Apple has released iOS 4 for the second- and third-generation iPod touch, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS. The fourth major release of Apple’s mobile device operating system—previously called iPhone OS—the new software provides over 100 new features or enhancements, according to Apple. Among these are multitasking, folders, customizable backgrounds for the Home screen, a unified inbox for the Mail application, more fine-grained control over Location Services, support for Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising platform, and support for iBooks 1.1 on the iPhone and iPod touch. Several of the features—most notably multitasking—require more advanced hardware and are therefore only available on the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch, as well as future devices such as the iPhone 4. Interestingly, iLounge editors have seen a dialog box experienced when updating a second-generation iPod touch, warning not to “interrupt the update, which may take an hour or longer to complete” that was not seen when upgrading an iPhone 3GS. The iOS 4 update for the second-generation iPod touch weighs in at 315.0MB, the iPhone 3G update is 292.1MB, the third-generation iPod touch download is 366.4MB, and the iPhone 3GS version is 378.0MB. iOS 4 for the iPhone and iPod touch is available for download now via the update feature in iTunes, and will be coming to the iPad this fall.
Update: iOS 4 for the iPhone 4 is a 579.3MB download, more than 200MB larger than any of the other iOS 4 install bundles.
Pandora Media has released the anticipated iOS 4 update for its popular Pandora Radio application. As demonstrated by Apple at recent iOS 4 events, the latest version of Pandora Radio leverages the new background audio multitasking feature in iOS 4 to allow users to continue listening to their music while using other applications. With Pandora Radio 3.1 and a multitasking-capable device using iOS 4, Pandora Radio can operate in the background in the same manner as the built-in iPod application—audio continues to play in the background even after closing the app, and the device’s on-screen and headphone media controls will be used for the Pandora Radio application instead of the iPod application. Pandora Radio 3.1 is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
Best Buy’s launch plan for the iPhone 4 has been leaked online in its entirety, including inventory expectations, explanations and photos of merchandise displays, and more. Most notably, the documents reveal that “inventory availability is expected to be minimal,” and so stores will have the option of taking pre-orders from customers arriving on the 24 until 11:00 a.m. local time, with no guarantee of when their device might be available. The documents also state that Best Buy expects all inventory to be accounted for by launch day due to pre-sales. Finally, the company will be offering a number of cases from launch day, including offerings from Belkin, Griffin, and Rocketfish. Apple will launch the iPhone 4 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Japan on June 24.
The first applications supporting Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising platform have appeared on the App Store. Avantar, developer of mobile search applications such as OneTap Movies, Showtimes, Munch and Yellow Pages, has updated several of its applications integrating the new mobile advertising platform. Apple’s iAd does not go live until July 1st, and at this time these apps appear to be showing either a test ad or an empty banner. The release notes for these apps originally cited iAd integration; this note has since been removed and replaced simply with “minor bug fixes,” however the apps themselves remain on the App Store and continue to display the iAd banners. Avantar’s App Store page can be found here.
Evernote has released an update adding iOS 4 support to its popular cloud-based note application. In addition to Fast App Switching, Evernote 3.3.5 also adds support for some more advanced iOS 4 capabilities. When using iOS 4, Evernote will now automatically finish synchronizing with the Evernote servers even after the application has been closed. Further, users can now continue recording voice memos while outside of the application; iOS 4 will note a recording in progress by a red status bar at the top of the screen, similar to the iPhone’s built-in Voice Memos application. Evernote 3.3.5 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple has confirmed that FaceTime video calls, which can be initiated while on a traditional phone call, will not eat away at a user’s voice minutes. “The voice call ends as soon as the FaceTime call connects,” an Apple representative told Business Insider. “The FaceTime call is over Wi-Fi so [it] does not use carrier minutes.” It wasn’t initially clear how Apple was handling the move from voice to FaceTime call, and as the report points out, it would have been possible for Apple to leave the voice call open as a backup should the FaceTime call fail unexpectedly. Apple will debut FaceTime alongside the iPhone 4 on June 24.
Apple has started shipping iPhone 4 units to customers who pre-ordered the device last week. According to shipment details seen by one iLounge editor, the phones appear to be shipping directly out of Shenzhen, China. Based on reports from iLounge readers, some shipping estimates list June 23 instead of June 24; however, Apple has in the past halted shipments that would have arrived earlier in order to coincide with its pre-announced launch date. Apple will officially launch the iPhone 4 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Japan on June 24.
Update: AT&T has also started emailing iPhone 4 pre-order customers shipment notifications and tracking numbers.
According to the latest data from Millennial Media (PDF Link), Apple’s share of overall U.S. mobile device ad impressions is on the decline. In May, Apple devices accounted for around 25% of all impressions, down sharply from 35% the month before. The report gives no indication as to whether Apple’s changes to the iOS developer agreement, which banned the sharing of user and device data with third party ad networks and analytics tools, had any affect on the results. Also of interest in the report is a new section on mobile developer trends. The report claims that 90% of all U.S. developers are single-platform, with 56% of those focused on iOS development, followed by 29% that are focused on Andoid. Millennial Media’s numbers are based on impressions served on its network of mobile sites and apps, which reaches 82% of the U.S. mobile audience, according to the company.
O2 in the U.K. has announced that it will only be selling the iPhone 4 to existing O2 customers at launch. “iPhone stock will be extremely limited in the UK at launch and not everybody who wants one will be able to get one straight away,” the company says on its website. “We want to make sure that our existing customers get priority so until at least the end of July, only existing O2 customers will be able to get an iPhone 4 from us.” According to the same webpage, “existing customers” includes “mobile, mobile broadband, home broadband and home phone customers” who have been with O2 since at least May 24 of this year. In addition, the company also said it won’t be offering the iPhone 4 on its online store until at least the end of July. Apple will launch the iPhone 4 in the U.K., U.S., France, Germany, and Japan on June 24.
In a letter to the FCC dated shorty prior to the company’s official unveiling of the iPhone 4, Apple asked the regulatory body (PDF Link) for a 45-day confidentiality window on certain documents. Specifically, the test setup photographs, external photographs, internal photographs, and the user manual. In the letter, Apple says that “although Apple has begun to market the device publicly, these documents reveal technical and design information that has not been publicly disclosed in such marketing and that is protected by Apple as confidential and proprietary trade secrets.” As is standard practice, Apple in the same letter requested permanent confidentiality for more sensitive documents, including schematics for the applications processor, cellular radio, and Wi-Fi + Bluetooth. [via Patently Apple]
A small number of photos and video taken with the new five megapixel camera of the iPhone 4 have appeared online (Translated Link) after someone in the Czech Republic managed to get their hands on a unit early. According to the owner, who goes by the name of Swenak, the iPhone 4 is very fast, including the GPS, which is said to locate “almost immediately.” As for the device’s new glass and steel body, Swenak said while the outer frame may accumulate minor scratches, the glass is better protected, and the slimmer profile makes it more pocketable. The report also notes that an hour of playing games, browsing the web, watching YouTube, and using Google Maps, the phone’s battery life fell by only 10%. While the photos do appear to be of a higher quality than those from past iPhone models, all the sample images included in the article were taken with ample daylight available, meaning that they did not test the iPhone 4’s low light and LED flash photography features. [via AppleInsider]
Last night Apple rolled out a number of updates to its MobileMe service. Most notably, the company brought its enhanced MobileMe webmail application out of beta, giving the web app a more iPad-like interface. Improvements include widescreen and compact views, the ability to use mail rules to automate organization, faster performance, support for sending mail from a different, non MobileMe address, and improved junk mail filtering. Also new is the navigation screen, which replaces the old row of icons at the top of the page with a single cloud icon. When clicked, or when evoked using the key combination of Shift-Esc, it brings up a Mac OS X-like application switcher that lets the user move between applications. These updates join the new Find My iPhone application, which was launched alongside the updates.
Apple’s new iPhone 4 will contain 512MB of RAM. Mac Rumors reports it has verified that Apple confirmed the 512MB figure during last week’s WWDC conference. The 512MB will give the iPhone 4 double the RAM of the iPad, third-generation iPod touch, or iPhone 3GS, and will give iOS more memory to use when multitasking. In addition, the report states that Apple has said iMovie for iOS will only run on the iPhone 4, and not the iPhone 3GS nor the iPad, suggesting that the application may require iPhone 4’s extra RAM.
After a necessary halt to pre-orders erroneously taken for launch window white iPhone 4 units, Best Buy has now stopped accepting pre-orders of all iPhone 4 models. “Please note that effective immediately Best Buy will no longer be accepting pre-orders for any models of the iPhone 4,” reads a bold message on the company’s iPhone 4 pre-order FAQ page. The page notes that existing pre-orders will still be valid, and that pre-orders were stopped “due to the demand and inventory concerns.” Unfortunately for some customers, Best Buy also claims that “a pre-order does not guarantee a phone on launch day,” and that pre-orders are “simply a way of queuing our inventory whenever the store gets their quantities of iPhone 4 inventory. If your place in the pre-order queue is higher than the inventory received for launch, your pre-order will roll over to the second shipment and so on.” This also indicates that it’s unlikely, depending on the number of pre-orders at a given store, that the store will have iPhone 4 units available to walk-in customers on launch day. Apple will officially launch the iPhone 4 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Japan on June 24. [via MDN]
Apple has released iTunes 9.2, the latest update to its media management software. According to Apple’s release notes, iTunes 9.2 includes support for iPhone 4 and iOS 4, as well as the ability to organize and sync books to iPhones and iPod touch units with iBooks 1.1, support for iBooks PDF management, the ability to create and manage iOS 4 home screen folders from within iTunes, album art speed improvements, and faster backups when syncing a device running iOS 4. iTunes 9.2 is available now via Apple’s Software Update utility or as a direct download from apple.com/itunes.
Orange has announced its handset and tariff pricing for the iPhone 4 in the U.K. Orange is offering tiered pricing on its iPhone 4 handsets, ranging from a free 16GB unit with the £75/month plan, which includes unlimited minutes, texts, data, and Wi-Fi, and 3GB of tethering on a 24-month contract—the 32GB model is £29 with the same plan—to £319 for the 32GB model on a £35/month plan, which includes 600 minutes, 500 texts, and unlimited data and Wi-Fi on an 18-month contract. Notably, separate 750MB/month fair use policies apply to both the unlimited data and unlimited Wi-Fi, and all the plans save for the £75/month, 24-month contract require a bundle for tethering, which start at £5 per month. Apple will launch the iPhone 4 in the U.K., U.S., France, Germany, and Japan on June 24.
Only hours after Apple sold through its initial allotment of iPhone 4 units, pushing the ship date on new pre-orders back from the device’s June 24 launch date to July 2, the company has been forced to push new pre-orders back even further. According to the company’s online store, new iPhone 4 pre-orders will now ship by July 14, nearly two weeks later than orders placed just earlier today. Apple announced earlier that it and its carrier partners took more than 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4 units yesterday, saying it was “the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day,” while apologizing for “order and approval system malfunctions” that left many potential customers unable to order their chosen device. [via Mac Rumors]
Following last week’s announcement that developers can begin submitting updates for iOS 4 compatibility, updates have now begun to appear on the App Store. Among the first applications boasting iOS 4 compatibility is the popular Dropbox app, which has also received some minor bug fixes as well. Developers can simply recompile their applications using the iOS 4 SDK to take advantage of the new Fast App Switching feature in iOS 4, allowing applications to be suspended in the background and resumed at their current state, and all applications listing iOS 4 compatibility should at least support this new multitasking feature. Other multitasking capabilities such as Background Task Completion will need to be specifically added by developers and will not necessarily be inherent in iOS 4 compatible applications.
Apple has issued a statement regarding iPhone 4 pre-orders, revealing that the company and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 iPhone 4 units. Calling it “the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day,” the company said the response was “far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions.” In the release, Apple admits that “[m]any customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration,” and says it apologizes “to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock.”