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Apple CEO Steve Jobs, hot off the launch of his pet project, the iPad, is expected will likely announced the fourth generation iPhone hardware and operating system on June 23. The OS is expected to bring true multi-tasking at last.  (Source: Paul Chinn/San Francisco Chronicle/AP)

Exposé in Snow Leopard  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Apple's fourth generation smart phone will be able to juggle multiple third party apps

The fourth generation, iPhone, dubbed the iPhone HD will likely land on Tuesday June 22, based on the company's reservations at the conference center where it has announced iPhones for the past three years.  The updated phone is expected to bring multitasking at last to Apple's customers.  A CDMA version of the iPhone also is reportedly in the works and may be announced as well, though it is not expected to launch in the U.S. until early next year.

Apple's iPhone, available (officially) exclusively on the AT&T network in the U.S., is top end hardware in terms of features and packaging.  It falls just slightly short of the newest handsets of a couple of its competitors, such as HTC's Nexus One Android handset, in terms of pure processing power.  In terms of its application catalog, though, none of its competitors can come close to touching it.

There are 150,000+ iPhone-ready third-party apps available in Apple's App Store, while Android only has 30,000.  However, Android and webOS have a key advantage over Apple: the ability to multitask (Windows Phone 7 Series, another key competitor will likely not support multitasking at first when it airs late this year).

Multitasking has long been prohibited on the iPhone to save battery life, despite the fact that the operating system supports it.  As of the third generation iPhone OS, multitasking has only been allowed in a few select apps, most of which perform critical phone functions.  

According to 
AppleInsider, a leaks site who first broke the news of multitasking in the fourth gen iPhone OS, sources close to Apple say multitasking on the new OS is fully enabled in pre-release builds.  They say the OS will utilize an interface similar to Exposé on the Mac (similar to Windows+Tab in Windows 7) to switch between apps.  Instead of resized windows, though, you'll get a series of scrollable icons for running apps, reportedly when you double click the home button.  That makes it sound closer to the Command+tab key combo found on Macs.  However, the Apple sources promised other aspects of the interface are very Exposé-like.

The sources also revealed two other improvements that may or may not make the final cut for the OS 4.0 release.  The first is the ability to drop shortcut buttons on the home screen to call frequent contacts.  For example you could add a "call mom" or "call girlfriend" button to your home screen.

Another update in a pre-release build is a global mailbox view, which would combine multiple email accounts into a common mailbox.

According to Jon Gruber, a nice hardware update is planned as well.  To counter the higher resolutions on Android and Windows Phone 7 Series handsets, the resolution reportedly will get the bump to 960x640.  Apple recently aired its new iFrame 960x540 video format, exactly 100 pixels less in width, lending credence to this rumor (the extra pixels would likely be reserved for important functions).

The CPU is expected to be in the Apple A4 family of systems on a chip (SOCs), which is thought to contain a Cortex-A8 CPU core (Samsung) paired with a
PowerVR SGX (Imagination Technologies) graphics processor (GPU).  Apple's current iPhone 3GS uses an 0.833 GHz A8 chip underclocked to 600 MHz, while the new iPad is thought to use a fully clocked A8.  The iPhone HD will likely employ an A4, with an A8 computing core clocked higher than that in the iPhone 3GS, possibly running at 0.8 GHz or full speed.  In addition, the SGX GPU should be more powerful, by virtue than the iPhone 3GS's PowerVR MBX Lite GPU (which is currently on a separate chip).

The new operating system is expected to be announced at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).  Apple reportedly reserved the Moscone Center in San Francisco, its typical conference location, from June 23 until June 24 for a "corporate event".  The event date was previously listed as June 28 to July 2, but it has subsequently been bumped to earlier in June.  While the center is not listed as reserved for June 22, that's a Tuesday, and every past iPhone launch has been on a Tuesday, so we expect that to be the true launch date.



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150,00+ apps
By mankopi on 3/31/2010 6:33:43 PM , Rating: 5
"There are 150,000+ iPhone-ready third-party apps available in Apple's App Store, while Android only has 30,000"

Kudos to iphone for all these apps but how exactly do you find what you want from 150,000? I'd rather have 1000 excellent apps than all that. by the way, I dont think 30,000 apps are "only" that's a lot. I'm neither for Iphone or Andriod, I'm rocking my blackberry bold 9700 with very limited number of apps!




RE: 150,00+ apps
By MadMan007 on 3/31/2010 6:48:09 PM , Rating: 5
No way, there's clearly a market for hundreds if not thousands of Fart apps.


RE: 150,00+ apps
By ClownPuncher on 3/31/2010 7:34:25 PM , Rating: 4
I'm glad there are fewer Burp apps, farts are clearly superior.


RE: 150,00+ apps
By messyunkempt on 3/31/10, Rating: 0
RE: 150,00+ apps
By Shadowself on 3/31/2010 6:59:29 PM , Rating: 5
This is one of the arguments Mac users repeatedly made over the years when anyone said to them that there are 10 to 20 times more pieces of softare our there for DOS/Windows than for Mac. They'd say, "How many word processors do you really need?" Now the table has turned for Apple and Apple devotees.

If your platform has all the apps you need and they do what you need there is no reason to switch to (or even consider) a platform with 150,000+ apps!


RE: 150,00+ apps
By Tony Swash on 3/31/10, Rating: -1
RE: 150,00+ apps
By MadMan007 on 3/31/2010 8:30:48 PM , Rating: 5
"It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words."
=====
It's funny how the Apple 1984 commercial comes to look more and more prophetic, just not the way Apple intended - they are the Big Brother.


RE: 150,00+ apps
By messyunkempt on 4/1/2010 6:28:15 AM , Rating: 1
If you want a vision of the future, imagine Steve Jobs boot stamping on a human face - forever.


RE: 150,00+ apps
By hiscross on 3/31/10, Rating: 0
RE: 150,00+ apps
By LRonaldHubbs on 4/2/2010 12:42:03 PM , Rating: 1
RE: 150,00+ apps
By CarolC on 3/31/2010 10:07:12 PM , Rating: 3
But who decides what is a "high quality app"?

Wouldn't it be better to have 150 *THOUSAND* to choose from... even if only 1/2 of them are ones that *YOU* think are "good"?

Even "only" 75,000 "great" apps is still pretty good.

or... I guess you could find a phone that only has 100 apps, and you'd love it.


RE: 150,00+ apps
By phenimation on 4/1/2010 6:19:40 AM , Rating: 2
An app that has a practical use. A farting app that entertains some of the lower elements of society for 5 minutes does not have a practical use. A converter for obscure open source formats (that you need one day). Thats useful. These are usually done by small teams that work by donation. They aren't likely to develop for map.


RE: 150,00+ apps
By MrX8503 on 4/1/2010 9:15:24 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I'd rather have 1000 excellent apps than all that. by the way, I dont think 30,000 apps are "only" that's a lot.


I agree with this assessment, but it doesn't apply here. It doesn't apply because not only does the Android platform have significantly less apps, it also has significantly less quality apps.

We can talk numbers all day, but the fact of the matter is that the iPhone OS gets more developers.

I think Android is making great strides with their apps, but to imply that the iPhone doesn't have quality apps while Android doesn't do any better doesn't make much sense.


RE: 150,00+ apps
By xti on 4/2/2010 10:12:31 AM , Rating: 2
not to mention, its the average joe blow developer who is putting these out. its not like apple made all 150k of them. People like you and I thought something would be useful, or a fun project to work on, and published an app.


RE: 150,00+ apps
By Paula Wood on 4/6/2010 11:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
> I'd rather have 1000 excellent apps than all that.

If you'd only like 1000 apps... just ignore the 140 *THOUSAND* additional apps.

(Or buy a phone that only has a *TOTAL* of 1000 apps. Maybe you'll be happier with a phone that has 0 apps... I have several such old phones for sale.)


“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs














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