Apple needed to act quickly. The iPhone was falling behind
Android phones in terms of software and features and customers were
beginning to notice. Even worse, Android phones were flying off the
shelves—more than doubling
in market share since October.
So Apple unveiled plans
for the iPhone OS 4, a
software update offering multitasking, improved email integration and
folder organization for apps. Will this thwart the Android's meteoric
- Possibly, Apple Has Raised the Bar, writes Philip Elmer-DeWitt at
Fortune: "The range and scope of the improvements were impressive." He
lists a number of updates, including iBooks. "This app brings to the
iPhone and iPod touch the iBookstore introduced on the iPad. Included
for free is a copy of Winnie the Pooh, a book with color
illustrations that shows off to best advantage what Apple can do that
Amazon's Kindle can't."
- Not an Android Killer, writes JR Raphael at PC World: "Let's face it: Multitasking, the
flagship feature of the new iPhone OS, is a key component of the Android
experience. While Jobs may claim the iPhone OS 4.0's multitasking
interface is the 'best,' it'd be surprising if its existence made much
of a dent in Android's momentum -- especially when you consider that
Apple will allow multitasking only in carefully defined and limited
circumstances. This may be done in the name of improving the user
experience, but it still accomplishes that by restricting what the user
can do -- something Android goes to great lengths to avoid."
Notifications Are Key Upgrade, writes John Herrman at Gizmodo:
"Notifications can be sent between apps on the phone, not just from
remote servers. In other words, if something important happens in an app
you've opened and moved away from, a notification will pop up in
whatever app you're using at the time, effectively saying 'switch back
to me!' It's a fairly clever way to keep track of multiple apps without
the need for a start bar or dock-type interface."
Changes Brad McCarty, an Android owner who
writes for The Next Web, writes: "I have to give Apple some credit here.
The unified inbox feature sounds very nice. It’s something that’s been a
thorn in my side with Android’s base features. Likewise, simple methods
for encryption would be great."
- App Folders Ginny Mies at PC World writes: "I was very pleased, however
for folder support in Apple's new phone OS: You can organize your apps
into folders by category by dragging and dropping them into each other.
The iPhone will automatically assign a category name for them."
Gaming Center Kevin Tofel at Gigaom writes: "Now that there
are 50,000 game titles for the iPhone platform, Apple is going to
leverage them for a social gaming experience. Think Microsoft Xbox Live
with achievements, multiplayer matchmaking and real-time leader boards.
This feature was described as a 'preview' in OS 4 that will be fully
available later this year, although Apple wasn’t more specific on the
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