It's been nearly a year since iPhone OS 3.0 was released. It's marque feature was cut & paste, something iPhone users had been clamoring for since the original release of the iPhone, so many years ago (yes, tongue planted firmly in cheek). There are many other enhancements, including notifications (see a previous post for more information) but the one we all seem to remember is cut & paste. Sometime today iOS 4 will be released, several days in advance of the iPhone 4 (last year the releases were simultaneous). The named marquee feature for iOS 4 is multi-tasking, and like is older brother iPhone OS 3, there will be many other enhancements but it will be multitasking that we all remember. Some may remember is less fondly than others. There is a serious catch to this years OS update. In the past, if you could run the software you got all the cool new features that weren't part of a new hardware feature (video recording, compass and voice control in the 3Gs, but not in 3G or the original iPhone). This year the story is similar but different. If you own an original iPhone or iPod Touch, you can't even install the update. If you have a 3G, you can install the update but alas you won't get the marquee feature of Multitasking. I guess that means 3G owners will be talking about multi-tasking too, but with a far less pleasurable tone. Apple's way of saying, "hey, you haven't bought an iPhone in many moons."
As for the release, most likely the software will be released this afternoon, although it may be ealier. Last year it was around noon central when it was released. Whenever it is released, your iTunes software will let you know when you can download it from Apple. I suppose if you aren't eligible to use it, iTunes will be so kind as to tell you. Be sure to do a full back-up before you start. The process will want to do one as well, but always best to be careful. Make sure anything you have to keep, isn't only on your phone. iPhone upgrades have a tendency to play havoc with 3rd party software databases. Expect the process to take at least an hour, the more you have on your phone the longer it will take. Last year my 16 gig phone took nearly 2 hours to complete the whole process of backing-up, upgrading and then reloading all my apps, songs, videos and data.
When you are done, you will have lots of new features. Multi-tasking isn't the only of course, there are over 100 new features according to Apple. You can see some of those new features on the Apple Website. Folders, iBooks, wallpaper & spell checking are my favorites. Check them out and let me know what you favorite features may be.
Here are the ones Apple lists on their website (12 to be exact - the 88, I'm not sure):
- Unified MailBox
- Create Custom Playlists on your iPhone
- 5X Digital Zoom
- Tap to Focus Video
- Faces & Places in Photos
- Home Screen Wallpaper
- Gift Apps
- Spell Checking
- Wireless Keyboard Support