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iOS 4 Launched -- Download it Now!

Posted by Jeff Scott on June 21st, 2010

Apple today released iOS 4.0, the latest version of the operating system for iPod Touches and iPhones. iOS 4 for iPads is expected later this year. Take a look below for the features of the new operating system and how to get it now.

Major New Features

iOS 4 is packed with over 100 new features -- here's a quick rundown of what you can expect after you install iOS 4.

Multitasking allows apps, in certain instances, to keep running in the background while you switch to other applications. Some of the biggest expected uses of multitasking include playing Pandora in the background while doing other things, uploading large images to web services, VOIP calls, and many things no one has even thought of yet. In addition, for all apps that allow it, quick-switching is supported allowing you to suspend an app right where you were and return to it nearly instantly, right where you left off.

While Apple resisted multitasking for a long time, we've seen on other platforms how it can really drain the battery and reduce overall system performance. Apple has created a simplified and restricted multitasking system that allows the most common tasks to be done in a way that impacts the overall device usage at a minimum.

In addition, Apple have created a few new forms of notifications that can be sent from local programs and not need the support of a server. Location notifications can pop-up a notification when you are near a certain location and local notifications allow organization apps to remind you of tasks and appointments anytime.

App Organization Folders allow you to group applications in any way that you wish. You create a folder by dragging one app onto another. From there you can drag other apps to the folder to include them. A folder is opened by tapping it's icon to reveal the apps icons of the what is included. Folders will allow you to greatly increase the number of applications you can manage on your iPhone -- up to 2160 from the current 180 under iOS 3.x.

Email changes include a unified inbox allowing you to combine all of your inboxes into a single inbox. You can still view the inboxes individually if you wish, a single inbox is an optional view of your email.

Digital Zoom has been added to the camera app. But caution, digitally zoomed images will not be as sharp as full range images.

Notes Syncing has been enhanced to allow you to sync your notes over the air.

Photos enhanced to include faces and places information from iPhoto.

Playlists can now be created on the device in the iPod application.

Wallpaper changes allow you to change your home screen wallpaper. We've always been able to change the wallpaper on the lock screen, but now you can choose the same of a different wallpaper for your home screen. A purely cosmetic new feature, but one that a lot of people seem to want.

For an amazingly detailed rundown of what you will find in iOS 4, check out the write up on TIPB by Rene Ritchie.

What about the iPad?

iOS4 isn't currently available for the iPad. Apple has stated that it will be available later this year for the iPad but have made absolutely no indication of when we will see it or what features we will see. We'll keep you posted.

How to Download

iOS4 is a free update for all iPod Touch and iPhones except the first generation iPod Touch and original iPhone. While some features, like multitasking, aren't supported on older models, all versions will benefit from this upgrade. And did I mention it's free?

To download and install the update for your device, connect it to your computer and fire up iTunes. The first thing you should do is complete a full sync to make sure that there is a good backup on your computer so that the restore process goes easy.

Once that is done, click the Check for Update button and follow the prompts. It will take a while to complete, so make sure you have time to let the process finish. You can not interrupt it and continue later.

Next, enjoy the amazing new features! Let us know in the comments what new features you think you will end up using the most.

iOS4 (iPhone OS 4) is Coming: New Features Galore!

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on June 8th, 2010

Steve Jobs has spoken, and the fourth iteration of the iPhone OS is finally here. Except it’s no longer the “iPhone OS.” Instead it’s called, succinctly enough, iOS4.

Naturally, iOS4 brings more than just a name change. There’s a slew of new stuff that you can do with iOS4, and we’re going to explore most of it here in this article. Hopefully by the end of it, you’ll be salivating and anxiously awaiting June 21st, iOS4’s release date.

A word of warning before we begin: iOS4 will only work fully for the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and third-generation iPod Touch. Second-generation iPod Touch and iPhone 3G users will still be able to use OS 4, but will not benefit from multitasking. If your device is older, sorry, but you’re out of luck; if you want the new firmware, you’ll have to upgrade. But for those of you who are eligible, the upgrade will be free, even for the iPod Touch.

We’ve been begging for this for a long time, and finally, Apple has delivered…for some devices, at least. According to Apple, they had refrained from implementing multitasking due to concerns about reduced battery life and performance, but this system seems like an elegant solution.

When you double-click the home button, a slider will pop up with the icons of currently running applications. From there, you’ll be able to quickly launch those applications. When not running, applications are frozen in a suspended state; though they won’t be running, they’ll be preserved.

But while they won’t be completely active, applications can still perform certain activities in the background. Applications like Pandora can stream music; you can receive VoIP calls even when Skype or a similar app is closed. Apps can work on tasks like uploading files in the background; location data is also accessible in the background, which is useful for apps like Foursquare.

Also, you can now receive notifications from an actual app—as it stands now, push notifications are sent from servers, so when it’s my turn in Words With Friends, their servers tell me, not the app on my iPod. Now apps can send you notifications, telling you that a task is complete, for example. And because of the way apps are frozen in their current state when you switch out of them, you can easily jump between different applications.

Hallelujah! Finally, we can organize our apps. Drag one app icon onto another, and your iPhone will automatically create a folder. Then you can edit the folder’s name (up to 13 characters) and the apps within it from either your iPhone (drag ‘em in!) or from iTunes on your PC/Mac. So, now you can group all of your eBook apps or your puzzle games together, for example.

We’ve been waiting for a better way to organize our apps for a long time, and folders are a welcome addition. Apple says that you can now have up to 2,160 visible apps thanks to folders—up from the 180 possible with OS 3. Gee, 148 apps seems like so long ago…

Better Email
iOS4 introduces a unified inbox, which will pull messages from your various accounts into a single inbox. Also, conversations will now be grouped together, or “threaded,” much like Gmail does. Yes! Additionally, you can open email attachments with compatible apps, quickly switch between inboxes, and have multiple Exchange accounts. (Currently, you’re limited to one Exchange account.)

As an avid reader, I am personally excited by this development. iBooks for the iPhone / iPod Touch is the same gorgeous eReader app that we’ve seen on the iPad. Your purchases from the iBookstore will carry over between devices, of course, and notes and bookmarks will sync as well. Additionally, iBooks now supports PDFs, giving them a separate section within the app.

HD Video & iMovie
This mostly applies to iPhone 4 users. The iPhone 4 will be able to shoot HD video. Better yet, you’ll also be able to download iMovie from the App Store for $4.99 and edit that HD video straight from your iPhone. Yup, you read that right; mobile movie editing just got a lot more serious.

This one is only for iPhone 4’s. FaceTime is a WiFi-based video-calling feature. It’s pretty neat and uses the iPhone 4’s front-facing or rear camera, allowing you to make and receive video calls using your iPhone. Unfortunately, it only works between two iPhone 4 devices right now, and only when both are on WiFi. Apple says it’s in talks with its cellular carriers to bring FaceTime to cell networks, too, but that won't be in 2010.

Background Wallpaper
You can now change your background wallpaper from the boring ol’ black screen, if you want. Pretty self-explanatory, no?

Netflix & Farmville
During Jobs’ keynote speech, we also learned of a few other apps that are coming to the iPhone. One of them is Netflix. Another is Farmville. Farewell, productivity; it was nice knowing you…

Did Someone Say Bing?
You can know chose your default search engine in the Settings app: Google (the default), Bing, or Yahoo.

The End
That covers most, though certainly not all, of the major new features in iOS4. Multitasking, improved email, iBooks, folders, video calling, Netflix streaming movies…it’s one awesome update with a lot of new stuff to digest. Happily, we’ll have all this at our disposal shortly—iOS4 hits on June 21st! Don’t forget to update!

(Pictures taken from apple.com.)

Bento for iPad Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Chris Kirby on May 10th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: A BETTER BOX
Like its namesake, FileMaker's Bento for iPad attempts to fill in all of the information manager holes in Apple's iPhone OS. Can one app really handle that many tasks effectively?
Read The Full Review »

iPhone OS 4 Details Announced

Posted by Jeff Scott on April 8th, 2010

Today's Apple event seemed to have less of a fervor around it than the usual Apple event. Maybe it was just that the iPad was just launched and everyone was still fixated on that. But in the end, Apple has really delivered what looks to be a great iPhone OS update.

Steve Jobs opened up the announcement as they always do with some recent stats. Here's a quick rundown:

450,000 iPads sold as of today
300,000 iPads sold the first day
600,000 iBooks downloaded
1,000,000+ iPad apps downloaded the first day
3,500,000+ iPad apps downloaded so far

4,000,000,000+ iPhone/iPad Apps downloaded total since App Store launch
185,000 apps in the App Store (182,115 actually)
3,500 iPad apps in the App Store

50,000,000+ iPhones sold to date
35,000,000+ iPod Touches sold to date

Then, he got down to the new features in iPhone OS 4. He announced that there were over 100 new user features and 1500 new APIs for developers. One of those APIs is called Accelerate which brings over 2,000 functions for hardware accelerated math functions.

Of those 100 new user features, they were going to discuss 7 of them today.

Hit the jump for the full details of the iPhone OS 4 announcement.

iPhone OS 4 Finally Detailed on April 8th

Posted by Jeff Scott on April 5th, 2010

Apple sent out notice today that on Thursday of this week they will give us some details on the next version of the iPhone OS, version 4. We can start the official speculation now, what will we see added to the iPhone OS 4? Multitasking? Notification manager? New app launcher? Hopefully all of those and and many more new features.

One big difference this time is that Apple will be detailing the changes to the iPhone OS for 2 very different platforms, the iPhone/iPod Touch and the iPad. It will be interesting to see what changes they make and if they make any changes that only work on one platform and not the other.

So let's hear your guesses -- give us your lists for what new features you think Apple will reveal later this week in the comments below. But remember, this is software only, so don't go guessing frontside camera or anything like that. Get your guesses in and we'll check back after the announcement to see how you do.

[via Gizmodo ]

iPhone OS 3.1.3. Now Available for iPhone and iPod touch.

Posted by Arron Hirst on February 2nd, 2010

Just under a week after Apple's media event, iPhone OS 3.1.3 is now available for both iPhone and iPod touch. The update comes after Apple released iPhone OS 3.2, which is iPad exclusive, to developers in its ADC network. As expected by many, this new update includes no new features however it does come packed with a few security fixes.


- Improves accuracy of reported battery level on iPhone 3GS
- Resolves issue where third-party apps would not launch in some instances
- Fixes a bug that may cause an app to crash when using the Japanese Kana keyboard

The update is compatible with all iPhone and iPod touch models, and is available for download from iTunes right now.

iPhone OS 3.0 Announcement Next Week

Posted by Jeff Scott on March 12th, 2009

Apple today sent out invites for an event on 3/17 to announce the iPhone OS 3.0 (I'm sure ours is still in the mail). Turns out that March 24th event that everyone was speculating about was actually March 17th.

Apple will likely announce the early details of iPhone OS 3.0 including the changes that will impact developers. We're likely to see an updated SDK well before the OS ships to consumers to allow developers to build and test their apps with the new OS. It's unclear if Apple will ship the 3.0 SDK on 3/17 or just announce it.

We're not likely to see any updated consumer facing features demonstrated next week. That would be very unlike Apple. Those Apple will likely hold of on and show at the keynote of WWDC.

The timing of this announcement matches up well with the time line Apple followed for the 2.0 release with the SDK announced on 3/6/2008. This was followed up with detail announcement at WWDC and consumer release in July alongside the iPhone 3G. This also lends some credence to the idea that a new iPhone will be announced at WWDC this year.

This announcement means that WWDC is a lot more relevant for iPhone developers now. There should be lots of talks on the new iPhone OS features.

What features do you think we'll see in 3.0? What do you want to see? Hit us up in the comments and let us know your thoughts. We'll have a wrap up post next week to talk about what was announced and how it compares with what you'd like to see.

iPhone Games Coming to Your TV?

Posted by Jeff Scott on December 5th, 2008
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED :: Read Review »

Recently, the fantastic Erica Sadun of Ars Technica uncovered a little undocumented iPhone OS SDK nugget that showed the OS had some hooks to TV output. Turns out this MPTVOutWindow class gives an iPhone OS application the ability to direct it's output to the TV when connected with the Apple A/V video cables while getting input from the device accelerometer still. Effectively this could turn you iPhone or iPod Touch into an input device and TV game system. But it must be pointed out that this is still totally undocumented and completely unsupported by Apple at the current time.

So what's the result? Erica contacted Freeverse and asked them to play around with it. They took their killer Moto Chaser (App Store) game and modified it to work with this new output class. Here's what Moto Chaser looks like played on your TV and controlled and connected to an iPod Touch.

[youtube qwQPNSt-CF0]

So what does this mean? Why is Apple making this available? Well I doubt we'll see this officially announced anytime soon. How will Apple use this? A dedicated gaming device? For use on the Apple TV using an iPhone simulator like software application to allow iPhone OS apps to run on your TV screen? Who knows what Apple has planned, they are as always tight lipped.

[ Source: Ars Technica ]

iPhone OS 2.2 Released! Go Grab It!

Posted by Jeff Scott on November 21st, 2008

Apple late last night released iPhone OS version 2.2 for all iPhone and iPod Touch models. It's available now by going into iTunes, connecting your device and selecting Check for Updates.

2.2 Adds the following features:

* Enhancements to Maps
o Google Street View*
o Public transit and walking directions
o Display address of dropped pins
o Share location via email
* Decrease in call setup failures and dropped calls

* Enhancements to Mail
o Resolved isolated issues with scheduled fetching of email
o Improved formatting of wide HTML email
* Podcasts are now available for download in iTunes application (over Wi-Fi and cellular network)

* Improved stability and performance of Safari
* Improved sound quality of Visual Voicemail messages
* Pressing Home button from any Home screen displays the first Home screen
* Preference to turn on/off auto-correction in Keyboard Settings

For details on the features, head on over to http://www.apple.com/iphone/softwareupdate/.

One note -- if you have a jailbroken phone, don't apply this update yet. Wait for those crazy kids to update QuickPwn/WinPwn or whatever you use to work with 2.2. If history holds it will only be a few hours.

2.0.1 OS Update Results: Go for it

Posted by Jeff Scott on August 12th, 2008

We've been running the 2.0.1 OS update for a few days now and our advice is to go for it. Install the update only once you have a full and complete backup though.

We've had fairly good luck with the update -- even though we've just had our 4th restore, 2.0.1 seems a little faster if not more stable.

The install was quick and painless -- much quicker than the restore process (3+ hours in our case). Let us know your thoughts.

iPhone OS 2.0.1 is Available in iTunes

Posted by Jeff Scott on August 4th, 2008

Apple today posted the first update to the iPhone OS for both generations of iPhones (original and 3G), and the iPod Touch. The updated only lists mysterious bug fixes. Some users are reporting that it gets rid of the lag seen in Contacts and the Camera. We'll be trying it once a few more brave souls have and report back. Hopefully it will address some of the more serious bugs as well.

[originally spotted at TUAW]