iOS 4 ... All you need to know!

iOS 4 ... All you need to know!

Summary: Today is the day that Apple officially releases the next-generation iPhone OS called iSO 4. Here's what you need to know about this OS, how to make the best of the upgrade, and a few gotchas to be on the lookout for.


Today is the day that Apple officially releases the next-generation iPhone OS called iSO 4. Here's what you need to know about this OS, how to make the best of the upgrade, and a few gotchas to be on the lookout for.

Note: The Gold Master of iOS 4 released to developers and the final release are the same build - 8A293.

So, what's new?

Here's a quick rundown of what's new in iOS 4:

  • Multitasking – Well, OK, more of a suspended state where some features of the app continue to work in the background.
  • Fast app switching – Goes hand-in-hand with multitasking.
  • Folders – Organize your app icons into folders – up to 12 apps per folder.
  • Stronger passcodes – Yep, a massive improvement over that 4-digit pincode you get to set.
  • Improved built-in apps – Lots of little improvements, some you’ll notice, some you won’t.
  • Email improvements – Most significant, unified inbox.
  • Game center – Kinda like Xbox Live for the iPhone …
  • iBooks – Read books on your iPhone.
  • Loads of other minor UI enhancements ...

More on iOS 4 from Apple.

Can you upgrade your hardware? Find out here.

The cost to you: $0

Some gotchas I've noticed:

  • Some photos can disappear after upgrade (although they seem to come back when you take a photo).
  • Beware of the notes app's ability to create notes and upload the to any IMAP email servers you might have configured - it can be a bit of a shock seeing your private notes up on the email server!
  • Battery life changes - while I'm seeing some 15% improvement in battery life on my 3GS, some people are seeing their battery life cut.
  • Don't expect multitasking to work for everything as soon as you install iOS 4 - developers have to recompile apps and users have to update.
  • Remember that closing apps now doesn't really close them. A double-tap of the Home button brings up the App bar. To fully close an app, bring up the App bar and press on and hold down on any icon and this makes then wiggle and allows you to fully close an app. 

Next -->

Some thoughts ...

  • Dragging icons about into folders makes them much easier to manage. And by that I mean much, much easier to manage. This is one feature that is now sorely lacking on the iPad.
  • Stability wise, iOS 4 seems rock solid. But then this has been the case with previous apps.
  • However, do remember to back up before installing iOS 4!!!
  • Also, remember to download and install all app updates which will be rolling in over the coming weeks and months (a number of app updates I've installed over the past few days boast iOS 4 compatibility).
  • Overall, it's hard to gauge the effect on battery life. On my relatively new 3GS handset I'm estimating that battery life is up some 15%, but it will be interesting to see what the user verdict is on older handsets, especially 3G handsets.
  • I can see myself installing more apps now I have a better way of organizing them. Very quickly I'd got to the point on the iPhone where I felt that adding a new app just made apps harder to find. Folders has come to the iPhone at just the right time.
  • Search suggestions in Safari is nice ... I'd gotten used to it on the iPad and missed it on the iPhone. Nice to see a convergence of features.
  • There's a really handy iPod improvement too - the ability to work with playlists. You've been able to create them, but this update adds editing features.
  • Threaded messages in mail is also a nice touch.
  • If there's one complaint I can level at Apple and iOS 4 is that more features means more complexity. While that's inevitable, I feel that Apple isn't doing a good job of showing the user what's new, and showing them how to get access to these new features. It's all very much a case of tapping about and seeing what happens.
  • Another complaint is Apple's insistence that it knows best. Putting aside the fact that iOS 4 is a walled garden/prison, I do see some exciting developments on other handsets (such as the Swype keyboard) that aren't being offered to iPhone users.


Got get it. It's free and you've got nothing to lose. iOS 4 should be available for download from iTunes sometime today.

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Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Smartphones

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  • RE: iOS 4 ... All you need to know!

    To me, walled garden means I cannot install an application which I developed myself. I'm not allowed. In order to install MY OWN application on MY OWN phone I would have to PAY Apple $100, GIVE them distribution and monetary rights to my application out of the kindness of my heart, hope and pray they approve it, and then THEY SELL my application and keep most of the money for themselves. Which, really, is a fine thing for Apple to do with their own OS. I have no problem with that. I'm free to not waste my money on Apple products. However, that doesn't mean they are not a walled garden. "It supports websites" is not a valid trade-off for preventing users from installing native apps in order to charge tolls. Some esoteric things need to be native. And many things that need to be native do not appeal to the world at large. Some things that need to be native are business apps that have no purpose in the wild. But, iOS is not a business operating system. Its a shiny toy.
    • Being a cab driver I doubt you develope your own apps

      Quit whining or fixate on something else.

      • Because Steve Jobs forbids Cab Drivers from Developing Apps?

        @GoPower ...or is it because you're an arrogant, elitist little prick who thinks that only CERTAIN people are smart enough to develop iPhone apps?

        Remember something, sonny...Two bicycle repairmen from Cleveland invented controlled, powered, manned flight when no college boy could!
      • Adrian is a typical iPhone fan

        look at him here:
    • RE: iOS 4 ... All you need to know!

      @cabdriverjim Someone had a lot on their mind. So is "shiny toy" the new generic term for iOS devices by haters?
    • RE: iOS 4 ... All you need to know!

      @cabdriverjim Well I agree with everything you say other than the amount that they keep which is 30%. The only problem is income taxes, with those around 30% you lose about another 18% which means you lose 48% of the total money sold from each app (if your in the USA). Assuming that is your tax bracket.
      • Apple's profit margins is 30%...

        @Jimster480... the developer sets the price, not Apple, and taxes are just a fact of life. So if you want more money for your app, then by all means take the amount you want for the app, add 30%, and pay the taxes. Sheesh, sounds like some people need a basic math class.

        If I manufacture a product, and give it to a re-seller, who adds a 30% mark up, are they then keeping most of the money? No. Same principle apply's. So if a developer makes an app, sells it for $1.00 and get $0.70 back from apple, then effectively the developer has said he only wants 70 cents for the app. If the developer wants the full dollar, then by George he needs to raise the price by about 30 cents or so, give or take a few pennies.

        For many years many business retailers sold things on a 30% markup, it is how they were able to compete. Now with Wal-marts and big box stores, which can leverage a huge amount of capital, they can actually shut out and kill small shops, who cannot compete on very small margins. Which is why shopping at Walmart is really bad for your local economy, but that is another discussion.
  • I wonder when CISCO ...

    is going to send Apple a cease and desist letter on the use of IOS (Cisco OS)
    • My guess is NEVER...


      As long as Apple continues paying Cisco licensing fees for the use of iOS name. But you already knew that didn't you?
      • RE: iOS 4 ... All you need to know!

        @oncall No I did not, since when did they license IOS, I know about the iPhone name.
      • Here is the original article


        I do not know if ZDNET did a similar article to clear up any confusion.
    • RE: iOS 4 ... All you need to know!

      maybe you should make sure you know what you're talking about before posting snarky comments.
      • Trolls rarely do any fact checking...

        @lumpy_blumpkin... they just blow chow, and expect others to eat it.
  • I guess I'll do my public service announcement

    And remind everybody that there have been server overload issues with major iPhone updates in the past. So, you know, if you are relying on your iPhone to get that call for a kidney transplant you are on the waiting list for or depend on it for your business you may want to wait a day or two until the online stampede has abated.

    That is all :)
    • Upgraded my iPod touch last night...

      @oncall... download took about 10 minutes, which doesn't effect the device by the way, and the install and data restore took about an hour to complete. You can connect your phone, tell iTunes to download, and then complete the update later...

      And if your waiting on a transplant, upgrading your phones OS is probably the last thing on your mind, after all the phone isn't going to go belly up because you haven't downloaded the latest software...
  • RE: iOS 4 ... All you need to know!

    I've downloaded it without installing so it wouldn't get interrupted and if it did it was no big deal.

    Backing up miPhone now...Some of these features are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay overdue (home screen wallpaper, playlist creation/editing, etc).
  • All you really need to know. Tres funny

    Not meaning to take away fro your article at all but if you fancy a break from all the iPhone posturing and Apple taking itself so seriously check out these 2 promo videos for Apple over here

    They are hilarious as so well done. Really professional.

    In no way am I affiliated with these guys but credit where credit is due, they have punked Apple.

    I think Apple need something like this to ease back on the "why so serious" vibe.

  • Still looks like a Toy OS

    The Black Tide
    • Share, please

      @The Black Tide, Assuming you are not just another troll, pray tell us what Apple would have to do raise iOS above the "toy" level, in your opinion. Inquiring minds want to know, and all that.
      • RE: iOS 4 ... All you need to know!

        @frabjous Real Multitasking, Open ability to install apps (not just ones from the App Store). Well I guess that would solve basically every problem, as then companies could write apps to do everything else that the OS is lacking in.