iPhone 4.0

We've spent a good part of the afternoon covering the announcement of the iPhone 4.0 software with our pals at TiPB, and we're feeling pretty good about the Android platform, still. No killer features were announced, just a handful of what we're calling feature completions.

  • Multitasking, though more like what's coming in Windows Phone 7 with saved app states and what-not.
  • Folders with "intelligent naming" -- welcome to Windows Mobile 5, everybody.
  • Enhanced mail with a unified inbox, multiple Exchange accounts and threaded messages. Well, two out of three ain't bad. I can live without a unified inbox, though certainly we'd enjoy better Exchange support around these parts.
  • iBooks. Eh, OK. we need a Kindle app on Android.
  • Better enterprise support: Again, something we'd like to see improved in the next version of Android. But that's something that every OS has to work on as time goes on.
  • Game center social network: Hey, we have PS3 and Xbox 360 tie-ins. Not great, but still.
  • iAd mobile advertising: OK, this is kinda the biggie and goes back to Google beating out Apple for AdMob. They're making it uber-easy to develop in-app ads (they're HTML5), and Google's AdMob deal is still tied up in D.C. Look for Apple to trumpet this one for a while (i.e. take shots at Google).

So all in all, any Android killers in the mix? Not from the looks of it.


Reader comments

iPhone 4.0? No worries here


And Steve Jobs couldn't make it through the conference without being a douche at least once:

Ryan Block from GDGT: What about running unsigned apps?

Steve: You know, there's a porn store for Android. Anyone can download them. You can, your kids can. That's just not a place we want to go.

Sure, Steve...it's nothing to do with your locked down ecosystem. It's for *teh childrens* Guess that's why you would never allow something like Flash or Java either...someone might make a porn app!! Oh noes! Nothing to do with the fact that a separate dev platform would mean all kinds of free applications and games you can't profit from.

But remember, there is nothing "crippled" about not allowing unsigned apps. We read it right here! ;) I guess AT&T and Apple share the same philosphy.

So forget about downloading Google Secrets from Google Inc. for your Backflip!

Actually they aren't.... This is app switching. It pauses the app when it switches.

They still have to do more to be able to catch up.

Whatever! Who cares about the iPhone when the Evo is coming! Apple can do what they like, say what they like...getting the Evo this summer for sure.

AndroidCentral should do a comparison on how the iPhone's new multitasking differs from the way it works in Android. From what it looks like, iPhone forces apps to go to "sleep" when not in use, whereas in Android it's a developer preference.

Not quite. Android programming guides try to drill in your head "when your app is in the background, it can be closed at any time to free resources". Apps on android generally go to sleep when not the foreground app. The difference is that there are more flexible and better ways to keep your code active efficiently on Android like background services, broadcast intents, alarms, etc. The iPhone, according to what I've read, looks like there will only be 7 Apple services you can access and not be in the foreground. Looks like they borrowed Android's location-based services too. ("Start your copiers, Cupertino"?)

I'd like to see a comparison between iPhone 4.0 and Android 2.1 from a programming perspective as well. Hell, as long as we're asking, might as well compare it to WP7 too.

They still need to catch up with Android, no SD card slot? No flash? (Even though I hate flash). No non-market apps? App switching instead of multitasking? Can you replace the battery yourself? I'm sure I will think of more after I click "save".

You don't have to be an iPhone fan to realize that Apple's new OS is going to kick major ass for both developers and users. I use my iPhone 3GS for daily use and my Nexus One for Navigation in the car. I like both, and hope that big G steps it up with an update for the N1 this summer (or sooner) as well.

I laugh when people using Android bitch about the iPhone OS. As Android users you should WANT Apple to improve their product as it puts pressure on the Android OS to improve as well and everybody wins.

Android News on Facebook!

why the hell would you use a phone for navigation when 1) you have a phone that can do navigation 2) they have standalone GPS units that dont even require a monthly or yearly subscription that can do just as much as any phone

you are crazy

I do it because then I don't have to shell out for a separate GPS. Sprint phones come free with turn-by-turn nav so that's one less thing to buy.

I didn't know that Sprint had the Droid......interesting. So instead of having to "shell out" for another device you simple have two phones on different services (iPhone = at&t; Droid = Sprint?).....maybe you meant Verizon......or maybe your full of crap.....hmmm.

sorry.....I meant Nexus One, not droid.....either way your full of crap, because Sprint doesn't have either device.

Every Sprint smartphone has free turn by turn navigation.

Including both Android devices.

Unless I'm full of crap too.


I use my N1 only for navigation because I like playing with the Android OS and maybe once it improves enough I'll switch from using my iPhone 3GS as my daily phone to the N1. Believe it or not, some of us can afford to use and enjoy both at the same time. I have worked hard for my money and I like to enjoy it by buying tech toys. ;-)

so they arent even going to release a new iphone with better hardware or anything? or does anyone know when they are? i am glad this is all they have to bring to the table

The multitasking does not just save the apps state. It also allows background audio like Pandora to run while you do something else. It allows location services to run while you do something else, so you can have navigation running while listening to music, etc...This is now one less argument Android has over the iPhone.

-No new notification system
-No lock screen glancable information

Those are three BIG misses in my book.

Am I the only one who likes having the small, non-intrusive ads in my apps? The apps they're talking about are huge and interactive. How long before I go to listen to my music, but have to stop in the middle and play a Toy Story game, learning about times where I can watch it and where the nearest theater is, before I can go to the next song on Pandora?

that's what cracks me up. They won't allow Flash or Java but they have no problem letting people pay THEM to run what are essentially flash ads. With a 3rd party neutral platform like Flash or Java, you can have all kinds of free apps and games. Apple counts on control and they count on getting a cut of all those millions of app downloads so an open 3rd party platform undermines their whole business model built on restriction.

Why are we even discussing the iPhone? It's a "Has Been". The days of "I Must Have An iPhone" are gone! There will still be people that buy it but Android has already shown that it is more than capable of bitch slapping the iPhone and taking it's lunch money. And since the #'s don't lie, even the Droid managed to outsell the iPhone in the same time frame when launch #'s are crunched. Now imagine what something like the EVO will do if marketed the same way? Can you say maaacre?!

I suppose you can say "maaacre," but you'll be hard pressed to find someone who knows what you're saying.

Note to Steve Jobs: People avoid clicking on ads because they're annoying!!! Not because they have to leave their app. Thank you, once again, for trying to tell me what I think... FAIL.

The Multitasking is actually better then Android multitasking, because while it is not actually 'real' multitasking as you call it, it runs the put to sleep applications primary service to run. Instead of running all 20MB of an application, it's running only the 3MB of the only part of the application you would want running in the background, rather then the full thing, thereby saving you shittons of data, preventing your phone from becoming sluggish, and still doing everything you would want your put to sleep application to be doing.

I'm sorry, I'm not the best at explaining things, but hopefully you can understand why this way of multitasking is superior, or at the very least, just as functional, as the Android platforms multitasking.
I love Android, but you need to acknowledge competition, otherwise you're no better then an Apple fanboy.

As for the other features announced, seriously, it's nice to downplay devices and all to make yourselves feel better, but you sound like an Apple fanboy turned to Android, it's ridiculous. I would very much enjoy an Xbox Live like service for my N1, it is most definitely a significant new features. Android still doesn't have a good e-Reader app, and I don't give two shits about the folders.

Agreed. They're implementing it better, as far as battery life is concerned, but I still don't think it's as nice visually as webOS.

You just described Android's multitasking model. Foreground apps are the only ones that actively use resources. Apps pushed to the background can have certain threads run as needed to refresh the content.

For Apple's multitasking, look at the pause button on your old VCR. Only apps that Apple deems important enough are still allowed to run when paused.

But hey it's a start. And a damn good way to halt your application so they can show you an iAd.

WebOs and now Android have Apple scrambling to fix serious flaws they said weren't important just a few months ago. That's good for everybody.

Didn't apple try to charge for one of their old updates? I remember it was easy to find a leaked copy anyways. Wonder if they would charge for this lol.

EVO is a far superior phone (by the specs) but the iPhone has this stigma about it that so many people want, its easy to use the update all there platforms at once not 1 this month this the next (ie Hero, Droid, Moment, Nexus One). I myself have the Sprint HTC Hero (personal) and plan to have a EVO on the day it releases but am also an iPhone user (work phone). I like them both giving the edge to iPhone based on the the OS and app store (I know when 2.1 comes out... I will have the EVO before 2.1 on my Hero). I think android having so many differant phones with there os will put them ahead and apple needs to make a big move and what they did here in this 4.0 update just may not be enough.

You've got a really good point about the release cycle, but you've also got to consider the fact apple sells essentially one phone, and android is just an operating system put on phones made by many companies for all carriers on a wide range of hardware, so the update cycle is inevitably going to be sporadic.

Also, there's no point comparing a phone like the Evo, which hasn't even been released yet, to the iPhone3Gs, which came out nearly a year ago. iPhone g4 and the Evo will both come out this summer, then you can get an accurate comparison.

I for one will be selling my Droid to get the Incredible, and then will either wait for the iPhone g4 on Verizon (if announced and if the hardware is compelling) or switch to AT&T for the iPhone (again if hardware is compelling). Without a big update to Android, I don't see too much that Android does the iPhone won't do soon, and do more elegantly. I will however admit that Apple's going to have to bring the heat to beat the Evo's specs. They're redonkulous.

I really like the multitasking. It's simple and saves battery. WebOS I still prefer. I really cant think of anything that Iphone doesnt offer anymore.. First time im actually considering getting an Iphone.

I think though, along with their hardware update in June/July, Apple will also add a few more features to complement the hardware that will make the iPhone OS an even bigger improvement then seen now, and when 4.1 comes out, that will be the full feature set for iPhone OS 4. Still though, if Apple sticks with the once a year hardware upgrade, Google phones will take over on sales, because one year is far too long a wait in technology =/.

100% agree 1 year to upgrade no matter how substantial is to long.... Android 2.1 please

I think choosing "Elated" is pretty much admitting they've suffered their Stockholm Syndrome for a few years now - no? I mean the iPhone came from the heavens and was always perfect...

I liked what I saw today, but I'm still more impressed with Android. The lack of flash support in Safari is still a huge ommission for me. I'm a Blackberry user and will have either a Nexus One or Incredible on Verizon. Can't wait to make the switch.

Didn't Android support Multi tasking already? They should have put a patent on it so they could counter sue Jobs. lol

Let me get this straight: They're bragging to devs about the ability to include ads in their apps, and this benefits the end user how? Because those ads will be more interactive and entertaining?

Uh, no, Apple, that just plain sucks. But then I never had much respect for iPhuck users anyway - the world's first smartphone for dumb people.

Steve? Maybe you need to contact that person who gave you their liver and apologize for wasting it.

*This message was written on a PC, using Windows, after doing a search through Google. Rotten to the core, Apple. Rotten to the core.

lol, You, sir, need a life. Why do you care so much? Chill, relax, sit down, smoke a bowl. You don't like Apple, we see that, we don't care, but we see it. You don't need to be so vehement, damn. Steve Jobs is a CEO like 500 other CEOs who are trying to make money, so he figured out a way to take advantage of the stupidity of human beings, good for him. Be content in knowing you are not one of those stupid human beings, don't go apeshit on Steve Jobs because of it and imply that he should be dead, it's not that serious. Welcome to the world of corporations bro. Chill, relax, sit down, smoke a bowl.

That is all.

Sincerely, Tarrant Hightopp.

For me, the iPhone was blacklisted because of no multi-tasking. I'll at least consider a future model from Apple now. But I'm still lacking in some important categories on the current model.

1. the screen resolution and quality are outdated...a full generation behind. the display alone makes the 3GS a joke when compared to the Nexus or Droid

2. cannot replace your own battery and cannot upgrade your own storage. although waiting for the 32GB microSD cards to hit market and them become affordable makes me wonder if such a long wait is worth it.

If the iPhone 4G came out with an AMOLED screen and a microSD card slot, I would definitely consider it.

All i can say is LOL, they announced stuff like they created it...oooohh multitasking!!!! wallpaper changes on homescreen ahhhhh!!
Get a grip apple!

I have a jailbroken iPhone 3GS, an iPad, and a Nexus One. I'm extremely disappointed. I have access to a beta for one device, but I don't really have an interest in updating my iPhone to 4.0 and losing my jailbreak, and the beta isn't for the iPad.

It's sad that my Nexus One with Android 2.1 is better than the iPhone 3GS on 4.0. I really can't wait to see what's in Android 3.0.

You're kidding right? The 3Gs is like, 6 months older than the N1. You can't compare the hardware. You're jailbreak issue is relevant and an obvious advantage for Android. If iPhone OS was more open, jailbreaking would be completely unnecessary. And judging by how long it took for 2.1 to get here, I'm not holding my breath on 3.0 being anytime within the next 12 months. Hell, it'll be 3-6 months before we see 2.2. Then again, they could always leapfrog it.

2 months for an update is too long? Droid was the first 2.0 device and it came out in November. The nexus one with 2.1 came out in January. If that's too long for you, you'd hate the iPhone.

And yes I can compare the hardware and time has nothing to do with it. The resources were there for apple to make a better phone. Why is the nexus one superior to the palm pre plus when they both came out around the same time? Why is pretty much every phone coming out infererior to the nexus one? Because htc and google wanted to make the best phone possible and they did. You don't honestly think the iPhone will have at least an 800x480 AMOLED screen with a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 5MP camera, two microphones for noise cancellation, and a camera flash, do you? Might have a few of those things, but not all. And if it doesn't have all of them, the nexus will beat it.

But actually I was referring to the software, how Android 2.1 beats the iPhone on 4.0.

I love how iPhone 4.0 is copying Android by adding a direct search feature to the main screen. Haha it's great to see them copy, they were just too jealous of our Google Search widget and dedicated search button on the Droid!

I think you fail to realize just how much the iPhone changed the smartphone game. That's how these things work. Your competitors will one-up you, and then as soon as you can, you correct your mistakes on your device. When you've been bested by another company, you take it on the jaw, realize you've made a mistake, and then get to work on improving your weakness. We, the consumers, are the only people who benefit from this. Companies 'copy' each other on a daily basis. It's nothing new. It's a 'Damn, we should have thought of that first' moment.

And yes, you can say Apple is copying the direct search feature. And you can also say that Android has copied elements of the iPhone UI. Onscreen keyboard. Touch screen. Pinch to zoom. App store. Etc, etc. The iPhone is the most influential mobile phone ever made. Manufacturers are making phones now with one objective in mind, and that's dethrone the iPhone.

Thank you Steve Jobs for not "Wowing" me over with the new iPhone OS 4.0

I can safely switch to Verizon and purchase the Droid and not feel bad.

Is it me or has the iPhone ran it's course?

- Jamie