iPhone OS 4 Software Update

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The new operating system for iPhone has been launched and we all agree here that it looks great.

Some of the new features include:

– Multitasking – one of the most widespread criticisms of the iPhone OS was that only one app could run at a time (although some developers got around it by facilitating a background browser window). Now multitasking is available to all apps, supposedly without slowing the machine down or draining the battery – but only to iPhone 3GS and 4 owners.

– Folders – another important criticism, mostly by Android users. Now that we all have at least 3 pages of apps, being able to sort them into categories is a major plus. Up to 2,160 apps can now be stored on the phone.

– Mail – this now works likes Mail for the Mac, with a universal inbox for those of us with multiple email accounts.

– iBooks – which pretty much eliminates the need for any iPhone owner to buy a Kindle.

– 5x Digital zoom on the camera – this was available as an app previously; now it’s within the OS. The video camera can now focus with a tap of the screen.

– Spell check.

– Home screen wallpaper – nice to use your own picture, but it does make the home screen look a bit like a myspace page (see above). There is a selection of less busy and plain wallpapers, and you can set a different image for the Lock Screen.

– Other improvements include Faces and Places in the mini version of iPhoto (just called Photos), the ability to create playlists in the iPod app, Bluetooth wireless keyboard support and a gift function within the App Store.

In total, there are 1,500 incremental improvements to the operating system.

And with the new iPhone 4 suffering teething problems, the winners for now are the 3GS owners who’ve upgraded their software.