Apple iOS 4 Release Date and Details

Now that the Apple [AAPL] keynote has ended, it gives us a little time to run through all the announcements made and gather them together in to one place. Apple announced today that iPhone OS 4.0 had received a new name of just iOS 4 which drops the Phone from the name. The iOS 4 release date will be June 21 where you will be able to load up iTunes, connect your iPhone and download the latest operating system.

iOS 4 which launches June 21 will be available for the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch (not first gen touch). The iPhone 3G will not get all of the features but the 3GS will. Note that the Apple iPad has not been mentioned for June 21. That’s because Apple said earlier this year that the iPad wont get it for another few months after the iPhone models.

The new iOS 4 includes over 100 new features. We won’t bore you to death by discussing them all, but will cover the main key features that you will probably use regularly on your iPhone.

Perhaps one of the most wanted features is multitasking. iOS 4 makes it possible to multitask on your iPhone 3GS and above device. Unfortunately due to memory requirements the iPhone 3G is not compatible although a little tweaking (and jailbreaking) can see this feature enabled.

Multitasking works by tapping the home button a couple of times. Once done, a dock pops up showing running applications that can be scrolled through. You can then switch between apps and continue on what ever app from where you left off.

The next big feature is folders. Folders is a simple system to use that allows you to drag application icons on the screen in to folders to keep things more organised. For example, you have 7 games. To create a folder you just drag one game icon over another and a folder is created. You can then drag the remaining icons in to the games folder. By using folders you can now install up to 2160 applications and sort them in folders. Probably far more than most people need, but still it’s good to see you wont run out of space to store apps, and management of the icons will be far easier.

Next up is an improved email system. The new mail system allows for a unified inbox as well as the ability to connect to multiple exchange servers, see threaded emails and separate out email boxes if needed. The whole system has had an overhaul.

Another feature sees Apple bringing iBooks to the iPhone. The new iBooks is capable of syncing with your iPad which includes book purchases, annotations and bookmarks. If you read to a point on your iPad and go out with your iPhone, you can carry on reading where you left off. With the very high resolution screen, it also makes the text look crystal clear without any visible edges on the text. Full details of iBooks for iOS 4 can be found over here.

There are many other features included in iOS 4 which enhance the way the iPhone can be used. It certainly is a decent update and something to look forwards to on the iPad when it launches later this year. For those with an iPhone 3G or 3GS you can pick it up on June 21 (iPod touch also can get the update as mentioned above).

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