Screenshots showing off the new developer preview build of iPhone OS 4.0 have begun to appear online, including a number sent to iLounge by an anonymous source. Included below are shots illustrating the new multitasking and folders features, as well as the revised Photos app, universal mailbox, location services management, and more. If you have access to the developer preview and would like to share additional details, send your screenshots and info to news (at) ilounge.com.
In advance of Apple’s official video demonstrating the iPhone OS 4 features, a user-submitted video posted to YouTube shows an iPhone 3GS calling up its multitasking functionality, as well as displaying Home screen wallpaper, neither feature previously available on Apple’s pocket devices.
Additional video is expected from Apple later today.
Apple has posted the preliminary version of the iPhone OS 4 Software Development Kit, also known as the iPhone SDK 4 beta, to its Developer Web Site. The SDK download is 2.9GB in size, with separate iPhone OS 4.0 operating system betas at roughly 300MB-400MB a piece. Apple’s OS betas are for 2008 and 2009 iPhone and iPod touch models only. They notably exclude the iPad, which is explicitly disclaimed as not compatible with “iPhone OS 4.0”, and 2007 iPhone and iPod touch models, which are not and apparently will not be supported by iPhone OS 4.
During Apple’s iPhone OS 4 event today, Steve Jobs announced the creation of a new mobile advertising platform which will be integrated directly into the iPhone OS. The new platform, named iAd, is designed to allow developers to easily add in-app advertising to their applications by supplying ads through a centralized advertising network without having to implement their own solution. Apple will take care of selling and hosting the ads, providing developers with the industry standard 60% of advertising revenue.
Jobs explained that Apple wants to provide incentives for developers to keep free apps as free, but that ads based on search have not been as successful on mobile devices as they have on the desktop as users spend most of their time in apps rather than searching in a web browser. He went on the explain that the average iPhone user spends 30 minutes each day using applications, and supplying even 1 ad every 3 minutes would equate to 10 ads per day. Jobs notes that with 100 million iPhone users, this presents one billion ad opportunities per day within the iPhone community. Apple is also looking to improve the quality and accessibility of in-app advertising, with more interaction than typical web ads and allowing users to view advertising without being taken out of the application that they are currently using, thereby encouraging users to click on ads without having to worry about leaving the current app.
During the course of its iPhone OS 4.0 Sneak Peek event today, Apple noted that the operating system software will be available in at least three different versions: one that is fully feature-enabled with multitasking for the iPhone 3GS and 2009 “third-generation” iPod touch, one that is limited by the less advanced hardware in the iPhone 3G and 2008 “second-generation” iPod touch to not support multitasking, and finally, a third version for the iPad, which will come later than the other Summer versions, in Fall. No mention was made during the presentation of the original iPhone and iPod touch, released in June and September, 2007, respectively.
Two separate questions were asked during a Q+A session, however, attempting to pin Apple down on whether iPhone OS 4 would be available for the earlier devices; responses from Apple, including Steve Jobs, appeared to suggest otherwise. He stated that earlier hardware wasn’t capable of supporting iPhone OS 4.0 features, differing based on model, and suggested that it wasn’t Apple’s choice, but rather just limitations of the devices. Additionally, Jobs suggested that sales of the iPod touch and iPhone 3GS had really taken off in the past year, so that more devices were being supported than not, and said that while users of the older products may miss features like multitasking, “if that’s an incentive for them to upgrade to a new phone, that’s terrific.”
Updated: Apple’s iPhone OS 4 Preview page explicitly leaves out the original 2007 iPhone and iPod touch from its list of compatible devices.
Although no specific dates for iPhone OS 4.0 availability were announced at today’s iPhone OS 4 event, Apple did provide general information on when the iPhone OS will become available for different users.
April 8, 2010: Apple releases iPhone OS 4 Beta (Developer Preview) to iPhone developers.
End of April 2010: Apple re-confirms that iPad 3G to be released, with iPad Wi-Fi released internationally; no additional dates are available.
Summer 2010: iPhone OS 4 to be released for iPhone 3G/3GS and second- and third-generation iPod touch, not prior-generation devices.
Fall 2010: iPhone OS 4 to be released for iPad. Possibly not version 4.0, but rather a follow-up.
Late 2010: Apple Social Gaming Network (“GameCenter”) to open.
Presented in reverse chronological order, iLounge’s complete coverage transcript from the iPhone OS 4.0 Sneak Peek Event is included below for your reference. The transcript includes the full event, which will likely be available in QuickTime video format later today from Apple, as well as a journalists’ question and answer session that followed the event, which is typically not included in Apple’s videos. Click on the title of this article for all of the details.
Apple today announced the release of iPhone OS 4.0, the next generation operating system for its line of mobile devices. Scheduled to ship this summer, with a developer preview available today, OS 4.0 adds 1,500 new developer APIs and 100 new user features to the existing iPhone OS platform. The OS 4.0 update will be fully supported on the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch models, while the second-generation iPod touch and iPhone 3G will support “many” but not all of the new features. Prior-generation devices, including the original iPhone and iPod touch, will apparently not support iPhone OS 4.0 at all. The initial release of OS 4.0 will be for the iPhone and iPod touch platforms only; an iPad release is expected later this fall.
During the announcement, Apple specifically discussed and demonstrated seven major new features that will be introduced in OS 4.0: Multitasking, Folders, Enhanced E-mail, iBooks for iPhone/iPod touch, Enterprise Features, Social Gaming, and iAds. In short, the features enable background music from applications such as Pandora and background turn-by-turn GPS directions from apps such as Tomtom, folder organization of apps, unified e-mail inboxes and threaded discussions, a customizable Home screen background, greater device security, online matchmaking for games, and “emotional” advertising. The features will depend in some cases on iTunes 9.2, which will presumably be released alongside the new OS in Summer. Click on the title of this article for detailed discussion of all of these features, and more. Apple’s official press release announcing iPhone OS 4 can be seen here.
Opening the iPhone OS 4.0 Event today, Steve Jobs reported that Apple has sold 450,000 iPads since its initial U.S. launch last Saturday. Jobs noted that on the first day of the iPad launch the company sold 250,000 iBooks and 1 million iPad apps and that as of today a total of 600,000 iBooks and 3.5 million iPad apps have been purchased. Jobs noted that there are currently over 185,000 apps in the App Store, including over 3,500 iPad apps already available and in total users have downloaded well over 4 billion apps from the App Store.
Engadget reports that settlement checks have begun arriving from the iPod nano class action lawsuit initiated in October 2005. The lawsuit alleged that iPod nano screens “scratch excessively during normal usage, rendering the screen on the nanos unreadable.” The suit was later expanded to include iPod nano users in the UK and Mexico, and in early 2009 Apple agreed to a $22 million settlement. The settlement was to provide remedies of between $15 and $25 for iPod nano owners based on when their device was purchased and whether or not it came with a protective slip case, however Engadget’s report shows an unidentified reader receiving a check for $37.50, possibly due to fewer claimants in the class action lawsuit. [via TUAW].
The first photos are up in our photo gallery and early details are in our live iPhone OS 4.0 Sneak Peek Event page. Stay tuned to iLounge for up-to-the-minute news from Apple’s event, which will impact iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad users alike!
Patently Apple reports that Apple has been granted a patent for its Cover Flow interface design. Patent D613,300 (PDF) references an “animated graphical user interface for a display screen or portion thereof” and shows illustrations of Cover Flow being used on an iPhone screen as an example. The design patent covers the appearance of Cover Flow rather than its functionality, and would allow Apple to make an infringement claim against anyone using a UI design that looks “substantially similar” to Cover Flow. [via Engadget]
Big Stone Phone has released a significantly redesigned iPad version of its Twittelator client for Twitter. Described as “distinctly tailored” Twittelator Pad bears almost no resemblance to the corresponding iPhone version of the application with a rich user interface specifically designed for the larger iPad screen. In landscape mode, Twittelator Pad displays the friends’ timeline persistently in a column on the left-hand side of the screen while allowing the user to browse direct messages, mentions, searches and more using the remaining screen space. Images are displayed in-line in the timeline, which is presented in a chat-like interface. Twittelator Pad also adds support for customizable background wallpapers, nearby Twitter searches, saving tweets as drafts and posting of photo and audio tweets. Twittelator Pad is available from the App Store for $5.
iLounge is headed to Cupertino, California to provide live coverage of Apple’s iPhone OS 4 event. The event will be held at Apple’s campus within its Town Hall presentation room, and will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, or 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Apple is expected to discuss details of its upcoming revisions to the operating system for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, including a new mobile advertising platform. As we have done in the past, iLounge.com will take you to our streamlined special event page half an hour or so before the event; you can set your bookmarks ahead of time to live.ilounge.com, and we also hope to update our Flickr account with new photos.
Capcom has announced the upcoming release of the critically acclaimed Dark Void Zero for the iPhone and iPod touch. Designed as a retro 8-bit prequel to the popular Dark Void console game, Dark Void Zero puts the player in the role of Rusty, a warrior test-pilot who must strap on a rocket pack and blast through three retro levels of enemies in a quest to close Portal X and save the human race. OpenFeint social features will be included to allow users to be rewarded with achievements, connect with their friends on Facebook and compete in online leaderboards. The iPhone version will feature refined touchscreen controls and a retro soundtrack composed by Battlestar Galactica composer Bear McCreary. A secret ending has also been added exclusively for the iPhone and PC versions of the game. Dark Void Zero is scheduled for release on the App Store on April 12th and will sell for $3.
Capcom has released the iPad version of its highly acclaimed Resident Evil 4. The iPad Edition features a new high-resolution art set specifically designed for the iPad’s larger display and an enhanced Visual Pad control system, making gameplay a more immersive and intuitive experience. In Resident Evil 4 players take on the role of Leon S. Kennedy, a U.S. agent with a mission to rescue the President’s daughter who must battle his way through numerous enemies to discover who or what is behind the plot. In developing the iPad version, Capcom leveraged App Store feedback from its Resident Evil series of iPhone apps and has implemented several platform-specific features as a result. Players can engage in running gun fights against crowds of enemies, climb ladders, equip items such as binoculars and jump out windows. Resident Evil 4: iPad Edition is available from the App Store for $13.
Scosche has announced the release of its new reVIVE II Dual USB chargers. Designed specifically for the iPad, the chargers include a 2.1A USB port for powering and charging the iPad along with a standard 1A USB port for connecting an additional USB-powered device. Each USB port is clearly labelled and either port can be used for any standard USB device, however the iPad will charge more slowly if connected to the 1A port. The reVIVE II chargers will retail for $25 for the car charger and $30 for the home charger and are available now for pre-order on scosche.com. Both chargers are expected to ship in the late spring.
Headlight Software has released a new application, Camera for iPad that allows iPad users to take photos on their iPad using their iPhone camera. Users load the Camera for iPad app on both their iPhone and iPad which then established a Bluetooth connection between the two devices. Once connected, users can take photos on the iPad from the iPhone camera. A live view is shown on the iPad screen and users can zoom in and out and rotate the view using standard pinch and swipe gestures. Photos are taken at the maximum resolution of the iPhone camera and automatically transferred to the iPad over Bluetooth and stored in the iPad’s Saved Photos album. The application can also be used to take and receive photos on a second- or third-generation iPod touch or another iPhone 3G or 3GS. The original iPhone and first-generation iPod touch are not supported. Camera for iPad is a Universal app and is available from the App Store for $1.
Proporta has rolled out its new line of cases for the Apple iPad. The Mizu Shell is a silicone and crystal case, offering a form-fitting design, cut-outs for access to all ports and controls, and a soft touch finish. It comes in three colors and sells for $38. The Aluminium Lined Leather Pouch is a simple sleeve-style case offering a soft faux fur lining, leather exterior, and a sheet of lightweight aluminum built-in to offer added screen protection. It sells for $53. The Maya II Pouch is also a sleeve-style case, featuring a leather substitute exterior, soft inner lining, and a diagonal front stripe. It sells for $30.
Proporta’s Tilt Stand is a hard polycarbonate plastic case offering a vertical flip-open design that converts into a landscape or portrait stand, and cut-outs for access to all ports and controls. It sells for $52. The Leather Case is a horizontally-opening folio case made from leather, with contrast overstitching, pin-stripe lining, a secure closure system, and cut-outs for access to all controls and ports. It sells for $48. The Leather Style Case features a similar design but is made from leather substitute, and sells for $38. The Profile Hard Shell is a hard polycarbonate case featuring a soft leather coating and open access to the screen and all ports and controls. It sells for $34. Finally, the company is offering an Advanced Screen Protector that reduces glare and can be removed for washing. It sells for $23. All of Proporta’s new accessories for the Apple iPad are available for pre-order now.