Apple has announced the details of the iPhone’s new operating system, the iPhone OS 4, which will be available to use on Apple iPhones and iPod Touches this summer.
Apple claims that the new operating system will provide more than 100 new features, including iBooks, the new ebook reader and online Apple bookstore that debuted on the Apple iPad.
iBooks app on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch
We’ll be lab-testing the iPad against other ebook readers soon. Check out our other ebook reader reviews here
The new iPhone OS 4 will also enable the iPhone and iPod Touch to run several applications at once, or multitask. This will allow users to play background audio, through apps such as Pandora, while running other apps. It will also allow users to take VoIP (voice over the internet protocol) phone calls without interrupting any apps that are running.
Multitasking on the Apple iPhone
Such functionality has not been possible on previous iPhone operating systems. Apple claims that the new multitasking of the new iPhone OS4 will not hinder battery life or the performance of the foreground app.
The new iPhone OS 4 helps users organise apps with the creation of folders. By dragging one app over a second, the iPhone will automatically create a folder with the two apps in. The folder will be named according to the app categories – such as ‘Games’, however users will be able to rename these folders.
To find out how the iPhone performs in our tests, check out our mobile phone reviews
Unified Inbox on the Apple iPhone
iPhone and iPod Touch users will be able to access a Unified Inbox when using the new iPhone OS 4. This tool will bring together emails from all of the user’s separate email accounts into a single inbox. Text conversations will be shown in a threaded format on the new OS, meaning that the whole conversation can be read beneath the latest correspondence.
Check out our MP3 player report to find out how the iPod Touch compares to other MP3 players
The exact date of the new iPhone operating system’s launch is yet to be confirmed, but once available, we shall download the software and re-test the iPhone in our labs.
Certain new features, including the multitasking function, will only work on the newest models – the iPhone 3GS and the 3rd generation iPod Touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB).
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