The New Bits in the iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 4
Article by George Norman
On 19 May 2010
The development process of the operating system that powers the iPhone moves forward. Cupertino-based software developer has recently rolled out the 4th Beta of the iPhone OS version 4.0, which is scheduled to be released this June.

Just like iPhone OS Beta 4.0 Beta 3, the iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 4 comes with some new features:
- The home screen is different. It now puts the calculator, clock and other minor apps into a Utilities folder
- New wallpapers added to the 19 existing home screen wallpapers.
- Google Maps works faster and so do other apps.
- Calls are handled better, there’s no pause at the beginning of calls

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The previous release, iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 3, came with these new features:

- A new widget controller for iPod music playback that you can access by swiping to the left.
- An orientation lock that disables the device’s portrait and landscape mode auto-switching. This one is similar to the orientation lock hardware switch on the iPad.

As a little reminder, when Apple showcased the iPhone OS 4.0, the company said the OS would offer the following when it is released:

Multitasking and app freezing
Double click the home button and a list of running apps is displayed. Select a running app to switch to it. Take Skype for example. In the past when you navigated away from Skype, the app would just quit. Now it can run in the background. You can switch to another app, then return.

Local notifications
Send notifications from one app on the iPhone to another app on the iPhone. Say you’re using an app, then switch to another. In the “another app” you will receive a notification that something is up in the first app. Take the Skype example above. When Skype is running in the background and you receive a call, you'll see a notification on the screen. A single tap is enough to take that call.

5x digital zoom
This one is self explanatory

App folders
Sort apps into folders. A folder is automatically created when you drag one app icon onto another. The folder is also named automatically – the name depends on the App Store category of that app.

Game center
A centralized gaming service that connects games to one another. This service will be rolled out by the end of the year. It is similar to the PSN or Xbox Live multiplayer network.

New Mail App
The new mail app features the following: unified inbox, fast inbox switching, multiple Exchange accounts, threaded messages.

iBooks
Ebook reader and ebook store – the same from the iPad.

Customizable backgrounds
Select the background your iPhone will use, just like jailbreakers have been able to do for quite some time.

Bluetooth keyboards
The iPhone OS 4.0 will support Bluetooth keyboards

New APIs
1500 new APIs

iAd advertising
Users will be shown interactive ads within apps. This feature will be added later this year. It is part of the iPhone OS 4.0 developer tools.



Tags: Apple, iPhone OS 4.0, iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 4
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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