BGR: iPhone 4.0 to Bring Gestures, Multitasking, More Efficient UI, 3G/3GS Only, New Syncing

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The Boy Genius brings the iPhone 4.0 hype with some leaks about Apple's next-generation iPhone OS -- confirming some of what we've heard before with some new tidbits to light our imaginations:

  • Global multitouch gestures, leveraged from similar iTablet OS
  • Background apps/Multitasking
  • UI enhanced for easier, more efficient navigation
  • iPhone 3G/3GS only (and presumable 4th gen iPhone later in June)
  • Will put iPhone way ahead of smartphone market, more like "full-fledged computer"
  • Apple people "really excited"
  • New but nebulous syncing for contacts and calendars

As with anything, especially Apple-related anything, we'll never know for 100% certain until Steve, Phil, or Scott hold it up on stage at "Come see our latest creation" but, yeah, we can't wait for next Wednesday either...

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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BGR: iPhone 4.0 to Bring Gestures, Multitasking, More Efficient UI, 3G/3GS Only, New Syncing

75 Comments

Hell Yeah! This is what i´ve been talking about, Apple NEEDS to up their game again, even without new hardware right now. And they can do it easily

The competition has shown it's hand, and Nexus One excepted, there's not much for Apple to worry about, IMO.
The majority of the early ommisions in the OS were addressed with 3.0. Now I guess the focus will shift to more eye candy, customization and optimization, keeping it at least a year ahead of the rivals.

Lord Hallelujah!! Praise Jesus!!
Seriously though, it's about freakin time. I think enabling multitasking on the 3G is a mistake, unless they've found a sneaky way to do it without being laggy; something jailbreaking couldn't do. The 3GS was BUILT for multitasking.
Who wants to bet they "invent" a gesture to swipe across the top to toggle settings on and off (Sbsettings).
They better blow us away with this, or I may jump to one of the new AT&T HTC Android phones...

Ok, iTablet/iSlate will definately be announced, along with iPhone OS 4.0. The device will probably be running OS 4.0, so will have access to the entire App Store. It will be tightly integrated with the iPhone/iTouch and will further entrench this ecosystem – iPhones will help sell iSlates, and iSlates will help sell iPhones. And more and better apps get designed for both devices. This is brilliant leveraging of the App Store to generate even more sales. 
Publishing and education will be the two major themes used to present the iSlate. 
As John Gruber said, there will be no camera on the device, because the camera is already on the iPhone, and it will be very tightly integrated to the device such that pictures and video will be streamed to and recorded by the device. No physical cords to connect the two devices.   
I’m guessing that the iTouch’s 3MP camera was pulled from the last iTouch at the last minute to keep prices down and more importantly because they had decided it would be closely tied to the iSlate, and a 3MP camera simply would not be adequate for the iSlate’s much higher resolution. So, the next iTouch may be announced with the same 5MP camera slated for the next iPhone.
No OLED screen for iSlate to keep costs down. Maybe on new iTouch/iPhone, but only if costs are held low and it really improves display quality and extends battery life.
…and yes, it will have a gyroscope.  

If the multitasking is as good as ProSwitcher, and there's one swipe access to Settings, my jailbreaking days are over.

It amazing how they make us wait for simple things like multitasking! But I m sure apple has something up there sleves let wait to see... Cant wait.

@Joe McG:
I'm betting a Settings swipe (if there is one) will be a two-finger or three-finger swipe of some kind... to make it easier on the uncoordinated novice.

I usually wait until the jailbreak is out before updating. If these rumors are true, I will be updating as soon as it's available. I'm so excited right now I'm bout to shat myself lol. The event is too far away.

All i know is that many comparison lists of all the platforms will need redone. Multitasking (and notifications) is often mentioned as a major con to buy an iphone (and as a pro to another platform like android). Screen resolution will be addressed later.
It'll be time to find new selling points for other platforms. And Apple marches on further enriching their ecosystem.

Every time I see iPhone 4.0, I have a mini-seizure due to sheer excitement. Anything that can put Android in its place gets me hyped. Nexus One is going DOWN! :D

I definitely think Apple will do something unique for multitasking and the multi touch gestures. i know it took a couple major updates for copy and paste but they did it so nice and it works very good unlike most touch screen phones. I'm hoping they release the update that day or very soon after i don't want to know about the new features and have too wait another month or so.

Five things I would like to see:
1) multitasking
2) ability to modify themes since black kinda plain
3) categories or folders to organize some of the apps
4) ability to use mp3 for ringtones but not that big of an issue since can change to m4v but less hassle
5) ability to change the sounds for messages
Put those in and there would be no need for me to jailbreak. I never took the plunge yet since too lazy and don't mind paying for apps since they are relatively cheap.

But will OS 4.0 be available or just announced? I would hope it would be announced instead of releasing something that doesn't seem to have been tested yet. I know 2.0 was a disaster.......

Okay if there are real background apps and multitasking then maybe I don't have to think about jailbreaking or not anymore. I haven't done it yet but I sure do think about it a lot. Themes anyone? Shouldn't the iPhone be more like a mobile computer? I would never buy a computer I couldn't change the desktop on...

Bet Apple announces some of the new features they expect to release with 4.0 but won't actually release it until the next gen iphone is released for sale. Who knows--it might give ATT a chance to decide what feature (from 4.0) will not be allowed to work on their network. Anyone taking any bets?

This sounds like a great update, but if AT&T still won't enable tethering I'll still have to wait for the jailbreak. I hate them much.

I will almost certainly still Jailbreak after this feature. With PkgBackup it's not really too much of a pain to upgrade and re-jailbreak, and I doubt they'll roll out every feature I currently jailbreak for.

Why no 2G love? I mean the hardware's the same between that and the 3G right? Is it just for marketing reasons?
I have a 3GS btw :-)

Folks, what we're talking about here are updates to 4.0. Yes, that will serve to distance Apple from the pack but it's causing us to think like their competition - focus on features. Apple is going to offer up more than a simple update and new set of features. Where the UI update gives us the how Apple is going to give us the why. The Why is an update to the platform. Where the platform before relied on music, then apps my sense is that this release will take us beyond both. That's why iTablet is nice but Slate, their service, will be more important. Slate will give us something to use the new features on. Plus, I don't see this limited to Slate, I see there being more in the cloud than simply another media available for purchase via WiFi, 3G or Slate Store. I have no doubts that Apple will deliver UI/OS updates with new gestures, additions to the platform and more on the cloud next week. With that said, 3.X apps on 4.0 OS is not a good thing so I'd expect something from Apple for the developer community in the form of an updated 4.0 SDK so they can be ready for the iTablet release within 3 months and new iPhone release this summer. Should be more like the iPhone release than the 3GS release.

I'd like to see a gesture for auto scroll to the bottom of a page and most importantly I'd love to see the Google Navigation that the competition has. I've long since given up on flash and java.

@Iain 117
They need to dump the 2G at some point. Backwards compatibility is OK, but it tends to restrict the platform from moving forward.

so far nothing on that list has me even the least bit excited. disappointed is more like it.
until i see what they mean by "more like full fledged computer"
multitasking works fantastically on my 3GS and I dont know that I can go without GV Mobile, especially the 2.0 version.

They will probably announce the 2g is dead and that they are leaving the 3g as the entry level iPhone. Then when the 4g is released the 3gs gets dropped in price to phase out the 3g

No matter how good they get there will be a new reason to Jailbreak!! I don't see them allowing tethering for free anytime soon for an example...

Looking forward to it. Swipe up and down from Homescreen will bring us to new Screens. Left is allready Spotlight, right are Apps..
New Calender and Contacts sync? Pleeeeease Enabeling to invite people to a meeting with mobile me. Oh and there is the missing to do´s...and notes over the air sync (for mobile me and outlook) would be nice..

For the people who think Apple is standing still your really going to lose it come March. What would the purpose be to make a bigger iPhone? This new device is going to bring something different to the table and all it's gonna do is help the iPhone OS wise. All these other phone companies are at that point like they we've finally on their heels.LOL. Now apple goes and does this!! Back to the drawing board. People going to be using the Apple 3G like it's a new phone that just came out and be better than the new stuff that just came out. That's hilarious.

Looking forward to the update. I jail-broke my phone for the reasons 4.0 looks to have. On a side note I've had friends say "Oh, you had to jailbreak to get what you wanted from your iphone" my reply. "I had to do the same thing with my Razr while with Verizon!"

i think they'll actually release 4.0 soon. It will serve as a hold over until June when the next gen iPhone is release or revealed. Currently losing too many potential customers because their current OS is stale. Release something to get those potential customers now and then reel in the rest with a new phone running 4.1 (some new features not inclusing in the soon to be released upgrade!) Hope it runs smoothly and does everything the jailbreak community has been able to make it do to date!! It'll mostly likely be awhile (if ever) before the Dev Team can crack this one...

I really hope it's true. Better notification (android like) and multitasking is my most wanted OS related features.
Device wise... I'm looking for the bump in MP & lens quality, flash (not the cheap one on the BB) & a led indicator.

Should be interesting. I know the MobileMe sync via web and on the iPhone leave ALOT to be desired. I want it to handle invites better, sync more reliably, and become a calendar I can trust, so I can finally dump Google Calendar. Contacts sync is brilliant so I hope that doesn't change.

Haha apple late to the game. Androids 2.0 already passed apples 4.0 even the pre. Can't wait til my contract is 1 year old so I can jump over to a android phone. And it does not help that the iPhone screen is ugly azz hell even the jb customization is ugly

I think apple needs to step up their game now more than ever before. With the droid, Nexus one, HTC HD2, and several more to come, a shortcoming from apple this year could lead to a huge loss in customers for them. I myself am seriously considering the Nexus one mainly for its huge screen and high resolution. That is my main problem with the 3GS, and all iphones before it, the screen resolution. I am skeptical because it would require developers to port all of their stuff to the new screen resolution, and maintain the old screen resolution stuff as well. This could potentially create a rift between different iphone owners, but either way it simply has to be done to keep up with the competition. If android can maintain different screen sizes, why can't apple?

I'm going to be really torn if a 4.0 beta comes out next week! I've got 2 months left on my Dev program enrollment, so I could take the beta for a spin, but I'd lose my jailbreak for a while.
I really depend on a lot of JB features, but 4.0 may be too much to resist.

Since all of this is coming to the 3g/3gs then that probably means their will also be some iPhone 4.0 exclusive features as well that work hand in hand with the hardware.
My guess..
-Front Facing Camera & Video Calls

How about built in and Apple made dragon dictation. That would be awesome if Apple would put a button on the keyboard for dictation and it would work like Apple makes stuff work.

@Vanityeverlastingbonet: I love how you've already decided your opinion on OS 4.0 despite never seeing it, using it, or knowing for certain what features it has or doesn't have. You're making actions based on speculation… I'd suggest you slow down, wind yourself in a little bit and actually see have a hands-on with OS 4.0 before making any rash decisions.

But if is can't fix the crapfest that AT&T provides, there will be little benefit for me.
Waiting patiently for the Verizon iPhone, Nexus One or Palm Pre Plus.
Getting desperate... May jump at the Palm Pre if nothing else is announced.
While my VZW BlackBerry Storm 2 can actually hold a call (unlike the ATT iPhone), its got to be the most boring touchscreen phone on the planet. 2010 and it can't render HTML email properly. WTF?

@tansen You're thinking wrong. Android is just an operating system. The different screen sizes come from different phone manafactures. That's why I'm not liking android at all. Why? Because it's exactly like a PC. There is one operating system, and that operarting system goes off and sells itself to other manafactures. And then it'll become a big crisis when they start getting viruses. That's why Apple keeps and builds their own software, because they see the current Windows PC softwares, and Google Android(also) real chessy and sometimes complicated, and not fun to easily handle. And then it's a freakin free source to Apps. They probably don't even check it. & you will just be ripped off with something that doesn't even work!!! LAME!
And for my comment, as long as Apple's iPhone doesn't go with Verizon, then I'm fine. Thanks!

Grouping contacts in the phone itself and setting specific tones for that group would be nice.
Not big on the multi-tasking background thing. Can the 3g handle it!?
New color schemes would be nice also.

I think the most important feature everyone is missing is better email. It needs to b better for business users to lure in more of the corporate people. I just find the email so flaky compared to a blackberry

I don't think they are talking full blown multi-tasking. It says "new ways"... I think there'll be a few approaches.
Push notifications where it makes sense. IM apps, Facebook, etc... This will still be the main way.
Daemon/Cron for local apps. Todo lists, etc...
Media backgrounding, some sort of way of running a quicktime stream, for Pandora and similar...
The inclusion of the 3G makes me think we aren't going to see full blown multi-tasking, the 3G simply isn't capable of doing it well enough (and the 3GS has the worst battery life of all iPhones to date!)

I hope they solve the unavoidable middle of the screen text message notification. Something to copy off the android.

Really who put "Apple People Really Excited" as a bullet point. So basically iPhone OS 4.0 make Apple People excited every time I use it. That's hilarious.

If they get notifications right, I'll be satisfied, as of now they come and go without you ever having a way to ever know they were there, and this is where android shines.. The pull down notifications are beautiful, and I KNOW that when apple does get it right, it will be just as awesome//

how about a simple week number in the calendar ap, so simple...
and something for the next one ...make mail.app (more)like blackberry mail

Contacts Sync: Sync with Social Networks ( Facebook contacts e.g.)
calender sync: hopefully to do's, invitations for Events (at least for mobile me) Beeing able to Change calendae After Setting Event.
Gestures: two finger swipe up to go to shortcuts (turn on wifi, 3g..)
swipe down notifications app (like a global inbox)

I seriously Dont know what all the AT&T complaining is about. At least in the western states and hell even some remote parts of Oregon I have great access. I use my phone for conference calls regularly and never get dropped calls. Only time I have had trouble is when I'm calling the same person that's calling me at the same time. It's happened maybe 3 times since 07.
I don't think apple will disapoint. It's nice having a phone that the company continually improves. I appreciate apples unwillingness to just throw whatever out there without refining it first. Yes they mess up just like anyone on occasion but I have grown tired of Microsoft software I have to beat within an inch of it's life to work.

This Joystick of this phone look so nice and cool one I am very glad to seen this one.This i-phone has very nice advance functionality it is so nice for us.

The iPhone 4 has more rf power generated, though still within FCC guidelines and in line with other smart phones. Does anyone think this will be an issue with health conscious users?

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