Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs announced today that iOS 4.0 upgrades for most of his company’s smartphones and handhelds will be released on June 21, several days before the newly-announced iPhone 4 launches.
“iOS” is the new name for the iPhone OS. This change was made to better reflect the fact that this operating system is the basis for non-phone devices, including the iPad and iPod touch.
The new version will bring a number of enhancements, most notably support for multitasking.
Free Upgrades for (Almost) Everyone
Naturally, the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch (Gen 3) will get an upgrade, and this will be free for both smartphone and handheld customers.
The older iPhone 3G and iPod Touch (Gen 2) will also get an upgrade to iOS 4.0, but the slower processors on these device mean they won’t support multitasking.
The original iPhone and iPod touch released in 2007 won’t get any more operating system upgrades.
New in iOS 4.0
Easily the most significant new feature in Apple iOS 4 is much greater support for multitasking, which will allow third-party apps to perform some but not all their functions in the background, such as streaming music or downloading files.
In addition, folders are going to be added to the application launcher, allowing users to more easily organize their software.
The next version of Apple’s mobile operating system will also include a social networking service for gamers, and the iBooks app that debuted with the iPad will be extended to the iPhone and iPod touch.