Apple has revealed many details of iPhone OS 4.0, but apparently not all of them. Developers with access to early versions of the operating system have found a way to move more types of files between the mobile device and a PC, as well as other new features.
The iTunes desktop app currently allows users to transfer some types of files – especially music and video – but this feature will reportedly be greatly extended in the next version of the iPhone OS. Users will go into iTunes and open the Apps screen to find a list of applications that can transfer files. For example, the mail app will be able to send messages to the PC.
At this point, it’s unclear what applications will support the new feature, but it’s possible that people will be able to share Microsoft Office files between a PC and mobile computer with the iWork apps.
Closing Running Applications
iPhone OS 4.0 will include more support for multitasking, allowing third-party software to perform certain functions while running in the background. But this raises the question, will users be able to manually shut down background apps? Yes, and the process will apparently be rather direct.
Double clicking the Home button on a device running the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system will bring up a screen showing icons for currently running applications. Tapping one of them will bring it to the fore, but a tap and hold on any icon will put the OS in a mode where any running app can be be shut down.
Those testing out iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 3 have also found a way to manually lock the screen orientation, as well as a way to bring up a set of controls for the media player without actually opening it.
Previous searches through this software turned up a process named “iChatAgent” and a way for devices to switch between a front-facing and rear-facing camera. This leaves little room for doubt that Apple’s video conferencing service is coming to this company’s smartphones and similar devices.
Previously Announced Features
When iPhone OS 4.0 was officially announced last month, Apple CEO Steve Jobs started with its 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.
Jobs also revealed other new features. Folders are going to be added to the application launcher, allowing users to more easily organize their software.
In addition, the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system will 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.
Coming this Summer, Fall
Apple says iPhone OS 4.0 upgrades for its more recent smartphones and handhelds will be released this summer. A new iPhone model with this OS version pre-installed is also expected to debut in the next few months.
The iPad won’t be updated with the next version of this operating system until this fall.