It is far from definite, but some unconfirmed reports suggest that when the Apple iPad debuts next month, it will be running iPhone OS 4.0. At the very least, the next version of this OS will supposedly be demoed in a few weeks.
Before Apple unveiled its tablet computer, there were several reports that it would come with iPhone OS 4.0, but when the wraps came off late last month, it was running OS 3.2. Nevertheless, there is speculation that when the iPad hits the market in late March, it will be running the next version of this operating system.
This was kicked up a notch by a rumor that surfaced this week that Apple is going to start demonstrating iPhone OS 4.0 in the middle of next month. The only problem with this unconfirmed report is the day of the first demo is supposedly going to be March 14, a Sunday -- it's unlikely that Apple would have some kind of official event on a weekend.
Although many users of the iPhone are doubtless interested in an operating system upgrade, at this point there's very little information on what will be is OS 4.0, aside from a few rumors.
Near the top of many iPhone users' wish lists is full support for multi-tasking. As it stands now, Apple's own apps are able to run in the background, but third-party apps close when the user switches to another. The next version will reportedly offer more support for multi-tasking, but not yet full support.
The iPhone OS already has support for some multi-touch gestures, the best known of these is pinching an image or web page to resize it. Version 4.0 will allegedly offer more of these, which will be available throughout the user interface. However, there's no information on what any of these new gestures are going to be.
The next-generation smartphone will reportedly come with a 5 MPx camera, and the operating system may include support for recording High Definition video. Support for video conferencing may be included, as well.
The Safe Bet
If the rumors are discounted, the safest bet is that iPhone OS 4.0 will be unveiled roughly a year after version 3.0, which means it will be unveiled in June. This is in-line with Apple's past habit of refreshing this operating system annually.
On the other hand, the release of the iPad may cause it to re-arrange its schedule this year.
An Overview of the Apple iPad
The iPad is Apple's answer to the popularity of netbooks. It's a device for someone who wants more functionality than a smartphone, but also wants a device that's more portable than a laptop.
Apple will also offer a Keyboard Dock for typing (see image at right), and the iPad will also support the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard.
This tablet computer will run the iPhone OS on a 1 GHz processor, and come with a suite of software for browsing the Web, exchanging e-mail, and watching video, as well as a calendar and address book.
It will also be able to run third-party software written for the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as apps created specifically for this device.
There will be versions of the Apple iPad with a range of built-in storage: 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB.
All versions will sport Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth, plus customers will have the option to add AT&T 3G service to their tablet for an addition up-front cost and monthly fee.
Pricing for the iPad will start at $500 for the version with 16 GB of capacity and no 3G access, and go up to the 64 GB version with 3G that will sell for $830. Apple will start selling this model in late March.
Source: Redmond Pie
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