Will iPhone 4.0 grace the stage with the tablet?

Details of Apple's unannounced iPhone 4.0 OS are starting to leak out. There's a decent chance that iPhone 4.0 will take the stage with Apple's tablet next week.

http://media.boygeniusreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/iphone-4-os.jpgWith a little more than a week before Apple's high-anticipated media event on January 27 details on Apple's rumored iPhone 4.0 OS are starting to trickle out.

Boy Genius Report posted an alleged screen shot (pictured) of an iPhone About screen running iPhone OS 4.0. Gotta love the infantile build number listed in the shot too, a very young 2B13.

In addition the to screen shot, BGR adds a couple of interesting nuggets:

  • There will be multi-touch gestures OS-wide.
  • “A few new ways” to run applications in the background — a.k.a. multitasking. (Yes!)
  • Many graphical and UI changes to make navigating through the OS easier and more efficient.
  • The update will supposedly be available for only the iPhone 3G and 3GS
  • It will “put them ahead in the smartphone market because it will make them more like full-fledged computers” more than any other phone to date.
  • There will be some brand new syncing ability for the contacts and calendar applications.

Of the rumored features, I'm probably most excited about the prospect of having background/multi-tasking/multi-threaded apps. I want to be able to stream non-Apple audio and video apps in the background while I read email/Twitter and RSS. I know that there will be a penalty on the battery, but I should have that option if I choose. The "few new ways” portion sounds like a hedge though and I worry that it won't be available system-wide.

And the bullet about a "new syncing ability" sounds intriguing as I've always maintained that the iPhone needs transparent OTA discovery and sync with other Macs in your home and office. And I'm not talking about syncing over the Internet either, which Apple currently offers with its $99 MobileMe subscription. I want my iPhone to sync with my MBP as soon as it joins my wireless network based on a prescribed set of rules.

I covered these and some other features in my iPhone Wishlist for 2010. TUAW's iPhone 4.0 OS and hardware wishlists are also worth a read.

There's a good chance that Apple could use next Wednesday's event to launch the iPhone 4.0 operating system alongside the expected tablet. The risk is that anything that's announced next to the tablet could be completely lost in all the tablet hype.

Tip: BGR