A few hours ago, Mr Jobs delivered a presentation introducing the next version of the iPhone operating system. Expected to be released around the middle of the year for all existing iPhone models, its reported to bring 1500 new APIs to developers as well as more than 100 new user features, seven of which he discussed in detail.
These are the “tentpole” features highlighted briefly.
At last! Run multiple applications and swap between them on the fly. Previously only possible on jailbroken phones. This feature will only be available to the 3GS, iPod Touch 3rd Generation and later models.
2) An improved email application
The mail application is getting a major overhaul with a unified inbox, multiple exchange accounts, threaded conversations and the ability to open file attachments in applications.
Apple will be providing application developers access to in-app advertising to help generate revenue on cheap and even free applications. Ads are built using HTML5 and come up at the bottom of the screen like in-video YouTube ads. They can be closed by the user.
4) Game Center
Another “about time”! With the capacity on idevices increasing yearly, users are installing more and more applications at a time. Now we will have a way to organise them into folders. Folders appear as icons with smaller icons inside.
Basically, the iPhone/iPod version of the iPad ebook platform. Books can be purchased and read on the device as well as track bookmarks.
7) Enterprise features
Apple is working to make the iPhone more attractive to big companies with a number of new enterprise features such as email encryption, remote administration and application installs, Exchange 2010 compatibility and more.
These all look great, but I can’t wait to see the other 93+. I’m sure some of them will give hints about the next iPhone hardware’s features. Going on previous years, we can probably expect a new phone in June and a new iPod in September.