Apple iPhone OS 4.0 secrets revealed

Apple is announcing what's coming next in the iPhone OS 4.0 and we'll be updating live as it happens. Just keep hitting the refresh button.

Steve Jobs strides onto the stage in his traditional garb. Jeans, black polo neck and cheesy grin.

He's talking about the iPad (surprise surprise) and how Walt Mossberg said it was great (ditto).

Mentions that Best Buy is out of stock and that 600,00 have been sold. Says Apple is making them as fast as it can to meet demand.

Jobs is presenting loads of big numbers about the iPad launch... 600,000 sold, 3.5 million iPad Apps downloaded in a day.

More iPad Apps... yada yada yada. Marvel Comics, ABC, virtual Accordian.

Now talking about iPhone winning the JD Power award three years in a row. Now has 64 per cent of the mobile browser share in the USA with over 85 million iPhone and iPod Touches sold to date.

Now we're into the meat of the thing, the iPhone OS 4.0.

There will be over 1500 new APIs including developer access to calendars, photos, bluetooth keyboards (yay!), spell checker and playlists.

Steve promises seven big new features... and here's the biggest one! Multitasking!

Says although Apple won't be the first with multitasking, it will be the best, like with copy and paste.

He's pointing out that multitasking is hard to do because it kllls the battery and can make the primary App sluggish. He's now demonstrating the user interface.

The new OS has an OSX-like dock which shows all of the Apps which are currently running.

He's jumping between Apps and it looks pretty fast.

Steve hands over to Scott Forstall who's going to explain how it all works.

Apparently, developers will get seven new APIs specifically for multitasking.

They're now showing a demo of music player Pandora, which they say was fixed for multitasking in a single day!

Jumping into iTunes, the App store and Skype while the music contunues to play all works very slickly.

There are persistent status bars for Apps running in the background. Run a second App and the bar gets fatter.

You can even navigate into another App while a call is being answered which is pretty cool. Answers a call, then goes into Safari to find a local restaurant whilst still talking.

Background location is next up. Tom Tom Navigator still gives voice directions even when another App is running on top. So you can watch a movie in the car while you're driving and still not get lost. (Please don't try this).

There's more about cell triangulation, because the GPS set-up is a battery hog. You'll be able to tell which Apps have asked for your location and when in any given 24 hours, which is good for privacy.

Lots of stuff about push notifications and local notifications.

Task completion is next up. Basically if you're doing something slow, like uploading a pic, you can leave the App to chug away in the background and do something more productive.

So that's most of the seven new APIs... but there's more.

Steve is back and talking about folders.

So now you can have a games folder, or whatever. Hold finger on a games App, it starts to do the familiar jiggle thing. Then he drops it onto another game App which automagically creates a Games Folder.

Can put folders anywhere even in the dock. Means you can now store over 2,000 Apps on the device rather than the current 180. Marvelous.

Next up is advanced Mail. First thing, unified mailboxes. You can now have more than one Exchange account. And emails can be organised by thread. You can also open attatchements with the relevant App. All part of the multitasking routines, no doubt.

Steve announces that iBooks is coming to the iPhone. Will sync seamlessly between devices. It looks exactly like the iPad version but... erm, smaller. Says you can buy once and read anywhere. As long as it's an Apple device no doubt.

Scott is back talking about better services for business, including data protection, mobile device management and wireless App distribution. Also Exchange 2010 compatibility and VPN.

Games are up next and Scott points out that Apple's 50,000 games "blow the competition out of the water".

Apple's Game Centre looks like it will be the equivalent of XBox Live with social networking, achievements and leaderboards.

Oh dear. an iAd icon has appeared on screen. We knew this was coming.

Steve is talking about how there are loads of free or cheap Apps on the platform, and that the poor developers are struggling to turn a buck. Says that current advertising sucks because it pulls you out of the action, so people don't click on them.

Steve demos an interactive ad in a Toy Story 3 demo (pointing out that it was all done in HTML5... take that Adobe). All looks very impressive.

And surprise surprise... you can buy the TS3 game straight from iTunes without breaking stride. Slick.

Same thing now but with Nike training shoes. Play the mini game, click the ad, buy the shoes. Even shows you where your nearest retailer is. And you can custom design your own trainers. Actually, that's pretty cool.

OK here's the bummer. All of this stuff will work on the 3Gs and the third gen iPod Touch, but not the 3G or anything before it. So no multitasking without a new iPhone, Bah!

The new APIs will be part of the SDK straight away and the update will be released some time in the Summer.

Quick break and then a Q&A

Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, and Scott Forstall are back to answer questions.

Asked about increased data useage because of multitasking, Steve says it won't use much more bandwidth than presently.

Asked about iAd approval process, Steve says there wll be some process, but as the people are paying to run ads it will have "a light touch".

There are lots of developers here with dollar signs in their eyes so most of the questions are about advertising revnues. Yawn.

Someone has asked Steve if there will be support in the future ofr Flash or Java.

Steve says "no". Jog on.

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