iBooks for Everyone
Unsurprisingly, Apple is bringing its new iBooks app to all its mobile devices. The e-book reader and store debuted on the iPad, but will be included in versions of iPhone OS 4.0 for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Users are going to be able to synchronize book collections across devices.
Apple also unveiled its iAd service, allowing developers to embed advertising into their software.
When users currently click a mobile ad, they are redirected to a company website. Using iAd, the advertisements will act like miniature apps that run on the mobile device.
Apple is going to oversee ad sales, and developers that use the service will split profits with Apple 60/40.
The next version of the OS will also give software developers new access to features of iPhone-based devices.
For example, third-party apps can create and edit events directly in the Calendar app, as well as compose SMS messages. Apps are going to have direct access to a user’s photos and videos, and control video playback and capture.
Still Missing: Flash
iPhone OS 4.0 will not include Adobe Flash, despite many requests from users and potential customers. Steve Jobs has adamantly refused to include this technology in this OS, something he reiterated today.
Flash was created as a way to bring advanced multimedia features to the Web. Many popular websites use it for navigation, and most streaming video services do too. Without it, these sites and services are inaccessible to iPhone users.
Coming this Summer, Fall
Although Jobs gave an overview of iPhone OS 4.0 today, the version that’s being released is only a preview for developers.
The operating system won’t actually be available until this summer, when upgrades for the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch (Gen 3) will be released.
Upgrades for the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch (Gen 2) will also get iPhone OS 4.0, but they won’t support the new services, most notable multitasking.
The iPad won’t be updated with iPhone OS 4.0 until this fall.
There was no mention of upgrades for Apple’s first-generation smartphone and handheld.
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