Apple unveiled the plans for this summer’s latest iPhone operating system: OS4. With a ton of new features, probably the biggest and most-wanted by users is the ability to multi-task. Developers will also be happy to hear that the software development kit (SDK) will offer over 1,500 new APIs for app creation. The iPad, which will finally be able to compete with Netbooks and small computers at its price point, will get the upgrade this fall.
Some of the more robust features, like multitasking and video focus, won’t be available on older devices. Most of the features will appear across the board and some are previewed on the iPad with its release last weekend.
Some of the more noteworthy features, besides multitasking, are:
- Spell check
- Bluetooth keyboard support
- User-defined wallpapers
- Tap-to-focus when recording video (like with photos)
- Nested playlists
- App folders for sorting, just like a desktop
- Multi-inboxes for merged mailing so all your email can be in one spot
- Game Center for iPhone live gaming
Developers get a stack of new tools in the SDK that was released today as well.
As CNet News points out, another big bonus will be VoIP support for Skype-style apps on the phone. This lets VoIP users use their calling system the same way they can with standard phone calls on the iPhone, so you can multitask while talking.
Here’s Steve Jobs giving the keynote and making the OS4 announcement. He also talks a little about the new iAd plan.