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Apple updates Mail in iPhone 4.0 with unified inbox, multiple Exchange accounts, threaded messages

As part of the iPhone 4.0 announcement today, Apple introduced an updated Mail app that includes (as rumored) support for a unified inbox (so all your new home, work, etc. email shows up in one place). Also introduced was threaded conversation, multiple Exchange accounts (hello Exchange + Google Sync), and fast inbox switching.

Does that solve all our iPhone email woes?

[Image via Gizmodo]

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Apple introduces Folders with intelligent naming for iPhone OS 4

Apple today introduced Folders for the iPhone OS 4 (iPhone 4.0) Home Screen/app launcher interface.

To use Folders, you start by tapping and holding an icon until it jiggled (like you would to move or delete it). You then drag one icon on top of another and they combine to form a Folder -- a bordered icon with small versions of the contained icons. Folders will name themselves based on the category of the apps you drag into them, or you can edit the name yourself.

Folders behave like any other app -- you can move them around and even place them in the dock for any-screen access. When you tap one, the screen splits open and slides vertically apart to reveal a grid of the apps inside.

This increases the number of apps you can store on your iPhone's 11 Home Screen pages from 180 to over 2000.

But it's still an app launcher at its core, of course. Though, when asked about Widgets Steve Jobs did say Apple implemented them early on in Mac OS X as Dashboard, and simply hadn't had time to do anything with them on the iPhone. (Yet?)

So, does this solve your app managements issues? Or did you need more power? More eye-candy?

Pics and video after the break, or read our complete iPhone OS 4 preview for more!

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Apple announces multitasking for iPhone OS 4 (iPhone 3GS/iPod touch G3 only)

Apple today announced support for multitasking in iPhone 4.0, which go to developers today and the public this summer. CEO Steve Jobs admitted Apple wasn't first to market with multitasking, but like with cut, copy and paste from iPhone 3.0, he thinks Apple's implementation is best.

Multitasking will be supported for iPhone 3GS and iPod touch G3 (both released in 2009) but not previous generations like iPhone 2G or iPhone 3G due to hardware limitations. (Presumably it will run just fine on an iPhone G4 this summer...)

In terms of the UI, double-clicking the home button raises the current window and shows you actively running apps in the dock. You can scroll through those apps and rapidly switch between them. State is saved so apps appear persistent to the user. (For example, if you leave a game and come back, you no longer start over -- you start where you left off.)

Inside, Apple's SVP of iPhone Software, Scott Forstall explained they looked at existing apps and distilled 7 services those apps needed to run in background, then provided them via API. According to Apple, these are:

  1. Background audio - Allows your app to play audio continuously. So customers can listen to your app while they surf the web, play games, and more.
  2. Voice over iP - Your VoIP apps can now be even better. Users can now receive VoIP calls and have conversations while using another app. Your users can even receive calls when their phones are locked in their pocket.
  3. Background location - Navigation apps can now continue to guide users who are listening to their iPods, or using other apps. iPhone OS 4 also provides a new and battery efficient way to monitor location when users move between cell towers. This is a great way for your social networking apps to keep track of users and their friends' locations.
  4. Push notifications - Receive alerts from your remote servers even when your app isn't running.
  5. Local notifications - Your app can now alert users of scheduled events and alarms in the background, no servers required.
  6. Task finishing - If your app is in mid-task when your customer leaves it, the app can now keep running to finish the task.
  7. Fast app switching - All developers should take advantage of this. This will allow users to leave your app and come right back to where they were when they left - no more having to reload the app.

Pandora said it took 1 day to recode and enable background in their app. Skype is also shown (which may explain their delayed 3G launch?)

Overall, it appears like Apple has once again abstracted a concept from low-level and developer-centric to higher level and OS-managed. Like Grand Central does for multi-core dispatch in Mac OS X, or CoreData, CoreAnimation, etc. do across Apple's platforms, it does the heavy-lifting and tries to maximize user experience at the same time.

Our question for you is, does this beat Palm webOS cards or Android multitasking? Is it enough to make you happy?

Pics and video after the break, or read our complete iPhone OS 4 preview for more!

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Rupert Murdoch says iPad may be savior of newspapers

Rupert Murdoch, head of the massive News corp. whose holding include the Wall Street Journal and FOX, told the National Press Club in Washington that the iPad may just rescue old print-and-delivery-bound media:

"It may well be the saving of the newspaper industry", by making it cheaper to distribute content to a broader audience, Mr Murdoch said. He expected the iPad to have eight or nine competitors within 12 months.

"There's going to be tens of millions of these things sold all over the world," he said.

He said it would also help bring down the costs of newspaper publishing because "you don't have the costs of paper, ink, printing, trucks".

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Apple uses AdLib JaveScript framework to make richer web apps for iPad

Done21.com has discovered something interesting in the online iPad user-guide: a new JavaScript framework they've dubbed AdLib (after its filename) that allows for very native app look and feel in the decidedly web-based app.

AppleInsider notes that it appears to be related to the PastryKit framework used for the iPhone user-guide (which stands to reason), and the TuneKit framework used for iTunes LP and iTunes Extra. And that the name may tie-in to the iAd rumors, and to internal efforts on Apple's part to raise the bar of web apps and diminish the need for plugins like Flash and Java.

Could we find out more at Apple's iPhone 4.0 event tomorrow? We certainly hope so. As much as some decry the closed nature of the App Store, developing for Safari is wide open and a new class of better, faster, stronger web apps is ultimately good for everyone.

Video after the break!

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Loopt for iPhone gets interesting... in real time!

Loopt has not only launched a new iPad app this week, Loopt Pulse [Free - iTunes link], but now a new version of their iPhone app as well [Free - iTunes link].

What's the big difference? How about the ability to easily find interesting people, places, and events with just your iPhone and Loopt's map screen. Yawing in the middle of a droning conversation, eyes drooping at a lame party, not sure where to go in the center of sleepy-town USA? Loopt's full-scale assault one boredom just might have your back.

There's also a new version for BlackBerry, if you find that interesting.

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TSA: Leave iPad in your baggage unless instructed otherwise

The TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) have deemed Apple's new iPad magical enough to pass through airport security scanners mostly without your having to remove it from your travel bags. Mostly.

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Verizon has asked if they can carry the iPhone

In response to the Wall Street Journal's rumor last week about the iPhone being released on Verizon later this year, CEO Ivan Seidenberg remarked to the Council on Foreign Relations:

[Verizon] has told Apple that it wants to carry the iPhone. But he declined to say when — or even if — the popular smart phone will be available for Verizon Wireless customers.

Seidenberg is infamous for reportedly refusing the back in 2007, leading Apple to partner with AT&T, and for once saying Verizon's strategy for competing with the iPhone involved waiting for Steve Jobs to get old.

We're not getting our hopes up for an iPhone 4.0 event "one more thing" yet. You?

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Are you having Wi-Fi connection problems with your iPad?

Dieter mentioned this in the hardware section of our iPad review, but we've seen enough reports (and gotten enough email about it!) that we wanted to break it out and see how widespread a problem this may be for our readers:

Speaking of that aluminum casing, it blocks WiFi signals pretty effectively. To get around that, Apple placed the WiFi antenna behind the plastic Apple logo. While all reports indicate it’s a good antenna, I do find that I’m getting slightly worse reception on the iPad than I do on other devices.

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Skype updates again, still no VoIP over 3G

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