Today sees the arrival of iOS 4, the latest operating system to grace the screens of the Apple iPhone. And here at Absolute Gadget we have the low down on the top features that make you reach out and update that smartphone of yours today.
No.1 – Multitasking
The new multitasking function should see your iPhone’s battery last longer and use less memory when you have several apps on the go at once. The software does this be saving an app’s state to memory and will pick up where you left off when you go back to it. You can keep tabs on what’s running by double tapping the home button.
Although every app needs to be updated to take advantage of this new feature and certain iPhones (think iPhone 3G) and the iPod Touch will miss out on multitasking among other new features due to CPU and memory constraints.
No.2 – Bluetooth keyboard support
OK, so you are a fanboy and you have bought an iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard, but what about typing on the iPhone. Well now the iPhone can be turned into a mini-tablet PC with the new update. The feature means that you can wirelessly connect a keyboard to an iPhone so you can write all your emails and documents. The only drawback is that it appears that only Apple Bluetooth keyboards are compatible at the moment.
No.3 – Spell Check everywhere
iOS 4 has a new feature that will spell check everything, regardless of what app you are using. As with most other spell checkers, the iPhone will underline a word it thinks you have misspelled and suggest a correction.
No-4 – Inboxes united
No, not a new football team (although Cappello may well be looking for one at the end of the week), but this feature will be a relief for anyone that has a few email addresses. The new unified inbox pulls all of your email into one place. It also supports threaded emails and push support for multiple accounts.
No.5 – Keep on the wireless
No longer does the wireless power down when the screen goes black. The update will see iPhones and Touch devices stay connected even when the screen goes black. So your internet-connected apps stay connected. This will probably be most beneficial to those using a VoIP app.
No.6 – An indication of things to come
The status bar sees a polish up to give you more informaiton about what is happening with your iPhone. A compass arrow will show up when you are using location-based services. Also a lock icon appears when you have set the display to portrait mode. Coloured bands appear when voice or data connections are running. These can be green for a phone call, red for a Voice Memo or VoIP call and Blue for tethering.
No.7 – App that appointment
This may be a strange one but could be well worth it. Developers can now let there apps make and update calendar appointments from within an app. So booking tickets for that summer festival online can also remind you when to head off in your camper too.
No.8 – Edit that picture and take a better one
So a little way off from being a full-blown picture editor, but the new iPhone can rotate and resize photos you have taken. Choices are limited to a few sizing options but it can cut down on the amount of data you need to upload and this could save you a few megabytes on your data allowance.
The camera also gets an update to give it a 5x digital zoom and video gets a tap to focus in video.
No.9 – Location, location, location!
No not Phil and Kirsty on your iPhone but now you have a lot more control over which apps can access location data by turning them on and off in the settings page. An indicator on the status bar will pop up from time to time when your app is accessing your GPS, Wi-Fi of mobile transmitter. Handy that, but it won’t find you a three-bed semi in Godalming.
No.10 – Better playlists
The iOS 4 update brings newness to the iPod part of your iPhone. A new music control bar appears at the bottom of the screen when you are listening to music in the background and you can also create and edit playlists on your iPhone. These new playlists automatically sync with your iTunes when connected to your computer.