iPhone OS 4 Developer Preview Event

Currently, I haven't read what others have to say about the features revealed at the iPhone OS 4 Developer Preview Event. I finished watching the video of the event this morning and here I'll share my initial impressions. I shall catch up on what others are thinking after writing this.

Seven key features were shown at the event. There is by far the most to discuss about the first: multitasking. I'll cover that separately and move straight on to number two.

2. Folders for Apps

Apple’s implementation will do for me. I can bung all my unused and non-removable Apple apps in a folder. Another one for games. One for rarely used apps I don't want to delete. I could probably eliminate ever swiping between home screens.

I find the name 'folders' curious. It conjures thoughts of the file system and I would have thought Apple would be keen not to put in reminders like this. I would have expected Apple to implement app grouping as stacks (like in iPad photos). Apple loves stacks. I'm fine either way: stacks or folders.

3. Mail

Looks like steady improvement to me. Opening files with apps could be pretty big. Threaded messaging looks, at first glance, to be the same implementation as in Mail for Mac OS X. This is not good.

In fact, it adds more tapping. Instead of tap message to read, we have to tap conversation and then tap message to read. Compare with Google Mail's or iPhone Messages' implementations: click/tap conversation to view all messages in that conversation on one scrollable surface.

5. iBooks

Focus on just one point:

Bookmarks and reading position are synchronised wirelessly, not with iTunes and a wire. This is highly intriguing. Firstly, how is this implemented? Cloud syncing via an Apple server? This looks like the first step towards wireless syncing. How long is it before everything is magically the same everywhere and the dream is achieved?

5. Enterprise

Not for me.

6. Game Centre

Apple took this opportunity to say that there are 50,000 iPhone games on the App Store. Dear Apple, when was being good about quantity. (Oh, since the iPhone, I believe.) I haven't found a gaming experience on the iPhone that is close to matching the quality which I have found in many games on my Nintendo DS. Apple, it pains me to see you boasting so.

Anyway Game Centre. Now we have XBox Live / PSN for iPhone. I guess Apple felt compelled to do this because so many people are making iPhone games. Great for the kids with no sense of quality, I suppose.

(I concede, Nintendo has yet to deliver a complete online service for their consoles and do not seem to have ever taken online gaming seriously in any of their own games.)

7. iAds

What about Steve Jobs’ supposed comment regarding Google: “We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business.” Hmm…

Without considering the market as a whole iAds looks like a good thing to add to the OS. I can see how it is useful and enhances the experience for some people who do not want to pay directly. I prefer to avoid ads and pay for things up front.


QuickTime video stream of event