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iWow iPhone OS 4.0?

Everytime there is an Apple release there is ‘Wow’ in the air. This time is the latest version of the iPhone OS. Rightly dubbed as the superman of mobile platforms, iPhone has come a long way since inception and evolved into ‘this-is-what-iWant’ kind of firmware. So whats new in the latest version and whats it got for me?

Do more

Multi-tasking or parallel processing is one of the main characteristic that has been missed in the iPhone until now. A smartphone is not smart enough if it cannot handle more than one task at a time. But now iPhone 4.0 makes your iPhone a true smart phone.

Organized home screen

The main motto behind not having a folder based menu system is that, Apple wanted its users to spend less time in trying to remember which application has been folded and hidden under the folder. So they placed all the application icons in the home screen. But certain mobiles like the Symbian ones (my favorite) had folder based organization and now Apple decided to ape it. They decided to leave it to the user to decide about organizing their home screen.

Unified Inbox

Now you can have a single Inbox which can hold mails from multiple email accounts. Personally I think that would be confusing, but I am very interested in checking out the UX pattern Apple has adopted to handle this requirement. The email attachments have been handled better in iPhone 4.0

Read eBooks

Now that iPad has been set loose, and there are books and magazines available in the iStore, its logical to have an iBook application in iPhone. This lets you sync and manage your books across various Apple devices.

lets play social

Though facebook and twitter integration has been kept at bay, Apple is trying to popularize their own version of social network gaming. Interesting, but I see no value addition for the end users here. The game center is similar to XBox 360 and Playstation network.

commercially commercializing a commercial

iAds adds click-able advertisements to iPhone applications. It may not open up an external link, but will play  a demo or a video. Though is a good revenue model for the developers and Apple, I am not a fan of click-me commercials.

Apart from these, there are also the usual fixes and minor updates. On the whole, you are getting new features without actually purchasing a new iPhone, which you may eventually do when iPhone’s next version comes out.

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