iPhone,iPad, iPod, … and Apple iPhone OS 4

 


Did you watch the presentation of Apple OS 4 news on April 8?

I have never owned any apple product in my entire life so I am not one of the apple fans but I did watch the presentation and would like to share some of my observations

Relaxed but very well performed presentation
Extremely well planned and well performed presentation, easy messages, good examples, lots of statistics which shows how great iPad, iPhone, the “iApps” (I call it iApps) have been received by the users. A photo showing a small girl who got an iPad, you can see how happy she is and seeing her  kissing her new iPad. Wow, what an advertisement. Regardless of how good the product is, and how much really this small girl likes iPad, this is still a good old advertisement “trick”.

Apple added 1500 new API to the iPhone OS 4, partners at presentation demonstrated their use of some of the new API:s and told how easy it was to adopt their existing  “apps” to the new OS.  According to the apple, 64% of US mobile browser usage was based on iPhone. The question is whether the netbook, laptop with mobile broadband is counted in this statistic or only cellular phones are included in this statistic.

Multitasking

The multitasking with preserving the battery usage and performance seems to be the biggest news in OS4. Good to see that you can change from one application to another one without losing the information about its state and you get back to the application and continue the execution from where you left earlier. The battery usage and performance seems to be one of the important criteria at the design phase.

7 New services based on Multitasking

  • Background audio
    You would be able to listen to web based Radio or music while using other apps.
  • VoIP (SKYPE)
    Skype as VoIP application would be extremely good if Apple decides to replace the current circuit switched telephony service. This also means that the iPad could also provide VoIP services. I am not very sure about the WiMax support for iPhone and iPad, what I understand is that there is no USB connection to the iPad so there is still some challenge for Apple to solve the LTE/4G support for iPad and iPhone.
  • Background location
    OS 4 will use either GPS information like Tomtom and the cell measurements to find the user location. If any application asks for your location information, user chooses to allow OS 4 to deliver location information to the apps.. User is also able to allow which applications should use the location information. A list of applications which during the past 24 hours asked for the user location information will be available for the user.
  • Push notifications
    seems to be a popular service, 10 billion push notifications were send during the last 9 month. This service is handled by Apple
  • Local notification
    Same as the push notification but everything is handled locally in the iPhone/iPad, ..
  • Task completion
    if the user leaves any ongoing application, the application continues until it finishes the task even though the user starts other apps.
  • Fast apps switching
    allows the application to “sleep” , everything is preserved and you can go back to the state you were at before you swapped to another apps.

Folders

Easy to make a folder, automatically name it based on information from the ID from the Apps Store, you can rename it, remove It and put it where ever you want.

Enhanced mail

  • Unified inbox, multiple accounts from different email providers
  • More than one exchange server is supported
  • Fast inbox switching , move fast to the favorite  inbox
  • Organized by thread, able to see all the email within the same email thread
    Open attachments with apps from App Store

iBooks

  • same as for the iPad
  • Buy once and use it on any i-devices
  • wireless  synchronize your iBooks

Enterprise support

  • great data protection
    email encryption with the pin code, API is available for the developer
  • Mobile Device management,
    Sybase, MobileIron.. are supported in the new OS
  • Wireless app distribution, from enterprise servers
  • Exchange 2010
  • VPN for CISCO and Juniper

Game center,

  • social gaming network, automatic matchmaking

iAd

  • Mobile Advertising.
  • Interaction + motion the ads keep you in your ad
  • Apple sells and hosts the apps, 60% of the revenue would go to the developers

HW compatibility

The bad news is that multitasking will not work on the old platform and it is supported by 3GS and 3rd generation iPod with 32 Mbytes of memory. Detailed information about the OS 4, HW compatibility will be found at the apple home page

All of the news about iPhone OS 4 shows the excellent ability to provide solutions based on the user’s needs, good technical innovation and very good marketing. Apple also shows extremely good understanding about the user interface and design. But it seems that the entire solution is more or less based on much more closed environment. The locked push services and  iAd services could cause some difficulties for the product in future. In my opinion the open solutions with easy, fast, good development environment and distribution channel will have a good chance to survive in the long-term. But you never know may be Apple would also join some other vendors and start thinking  open source soon. Let me know your opinion!

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