systems, it has been reported that the upgrade is not without its faults. Many new subscribers have been flooding Apple support forums with complaints of slow backup and downloading times; the 580MB update reportedly taking up to an hour to download. Other customers have also complained that the new system has rendered photos blurry when synced with iPhoto.