The iPhone operating system is the bones behind how both the iPhone and the iPod Touch work. This latest release offers some features users have been asking for since the first iPhone/iTouch. As such, this latest OS update is creating a large buzz, and rightfully so. Apple brags this update will include 100+ new features. Since there are allegedly so many new features to the new iPhone OS, let’s just highlight the ones that have been looked forward to and some of the less than pleasing ones that are going to be bundled in with it.
Multi-tasking has been something customers have wanted from the start. This feature allows you to run more than one application at a time. These programs would be running silently in the background and supposedly won’t hamper iPhone or iTouch performance or battery life. This is really exciting news since every time a new app was opened. Previously it would exit out the old one. This was especially annoying when using a messenger app since it would log users out and they would be forced to log back on to check their messages. This was also a way for Apple to silence its competition about their inability to run multiple apps at one time.
While the addition of folders might not seem like the most exciting thing ever, it is certainly something to get worked up over. These folders would go on your iPhone/iTouch desktop and would be a place for you to store apps. This is intended as a means to prevent and lessen the clutter on the desktop, which some users have complained about. Have an app you don’t want to delete but you don’t use anymore? Then simply move it to a folder; out of sight out of mind.
Apple boasts that its new integrated mail service will be even better than before. The improvement of allowing users to shuffle more fluidly between e-mail accounts. This is done by having one single unified inbox for all the accounts, allowing you access to all at once. The improved mail service will also organize messages and replies into threads and allow for attachments to be opened in third-party apps.
This is the main not-so-great addition Apple saw fit to add to their mobile devices, since apparently making bundles of money off the iPhone, iTouch, iPad, and just iPods in general wasn’t enough for them. Apple describes it as a “breakthrough advertising platform.” What this actually means is that iPhone/iTouch users can look forward to seeing more ads integrated into applications that they get from the app store. There is an advantage to this advertising, it’s interactive and the majority of it will be done in video format instead of plain normal text. So, it isn’t all bad news.
All in all, this update looks to be a mixed bag of good and bad. Though hopefully more good will come from it than bad. iAd has the potential to be a very powerful means of advertising, but at the same time there is always the threat that such advertising will be abused. Opening an app or the app store and every time being confronted with an ad is hopefully what we will not see in the future.
Cover and story photo by Creative Commons