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iPhone OS 4.0: The Big Things

by Travis Harvey | February 12, 2010February 12, 2010 4:45 am PDT

Now that we got the iPad out of the way, we can concentrate on one of the more reliable updates from Apple.  For the last two years, Apple has held an event in March where they showcase where the iPhone OS is headed for its next major update.  If the past years are any indicator, it won’t be long before we hear a rumored date for March of another iPhone OS event.   With Steve Jobs recently being quoted as calling the next version an “A+ update,” there are a few features I’m dying to see thrown in.

iphonemultitaskMultitasking

This one’s a biggie.  When the iPhone 3G was announced at WWDC in 2008, Jobs made it clear he wasn’t a fan of multitasking.  Instead, they had this “great” solution where they’d allow developers to send push notifications as a substitute for background tasks.  When the feature finally made it to the iPhone, it was clear something was missing.  It’s becoming more of a nuisance to constantly jump in and out of apps as information comes in.  It’s disruptive and annoying.

Every other modern smartphone OS is capable of multitasking, some better than others.  Palm’s got it down to a science with their ‘card’ implementation, arguably the best I’ve ever seen.  So where’s Apple?  Thankfully, they’ve got some heavy competition from the Pre Plus, Nexus One, and Droid that shed some light on Apple’s shortcomings.  With 4.0, I’d expect Apple to introduce an Expose-like multitasking manager with the rumored “OS-wide gestures.” Think of a three or four finger pinch in to visualize your open applications, limited to four at a time.  Yes, please.

Revised Home Screen

How freaking stale and dated does the home screen look?  Seriously, it’s been the same for going on three years now.  We need something fresh, something new.  As far as we know, when the iPhone was designed, it was created to manage a single page of apps.  Not swiping between pages, especially not thebluetooth3 11 pages that blatantly disrupt navigation and the user experience.  There’s got to be a better way, I just can’t think of one.  Suggestions?

Wireless Syncing

Bluetooth 3.0 is a reality and it provides some seriously fast data transfer speeds.  It’d be nice to be sitting on my couch, open a syncing app in which I can choose what media to remove or add over the air.  It’s certainly understandable to limit such a feature to devices on the same network, so don’t expect to be able to sync your iPhone to desktop from across the country.

That’s it.  That’s all I’m asking.  Actually, I’d be plenty happy if they only choose multitasking, but this is an absolute must.  What are the software features on your wish list?  Share your thoughts in the comments.


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