iPhone OS 4.0 Sneak Peek Event: iLounge’s coverage transcript posted
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.
11:38 AM: Forstall, on q re: multitasking: We don’t want the user to have to manage the apps at all in that mode, the services can manage resources need on their own without user having to get involved. Jobs has said “if you see a stylus, it’s the wrong product,” “if the user needs to use a task manager… they blew it.” Users shouldn’t ever have to think about this. That’s it for the Q+A. If you’re a developer and a journalist, grab the beta release of iPhone OS 4.
11:36 AM: Q: Are you concerned about multitasking not working for older generations? Are you worried about leaving out part of your customerbase? Will this make them upgrade their phones? Jobs: 3GS was huge hit, iPod touch sales have really accelerated over the past year. Users of the old products may miss features like multitasking, and if that’s an incentive for them to upgrade to a new phone, that’s terrific.
11:33 AM: Q: So much stuff is in the App Store, how can developers hope to get their apps discovered by people? Jobs: #1, the App Store is not part of iPhone OS 4, and it’s mostly on the server side and we can enhance it without waiting for iPhone software, constantly. We have to be careful not to bring the service down, but we’re constantly interested in improving it. We’ve added Genius, but I also see an infrastructure starting to evolve to help users find apps. We’ll see more being done by different web sites and publications featuring apps of the week and stuff like that. There’s a lot being built up outside the device in web sites, starting to provide recommendations for users. Questioner then sounds like he’s pitching his web site to Apple.
11:26 AM: Q: What about distracted driving? What are you doing to make devices safer so people won’t use them when they shouldn’t be using them? Jobs: We do more than most to try and connect our devices to cars’ control systems, with handsfree calling, displays and controls within the cars themselves. Scott: We added voice dialing and strive to make it even better. Jobs: We’re giving the majority of revenue to developers for iAd; this is help developers make money scheme so they can survive and keep the price of their apps reasonable. Q: Other platforms can run unsigned applications under specific circumstances. Will you do that? A: Jobs: Because of that, there are porn apps for the Android phone, you can download them, kids can get them, that’s a place we don’t want to go. Q: iPad - anything surprise you about initial reaction so far? Jobs: we’ve been using these internally for some time, working on it for years, but we still have butterflies in the stomach - you never really know until you get it into customers’ hands. Feedback has been off the charts, people get it, we think it’s a profound game changer. When people look back years from now, they’ll see this as a major event in personal computational devices. What’s been great for me is how quickly people got it. People in meetings tell me how much this product is going to change their lives. It has been very gratifying. Schiller: what surprised me the most is the quality of the applications. Developers get it and are doing incredible things with it, which goes back to the customers. We hoped and believed it would happen, but to see it. Jobs: If our competitors ever introduce a competitive product, they’ll be hoping to have 3500 apps after the first year. We’ve had that in less than a week. It’s because it’s standing on top of a lot of things. 85m people are already iUsers and they’re taking to it like a fish in water.
11:23 AM: Q: iPhone OS 4.0 compatibility with the earliest devices? A: Jobs: We didn’t make any decisions for the earlier hardware - it can’t support these new features. Scott: the hardware differs from devices. Jobs: Older devices just won’t be able to support multitasking. It isn’t going to be a problem. Schiller: We have the best interest of the customer in mind, and want to make things run on as many devices as popular.
11:19 AM: Q: Can you repeat info on the number of ads to be served, demographics? A: Jobs - repeat of prior answers on how iPhone demographic is great and 1 billion ads can be served per day. Schiller: search is not where it is at on mobile devices. Jobs: apps don’t occupy people’s attention on PCs in the same way as they do on the iPhone. Search was the only way to find stuff on the desktop there. This is a very new phenomenon. Q: How are you going to transition to a worldwide ad firm? Apple says it does not have any plans to become a worldwide ad agency. Jobs says they tried to buy Admob, Google came in and snatched, so Apple bought a smaller but great company instead, learning as fast as they can.
11:15 AM: Q: Background APIs - nothing to let people monitor Twitter etc in the background, why? Scott: Twitter etc works better with push notifications. The technology is much deeper than we showed today… fast-app switching can do much more than has been shown, bringing people back to apps and also grabbing feeds as they’ve been updated in the interim. It will be far better, says, Scott, than where it was before. App previously just quit, or occupied whole screen. Now you come back to an app and it can bring in all sorts of new content. Q: What happened with Widgets? Why not use lock screen to display more information, particularly on iPad? A: We just shipped iPad this weekend!
11:11 AM: Q: Apple will host the ads - will there be an approval process for the ads like the App Store’s process? A: Jobs - there will need to be some boundary, and there will surely be some ads that Apple doesn’t want to have. But the companies will also want ads that have the right touch. Q: Any changes for Java or Flash on iPhone OS 4? Jobs: No. Q: Development of rich iAds, will companies be able to do this with a development kit? Jobs: It’s HTML5-based and people can choose their own tools to make ads, and iPhone app developers can do it, too. Ad agencies are really excited to be able to be able to bring real content and storytelling to mobile devices. This could really be a whole new avenue for the ad industry.
11:08 AM: Q: Wireless app distribution - can this be done without being in the enterprise? Jobs: No. Scott says it has to be certificate-signed applications from the enterprises, running only on their devices, not others. International launch will be near the end of April for iPad, he answers a question. Q: Will social gaming network supplant Ngmoco and Openfeint solutions? What will be different? Forstall: when you want a social network, your friends need to be on it. Apple wants to unify everyone on the same platform so there aren’t five networks. We expect developers will do it. There’s no money or competitive advantage, Jobs says, to be gained from doing this. Apple suggests developers want this unified service and have asked for it.
11:06 AM: Q: Given that multitasking will promote increased data usage, how will AT+T be prepared? Jobs - I’m not sure that’s an accurate assumption. data usage requires attention but these will not multiply attention. Pandora doesn’t use so much data, he says. Video does. You won’t watch movies in the background.
11:04 AM: Note that this is, to the best of our knowledge, the first time that Apple has officially referred to the 2009 iPod touch as the “iPod touch third-generation,” specifically describing it as different from the prior 2008 second-generation model that looks identical but has different (older, slower) chips inside. Phil Schiller, Steve, and Scott Forstall are on stage for Q+A.
11:01 AM: These are just seven of the over 100 user features and 1500 new APIs in iPhone OS 4. Releasing developer preview today, start testing now, releasing this summer for users. For iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 3rd generation (32GB/64GB) can run everything. iPod touch 2G, and iPhone 3G can run “many” of these things. What about prior devices? iPad will also get it in Fall. The press will stay for a Q+A in five minutes. That’s the end of the event, except for Q+A. Stick around for that.
11:00 AM: Target ad. Very easy ads to make - ad agencies can make them, and so can the iPhone app developers, an opportunity for companies. Framework’s right in the iPhone OS. That’s the seventh tentpole.
10:56 AM: Nike ad. Air Jordan shoes - Jobs says they just whipped it up. Text and a logo slide in from the side. Showing a video; video plays full screen without the Quicktime interface. See the whole history of the Air Jordan shoe. A completely custom interface for the ad. Showing off Nike ID, and lets you go and download app to order shoes from Nike in the App Store. You can shake the phone to change the Nike ID shoe shown… so you have access to various features of the iPhone hardware within the ads. Google Maps pop-up over custom background for location.
10:52 AM: Apple has whipped up mockup ads for some of its favorite companies. At bottom is Toy Story 3 banner ad, which looks like a normal Admob ad. Click on it, ad takes over screen with HTML5 animation (applause), with a little loading bar. Hit an X and user goes back to the app. The ad has its own content, including voice samples from the characters—it’s like a mini-app. Videos, a game, and so on all within the ad. Videos play within a normal Quicktime interface, streaming from Apple’s server. Posters, a theater finder, downloads, etc all as options. Game is a simple memory tile game. And you can sell additional apps from within the game, too.
10:47 AM: Seventh : Steve is back to talk about iAds. Mobile Ads right in OS 4. Lots of free and reasonably priced apps. We like that, so do users, but developers have to find ways to make money. Developers have started to put ads in apps, and Apple thinks most of it ‘really sucks.’ So this is about helping developers make money through ads, to keep free ads free. Search has not happened on a mobile device like on the desktop, he says. People spend all their time in apps; they go into Yelp and don’t do general searches. This is where the opportunity is—within apps, not search. Average iPhone user spends 30m every day using apps. Let’s say putting an ad up every 3 minutes - 10 ads a day. We’re going to soon have 100 million devices, or a billion ad opportunities per day in the iPhone community, he says. This is pretty serious, and it’s incredible demographic. But let’s change the quality of the ads, as well. They’re interactive, but can’t deliver emotion, which is why the majority of ad dollars flow through TV. What Apple wants: interaction and emotion delivered through its ads. Nike ad shown as an example on TV. He wants more interaction than typical web ads. On mobile devices today, ad yanks you out of app, takes you to a web page, and user may not go back to the app, not where they left off. People don’t click on ads as a result. Because it’s in the OS itself, interactive + video content can be delivered without ever leaving the app. User can go back to the app at any time. People will be more interested in clicking because there won’t be a penalty. Developers add this very quickly. Apple will sell and host the ads, giving developers industry standard 60% split of revenue.
10:45 AM: Tentpole #6, a social gaming network. Challenge friends to games, auto matchmaking. Can find multiple people of similar skill level to play together. Leaderboards, and also get progress in a game/achievements vs. friends. Preview in iPhone OS 4, available later this year, he says.
10:42 AM: Tentpole #5, back to Scott Forstall. Features for Enterprise. Huge inroads have been made - 80% of Fortune 100 are using iPhone. Even better data protection. All email and attachments are encrypted with a pin code. APIs to let developers encrypt in-app data. Mobile Device Management, too - Apple has wanted to help companies roll out deployments of iPhones en masse. Next is wireless app distribution. A lot of companies have custom apps and don’t want to plug into iTunes. Now companies can distribute anywhere in the world on their own servers. Next is support for multiple Exchange accts on a single phone, plus Exchange Server 2010, SSL VPN from Juniper and Cisco. Next is sixth tentpole: gaming. 50,000 game + entertainment titles on App Store.
10:41 AM: Tentpole #4 is iBooks for iPhone OS. Same icon, same bookshelf, same iBookstore. Store looks like the iPhone App Store + iTunes Store. Shows Winnie the Pooh. Buy books once, read anywhere. Same layout of font size/change. You can wirelessly sync pages and bookmarks, just like Kindle’s Whispersync.
10:38 AM: Used to be able to see 180 apps, now you can do 2,000, he says to laughter. Tentpole #3 is Enhanced Email. A lot of new features. First, unified inbox. Customers have really wanted this. All of the mail goes into one inbox. You can have more than one Exchange account, too. Looks just like before but with “all inboxes at top,” and now “Fast inbox switching” to see just one. Also, you can organize by thread. Follow discussions much easier. The main mailboxes screen looks like the Settings application, with lists of mailboxes. Open attachments is new - you can open an attachment with an app from the app store. Threaded stacks have number at right side, chevrons beside to opening messages.
10:37 AM: Changing wallpaper demonstrated, going back into Settings menu exactly where it was left. That’s folders, tentpole #2.
10:34 AM: Back to Steve. As people are downloading more and more apps, folders are what people want. Folders added. I want to make a folder with several games, he says. Just push finger on an app, jiggles, drop one app on top of another to create a folder. Rename it if you want. Folder UI slides in just like the multitasking dock, with same background. Icon for folder has tiny versions of apps within. You can add this to your dock to have games wherever you are in Home screens.
10:31 AM: Fourth: Push notifications. In 9 months, 10 billion notifications pushed. Third party sets up a server, which sends to Apple, which Apple sends to phone. Apple is always connected to the phone, which is how this works. New service being added: Local Notifications. Just like push, but you don’t need a server. It can all be done right on the phone. TV guide application - when a TV show is about to start, it can take place within the phone. Next, Task Completion service. Flickr takes a while to upload a photo. Until now, leave app while uploading, it stops. Now it can continue. Last service is fast app switching. This lets an app instantly resume where it was left off.
10:28 AM: Forstall: Third service is background location. Two apps want your location in the background - turn-by-turn GPS like tomtom. Until now, if you leave tomtom app, it stops tracking location. Now it can give you directions while you’re listening to music—audio from the tomtom app layers over the music. GPS uses a fair bit of power, but that’s okay for an app like this because it’s typically with a car charger. Also, Social Networking apps like Loopt don’t require GPS to be on all the time. This uses cell towers. Baseband is always connected to a cell tower, Forstall says, and it knows when you’ve switched locations. So the iPhone will track your location relative to a cell tower to make a determination. We take privacy very seriously, he says. There was always a user approval process. Now it goes further in OS 4. Indicator on the status bar lets you know if any app is asking for your location, foreground or background. Next, fine grain settings to disable or enable location per application. Looks like a compass arrow pointed NE on the status bar. Any application that has asked for location in 24 hours is added to the list. Apple wants to be completely transparent about use of location.
10:24 AM: Forstall: Second service is VoIP - voice over IP for calling. Continues to grow in popularity, led by Skype. Connects more than 1 out of every 9 int’l calls made on the planet. You couldn’t leave the app and continue to get or make calls. Now when you’re on Skype, you can switch to another app. You’re able to know you’re still running—and even when the phone is in locked screen mode you can see calls come in, with a red phone-style status bar at top of screen. Skype demonstration. Half a billion registered users. Until today, leaving Skype app meant going offline. Now, leaving app leaves it in the background so you can still receive calls. He goes into another app, still can let him know that he’s getting a call - he takes call in middle of using something else. Red status bar shows call is still in progress, using Opentable to find a restaurant while discussing it on Skype call.
10:19 AM: Forstall: We looked at the 10s of thousands of apps, distilled down services that they need to multitask in the bg, and implemented them all themselves so they can run in the background—as APIs for developers to use to preserve multitasking. Seven multitasking services. Background audio is first. They looked at Pandora, which was the most popular, but had no way to keep playing music when you left app. Now you can keep playing music when you switch apps. You can use iPod controls in lock screen to control Pandora. Pandora’s founder to demonstrate. Looks just like normal lock screen iPod controls. Says Pandora changed completely when iPhone launched and people could carry the service around in cars, place it into stereos, and it became an anytime, anywhere radio. 30k new listeners a day just on the iPhone. It took developers 1 day to make app fully background aware. He can use Safari to read websites while listening - Pandora’s performance and Safari’s performance both keep rolling just fine. Can go into iTunes and buy songs from Pandora without stopping the music, either.
10:17 AM: It goes right back to where he left off. Make sense? Really simple UI. Can easily just get back to icons at bottom of screen. Main homescreen UI has iPad dock background, now. It really changes the way you use the iPhone, he says. To explain how we did this while preserving battery life and performance, Scott Forstall.
10:14 AM: #1: Multitasking. We’ll be the best. Even though we weren’t the first. IT’s really easy to implement it in a way that really drains battery life. The logo shows multiple phones spread out like a deck of cards. Typically the phone feels sluggish as apps run in background. We figured out how to implement multitasking in third-party apps while avoiding this. I think we nailed it. He’ll demo it now. User interface for it. Same unlock screen is shown for iPhone. Custom wallpaper shown. Mail message has a URL to a web site - goes to a browser. Want to go back to reading mail? You can double-click Home button and window raises up with all apps running. Goes right back to where it was. Looks like an extension of the perforated background standard dock.
10:10 AM: iPhone. Won JD Power satisfaction award for 2010—and last three years in a row. What’s the share of use? 64% US mobile browser usage. Everything else added together is half the iPhone. Sold over 50 million iPhones to date. Over 85m iPhones + iPod touches together. Today, we giving a developer preview of OS four. Working on this for a while, and it’s pretty great. Shipping it this summer, developer preview today. OS4 has over 1500 new apis. Devs can now access calendar, photo library, still + video camera data, quick look, sms inside apps, and an automated testing tool that’s the same as Apple’s, plus a framework called accelerate. iPod remote control accessories are being shown. These are just a few of the over 1500 new APIs. Additionally, there are 100 new user features: users can create playlists, 5x digital zoom for camera app, you can now tap to focus on video. Every photo is geotagged, Photos app now has Places support. Home screen wallpaper! Spellchecker. You can gift apps. Update Nike+ Workouts. Seven features to discuss today.
10:06 AM: Over 185,000 apps now in the Store. We have over 3,500 iPad apps in the Store. iPad version of App Store, he’s showing screenshots of apps - Scrabble, Labyrinth, Toy Story read along books, “awesome” driving games Real Racing and Need For Speed Shift, Zillow, Marvel, Weather Bug, MLB, ESPN, Epicurious. E-Trade, IMDB. ABC turned out a phenomenal way to stream shows right on the iPad, incredible resolution. Reuters, WSJ, and a lot of news apps, USA Today, NY Times. Of all the futuristic magazines, Popular Science ... really breakthrough. Netflix, too.
10:05 AM: iBooks. Users downloaded 250k iBooks on day one, now it’s 600k. First day iPad apps - 1 million. As of today, it’s 3.5m. What it’s really about isn’t the numbers, Steve says, but of this: little girl opening iPad. App Store update: users have downloaded well over 4 billion apps.
10:00 AM: Music’s starting. Steve’s here. A podium on left of stage, two water bottles ready. Thanks for coming this morning: iPhone OS 4. The next generation of the most advanced mobile operating system in the world. A few updates: iPad. Just started shipping it on Saturday. Apple touting its reviews from buddies. As of today, 450,000 sold.
9:54 AM: Apple’s Town Hall is a relatively small venue compared to the two San Francisco locales it uses for media events, with enough seating capacity for journalists and Apple employees, as well as a handful or two of special guests. The event will start shortly. Everyone is in and getting seated.
9:44 AM: Our Chat Room continues to fill up with readers as the event draws closer. Join the discussion!
9:33 AM: The number of people who brought iPads to the event continues to grow. Imagine what it’ll be like when the 3G versions are out.
9:15 AM: Apple’s usual collection of “while you’re waiting” drinks and snacks are available while journalists gather around; registration began earlier than expected, unlike virtually all of the events the company holds in San Francisco.
9:04 AM: The first pictures from the event have been added to our Photo Gallery for your enjoyment.
9:02 AM: Several people waiting outside the Event for registration to start have iPads in hand. Amazing how quickly the world begins to change after Apple releases a new product.
8:51 AM: Likely to be discussed this morning: updates on iPad 3G availability and iPad international sales, as well as details on Apple’s mobile advertising initiative and new iPhone OS features.
8:49 AM: iLounge has arrived at Apple’s Cupertino, California campus for the iPhone 4.0 Sneak Peek Event, where the company will provde early details on the successor to the 2009 iPhone OS 3.0 and 3.1 releases for iPhones and iPod touches, as well as the 2010 iPhone OS 3.2 release for the iPad.
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