iPhone OS 4: What's still missing


Yesterday's iPhone OS 4 sneak preview event gave us 7 new "tent-pole" features, 1500 new APIs for developers, and once again took Apple's mobile OS a step closer to feature parity and a step further towards elegant functionality... but we didn't get everything we wanted. And no matter how hard we tried, we found we didn't even get everything we needed. In other words, iPhone 4.0 is still missing out in some key areas. Even though we got some good stuff, this is what we didn't get:

  • No new Home Screen/SpringBoard. We understand that Apple has 85,000,000 legacy users now trained on the iPhone Home Screen system (aka the same app launcher metaphor going back to the days of PalmOS). We knew when Apple said as much during the iPad announcements that they weren't going to confuse that "already trained" customer base. It's the price of being an established OS, after all. So Apple didn't radically re-invent the Home Screen. They did make it layered -- it can lift up to show you multitasking apps and slit open to show you apps inside folders -- but that's it. And part of "that's it" means...

  • No themes. You get wallpaper and that's where your customization ends. You still can't remove built-in apps (though you can hide them in a folder so they take less space). You can't chance the look of icons. There's no animated backgrounds to be had. More disappointingly, however...

  • No widgets. Want to know the latest weather, Facebook or Twitter updates, or stick a big clock on the screen? There's an app for all of that, sure, but you have to go into and out of each individual app and the Home Page remains a giant grid of uninformative icons. Android and Nokia have had widgets for a while now, webOS lets you flick between live Cards, and Windows Phone 7 will have live tiles. iPhone... will be waiting on 5.0? More's the pity too because...

  • No new notification system. We got local notifications, so there's some measure of offline alerts, but they're trapped in the same single, modal, popup hell that's existed since iPhone 3.0. (And it's particularly ludicrous on the iPad!). Again, still, if you get a couple SMS, a few Twitter DMs, a game challenge or two, and calendar reminder, and then an IM, you'll only ever know that IM existed -- everything else is completely and utterly destroyed in terms of notifications, and while some apps will badge with a number for unread items, you have to go find them and that's "pull", not "push". Maybe this is also a 5.0 feature...

A lot of other stuff failed to put in an appearance as well.

  • Apps can now embed SMS, but why isn't that a system-wide, OS level, quick-reply API included in the alerts?
  • Calendar still has no week view. iPad calendar rotates to landscape, why can't iPhone?
  • Photos gets Faces and Places, but no MobileMe or other syncing abilities. It's 2010, isn't it?
  • Weather is still 1.0. Even stocks has been updated. Compared to HTC's weather, it's in the dust.
  • Settings are still bound to an app. You can't tap the title bar to quickly toggle Wi-Fi or Bluetooth or any of a half-dozen other useful things.
  • Mail gets universal inbox, threaded messages, and fast switching, but still no IMAP IDLE (at least GoogleSync can now be used alongside ActiveSync, but still...)
  • Safari still lacks Flash, Java, or any other plugin and likely always will. But it should really have gotten in-page text string search.
  • iPad gets orientation lock via a hardware switch where the iPhone's mute switch is located. How about at least a software gesture?
  • What about a universal "back" gesture while we're at it as well? Tapping the title bar auto-scrolls a list to top, couldn't swiping from right to left take us back to the previous screen, in every app?

iPhone 4.0 was full of functional goodness, no doubt about it. Perhaps we'll even see one or two more come WWDC in June (Mobile iChat video?) Even given Apple's size, there are limitations of time and resources that mean they have to choose what features get done now and what get left for later. You can't have everything immediately. Did doing multitasking come at the expense of doing notifications this time around? (or did iAd?) Maybe. But that's for Apple to decide and for us, the users, to take them to task over.

And, oh yeah, there's still no built in task app (or sync).

Anything else missing from iPhone 4.0 that really ought to have been in there?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

iPhone 4.0 jailbroken on the same day it's released

Next up →

BlackBerry making 8.9" tablets? - the competition

Reader comments

iPhone OS 4: What's still missing


Maybe some of those feats will be applied by the iPhone 0S 4 official release. Jobs did say that those were ONLY 7 of the 100 NEW feats...If not, HTC EVO 4G here I come ;-)

The next thing on my list I guess would include a "widget" (I hate that word) lock screen and a real notification system. I think once I have that all the big issues will be solved. I really could care less about customizing my iPhone that much more than I can now, but I can see how others would.

Totally in agreement, sadly, with Rene. I know it sounds juvenile, but I would really love a homescreen with clock, weather on it. Of course, this would make the phone no different from Sense, but still...

Just thought of something which I hope is correct...
If Pandora is able to overlay iPod-style controls related to it's app on the lockscreen, than other developer's apps should be able to overlay elements on the lockscreen as well, right? Maybe?
I'm not a developer so I don't know how these things work, but if an app can push my iCal / Facebook events for the day or the current weather to my lockscreen, then I would be a happy puppy!

I hope to God that Apple hasn't been wasting developer time and cash on iChat video for iPhone. Talk about a waste. Novel idea, but seriously--who would use that crap after the first week it was available?

Specific to Exchange connectivity - The calendar needs free/busy and other information to be useful as a business tool. As is its an FYI at best. Does anyone know if any of this was addressed?
I should be able to decline a meeting and let the originator know why before the message it sent. I should be able to remove one of a recurring meeting without it removing the entire recurrance. I should be able to book a meeting and see people's availability while doing it.
Screw springboard and themes, lets get some basic functionality into some of these apps.
Other than that, things are looking great. Multiple Exchange account support is a huge plus, as is the vpn and universal inbox. Lets get the iPhone enterprise ready already.

WHERE IS MY WHISPERSYNC FOR MEDIA? They're doing it with iBooks! Why not my blessed podcasts? Little matter at this point, as I can go back to using RSSPlayer since it'll stream in the background now... :D

I don't get it! Wait until 5.0? Do I really have to wait another YEAR to get basic features? I've always stood by this damn phone, but my head is starting to stray. Can they honestly not update the weather app?? Come on...
I'll say the same thing about the next iPhone as I said about this lame update, they better wow me, because I'm getting bored and frustrated.
iPhone, you can I can only do missionary for so long, I need a new girl that's adventurous.

I think the question of waiting for 5.0 is pretty much dead on. That's the price to pay when it comes to a company that only puts out one version of their phone a yr. We didn't get multitasking until now cause most people have been stuck with their 3g, and apple wasnt happy with it's performance. Now there will be a new iPhone for the 3g people to upgrade to so they are ok with it. I beleive that apple isn't happy with the performance of widgets and other things on the 3gs, so we won't get them until we're able to upgrade to the 2011 iPhone.

ya know I love when people come in here and say there leaving the iphone if apple don't improve the iphone there going to android, palm, back to the blackberry or htc evo like the first comment. Can I ask why these tardboys say these things? If you don't like what the iphone or apple has to offer just go. You would think the comments would be about iPhone 4.0: What’s still missing. Not if apple don't give you the update you want what phone will you replace it with?

If apple put everything in this update, then what would make you excited about the next update? It's still better than any other phone on the market. At least wait till the official release before you start complaining. Sure you can argue that if you complain now apple might hear your pleas, but that could also potentially delay the release if let's say they got stuck on a problem. Then you'd piss everyone else off. So relax. Go use another phone if youre not happy...all you'll get is misery times 10000.

Also the tardboys that say "Why is it such a big deal that the iphone does this and that now. My blah blah phone has been doing that for a year or two". Grow up morons

Multitasking shouldn't require new API for developers. It can't beat Palm's way of multitasking, seriously. Godammit Apple! WhyTF didn't you fix the notifications?

I like a lot of the things they announced and I am really pumped about this new 4.0 update, but I am really hoping they will fix the notification system and allow for customization of sounds and alerts for various events like text, email, alarm, calendar, etc. I am crossing my fingers that the final release some of the basic functionality that can be found on many other phones. I love my iPhone, but I would love the opportunity to actually make it MY iPHONE with customization as I see fit.

Audio profiles are still missing! Every night, I have to go into the menu, turn off Notifications, Texting and New Email alerts. I have to leave the phone on, though, because I get calls for work. If I don't disable these three sounds, I get no sleep. This is the only 'big gripe' I have left, since Multitasking is coming.

Let's see some of you program the OS. I agree with macboy, well could you're old phone run all these cool apps, or browse a full website with JavaScript, or have an iPod, or have HTML emal...grow up.

  • Still no multitasking. Freezing an app in its current state to allow switching between apps is not multitasking.

Hardware? don't expect too much, and you won't be disappointed,a little just a little more ram and a 5MP camera thats all you will get
Time to switch, webOs or Android here i come!

  1. Widgets (is it that hard to implement???).. Come on Apple, all that real estate is going to waste. You can do better
  2. Notes/Task syncing with Exchange. Friggin, Apple - you can do it for MobileMe, but not for Exchange. What gives?
  3. Wireless syncing for iTunes? How long do we have to wait for this?

Btw, thx for giving us changing backgrounds. I really needed that, a feature that was around from Windows 95 days and Apple plans to implement it is 2010 and has the audacity to call it a feature.... Shame on them!!

There's no excuse for there still being no native Todo (Task) app. Every single MobileMe function is now on the iPhone except Todos.
In fairness to Mail, Jobs said there were more things added to mail but he didn't have time to mention them all. I hope separate signatures for separate accounts, and flagging, are two of them.
After seeing the keynote video, I'm pretty impressed with the multitasking. It sounded a little disappointing on the live blog yesterday.

After testing it, i can say the task switcher and folders are sweet...makes me even more angry at the way they didn´t improve the notification system, i mean WTF? Soccer mums love blue popups in the middle of the screen? Thank God for jailbreak

I NEED smart mailboxes! OS X got it, why not iphone? I use exchange for my mail, which is great and exchange offer serverside rules so i can automatically sort mail to subfolders. The problem is that iphone just looks in the inbox folder for new mail...
On outlook in windows and mail in os x i have smart folders/mailboxes for unread mails and mails arrived today. Great! But on my iphone? Noooooo....

All I want from 4.0 now is a better notification system, something like WEBOS or Android would be perfect and info such as missed calls, mail, sms's upcoming calendar appointments/events on the Lock Screen. Is that took too much to ask for?

Three things are missing for me:
a) Full Bluetooth AVRCP, I'm sick of the 'play/pause' limitation.
2) A new notification system
d) Google Maps Navigation (I know it's a long shot, but it'd be fantastic if Apple could land this)

I literally yawned through that whole event. I mean doesn't steve jobs look at anything besides news blogs? There are a dozen videos on YouTube that people have made up with features that could have been implemented. Tapping the wifi icon to pop out a little screen with switches to turn it off and on. The notifications are in dire need of an upgrade. I'm getting tired of seeing the same icons.
So much more needs to be done. And sadly enough. This is the first time in 3 years I've considered not upgrading my phone and going to HTC. The HD2 is looking really good about now. What's worse is I'm waiting for the 3G iPad and nothing really interesting is coming out for it either. And we won't even get multitasking on that until October or later. I'm considering going all Apple. I've been looking at the 27" iMac for weeks now. I really really want that too. But yesterdays stunt has almost put that on hold. The iMac is still probably going to happen. But you know what? I would feel better if yesterdays event didn't even happen. I wasn't disappointed before the event. But I am now. I mean so many things could have been done. And last year. I thought. Well maybe this year. And that stuff still didn't happen. I mean the HD2 is a mobile hotspot. I don't even need a 3G iPad of I get one of those. Sad thing is people will still buy this phone because it's so good. But it could be so much better. So many things need to be added. I'm just frusterated with it. I really am.

All I want is some kind of "profiles" setup available, so that I can set my iphone up to go to full brightness when I plug it in, in my car (for example). It'd be nice to have a power profile setting available, like mac OS and windows, so it detects if it's connected to power, and change settings appropriately - but just an easy-to-access "profiles" selector would be good enough. I find it annoying that whenever I get in my car, I have to go to settings, brightness, slide the brightness up, then back to the main screen, then to my music app - it should just be a case of plugging in, and loading the app. Everything else should be automatic.

Is it to much to ask for apple to take a design idea from android and incorporate some sort of drop shade notification center? Forget this pop up push notification crap. Half the time you bump it and it goes away before you know what it was. Put your ego aside for a minute apple & take a tip from android.

why not wait until wwdc in june to see what the complete feature set is before whining about what it doesn't have? i suspect there are a bunch of features that will be revealed for the 4th gen iphone (and the ipad) that weren't announced yesterday for obvious reasons.

jesus christ?!?! quit all your belly aching and crying-
Go switch to android, have fun with that.
Tell me how you enjoy it/ and enjoy the APP market experience. rolls eyes
~Nexus One User- and not happy with it.

Well, guess we got our "A+ Upgrade" that Jobs was talking about. If the OS is this lousy, I think the hardware will probably end up having flash (torch), a front facing camera and maybe a new A4 chip. I'm now thinking if it is worth getting my hopes up for the new hardware launching in June. Guess the 3GS is working just fine without all these new features.

Your mistake is assuming we saw everything yesterday. He barely scratched the surface and you certainly know that Steve never blows his load in a preview conference. Wait until June, then we'll see.

I'm not asking for much here. I've been running jailbroken since day one with my 3G, and all I want is customization and common sense. Screen wallpaper actually matters to me, so we to go for picking that one up. But come on, let me change the icons, hide labels, etc. Hell, I'd even be ok without being able to change sounds! Oh, and come on, are you gonna tell me Apple can't handle something like Weathericon?
And come on, how hard is it to let me do something like LiveClock? Yes, its stupid and pointless. That being said, I like the little spinning hand on the analog version!
I'm not gonna whine about jumping ship to another phone or carrier, but I'm disappointed that this is all we get. Here's hoping there were some fun goodies held back for release day!

A upgrade was talking about the hardware. Cry me a freakin river. I really do hate people
that complain. It shows their lack of a threshold and leads to poor character and makes you look like a pathetic person. Contstructive criticism is great. Like Rene's post, nothing wrong with it, but all you crying people, I feel like I'm reading what a bunch of 4 year olds typed.

Above all else, yesterdays presentation really showed that Apple needs a complete UI overhaul. How many times can they change the function of the only hardware button on the phone? Multitasking was implemented in the least Applecentric way I have yet to witness. I mean seriously, it looks just like the BB app switcher but without real multitasking. No rework of the lock screen. Notifications are still the worst in industry. Apple obviously spend the last year trying to bring the Iphone up to spec with the rest of the industry. i would expect, next year, to see a completely new OS.

I think you re missing the point. The iPhone is a communication device that is not evasive. Everything on the iPhone is designed to be out of your way. From the sounds to customization. Not many sound to choose from, no numerous home screens, no gazillions ways to notify you. That's the whole essence of the device! Very useable when you need it and out of your way the rest of the time. I mean really people!!! Who really cares about multitasking? Who really cares about most of the things mentioned here? The iPhone is a huge success without all these things. I bet the 85,000,000 legacy users don't really give a damn, or they would have switched to Android or BB or any other platform.
Have you ever used an Android device os a WinMo one? I have. In both these devices you have multitasking, a trillion ways of getting notifications, a billion ways of customizing and so on.
Multitasking most of the times means memory leaks and hung ups. Means that you really need a task manager because you have to shut down something in order to launch something else.
You get an email or an sms, and the whole device lights up like a christmas tree! You get a notification in idle, you open the device and you have a status bar icon, a widget change and anything else that you might have "turned on" in the system.
You can customize the hell out of BBs or HTCs. You can change anything you like. There are so many options you eventually get confused on what you like or not.
I used an HTC Hero as my main device for 3 months. Sure the HTC sense UI is very nice. You go WOW the first couple of times that you operate the phone and then you are getting all confused on what theme you like best and if you like the Weather app to be displayed in a whole screen layout or in a three row layout, which happens with most of the system apps, calendar, texts, emails, etc.
I was more than glad to ditch the Hero after those three months and buy the iPhone 3GS. Almost zero configuration time and for sure no hassle about nothing. Just which app is better for what you want to do.

I hate to admit this, but the notification thing doesn't really bother me, everything that would notify me is on the home screen, so it's real easy to see a badge. Infact I turned off the pop ups on most things, and just left the sound and the badge. Since everything has a different sound, I rarely miss anything

When was the last time anyone bought a Nokia or htc that got this many functional updates over the past 3 years keeping the phone as fresh as can be. An htc smart phone 3 years ago, completely dated, a Nokia 3 years ago completely dated, iPhone is still decently fresh. The reason Apple is doing so well is because they don't let thier products fade into oblivion. So I welcome this update, even if it isn't the best of all phones out there.

tis, if your iphone is three years old you get NOTHING in this update. You might want to take that into consideration. And HTC doesnt make OS's per se. They make hardware with a special sauce over the existing OS. And if you want to talk about Winmo or Symbian, they have had every function the Iphone now has for the last decade.

How about a working scroll bar? Not just one that's for informational purposes only, but a scroll bar that you can actually drag up & down and left & right. I've seen a 3rd party app implement this and it works great. I do a lot of reading on my iphone, and it drives me nuts to have to swipe down a hundred times to get to the right spot in my document, only to accidentally hit the top of the screen & have to start swiping down all over again.
Oh yeah, and better notifications!!

OMG!!! Where to start?? NO contact screen. NO screen lock. NO profiles. NO custom alert tones. (Sooooo tired of grabbing my phone every time I hear one of the tones) NO USABLE wallpaper. It's sad, really. Jobs sits in his office, and decides what people REALLY want their phone to do, and he seems to not have a clue. Do they not do research, maybe ask their CUSTOMER'S what they would like to see in the next one?? OR, what I am starting to think, is this phone CAN'T do these things. It makes no sense that after almost 4 years, we don't have these basic phone operations. When MMS became a BIG add on, I should have seen the writing on the wall. The next phone, 4G, G4, whatever it is, will be more of the same. SAME box, maybe a different wrapper, but the same old thing we have now. And, that is another problem; They update the OS, but not let the "old" phones run it. That way, every couple of years, you have to buy a new phone that looks exactly like your old one, to be able to enjoy the latest "updates". 2G's are gone, and now the 3G's will be too. I don't know. It's sort of like when CD's came out. You had to go buy all the music you ALREADY HAD on cassets to be able to listen it. The missing 93 updates better be big time boom, or this party will be over. Apple continues to have the position that "If you don't like it, you just don't get it". Well, I get it. The iPhone is a cash cow for Apple. They hide behind the app store to some how patch all the holes, then not let the devs do it. When you look at the JB community,and see what the phone CAN do, it is shocking. And, depressing.

Orientation lock and universal back are the only other things i wanted. Other than that i am perfectly happy with OS 4. Now if only AT&T would release tethering for iPhones I wouldn't have to buy a laptop connect card and pay an extra 60$ instead of another 30 once I get the 4th gen (which i will not jailbreak).

I'm pissed that there isn't a new notifications system, there is no way you can tell me that the current implementation of it is "Apple-esque" The current notification system seems like something you would expect from a KIRF device, and I hope the jailbreak community can give us something better than what we currently have...

You want me to name every function Winmo, Symbian and Iphone have in common? Uh, I think Ill pass on that one. But multitasking and unified inboxes are not exactly revolutionary features. This isnt me saying the Iphone is garbage, heck I'll be buying one when the new hardware is announced. lets just ease off on the cool aid.

The notification system is probably the single most important issue for me. If Apple does not adequately address it, I might have to migrate to another platform. The antiquated popup box just does not satisfy my needs. Moreover, I foresee far more notifications now that developers can access core APIs more easily. This does not bode well for anyone unless Apple fundamentally changes the notification system.

Why all the complaining? I am excited about all the new features. You all said you wanted theses features. When they give you some of them, you complain. It hasn't even come out and people are complaining. Theses are big changes for the iPhone, trust me. Not everyone is a geek and needs every feature that can be thought of by mankind. This will go over well with the general public. I am excited about multitasking personally.

I'm a tad disappointed myself. My JB 3GS does some of the new stuff and does it well. I also have active widgets for a clock and weather, blah blah blah. You always have to look at Apples history, they are predictable to a degree. They will have more features to announce at the WWDC I'm pretty sure and some that will be G4 iPhone only. Hold out hope people there will be more.

Definately some kind of SMS and mail tone customization... The on board sounds suck! Unless apple are assuming this is a back door for hackers, there's no reason why we shouldn't have customizable tones!

How about something as basic as a character count for text messages? In Germany, text messages are quite expensive and most plans only include a few (mine includes 40/month) so it is really frustrating when you end up wasting an extra text message over a couple of characters. Plus, this seems like it would be so easy to implement. All Twitter apps do this. As do all other cellphones I know of.

this is a very good update.
for people complaining about being able to turn wifi on and off, the app switcher will make accessing settings a lot easier. not perfect, but apple doesn't want people accidentally tapping the wifi button and accidentally shutting off wifi/internet too easily.
the notifications system does need an overhaul, and i expect this will happen in either a 4.1 or 4.2 release. the current system is embarrassing and apple knows it. there's no good reason to present a notifications upgrade to the public at this time though, as the primary point of these demonstrations is to get developers started on building apps to work with the API, so that when the upgrade is pushed out, there are apps waiting to take advantage.
really, this will be a fine upgrade that addresses most of the ongoing concerns with the iphone's capabilities - other than notifications.

As a programmer, I just want to point out...
This was an OS announcement for programmers. It provided APIs and a beta-test environment for testing those APIs.
There could be a boat-load of other features that are not APIs, not developer programmable, and therefore were simply not discussed (or completed, yet). For example, the dictionary feature I've seen in iPad's iBooks could easily show up when the new hardware is announced and iPhone's iBooks ships. There could very well be a new notification app that puts a scrolling pop-up window on the lock screen and exists as a new built-in app to hold a list of notifications that can be tapped to go to mail, sms, calendars, etc. With multitasking, that would be pretty easy to implement and use. And why talk about an Apple TODO app or iChat since there is no API access? As for widgets, Apple might still provide a settings option that puts some of the built-ins like weather on the lock screen (including the new notifications app - wink, wink).
I think if we wait, we are going to be pleasantly surprised.
What I feel is missing from the announcement?
- Notification
- Email filters (esp. for junk filtering)
- Coverflow contacts
- Common document access/storage (not just for images)
What I am jazzed about?
- Multitasking; finally I can stream music and do other things.
- Folders; If have way over a thousand apps

Wow... there is a lot of complaining going on here considering it was overall a pretty good big update. I think multitasking will be brilliant and very simple to use which is the key. I like the unified inbox. I like the folders too. Really happy to finally see a character count for SMS too as I do a lot of Intl and group texting.
A couple of things I would have loved to see though would have been an update to iCal in particular a weekly view!! The list view is really annoying. Also, I am also in the group that would like to see a new revamped home screen and new be able to customise ringtones/message tones and alert tones. Maybe we will see a couple of them implemented by summer.
All good things come to those who wait though (apparently), so be patient people.

Overall, I was a little disappointed with what was shown for 4.0. I have a 3GS that is jailbroken, and things like multitasking(with proswitcher) and 5x zoom still look and probably work better on it than on 4.0. Unless the new iPhone is actually "revolutionary", I'm probably just going to stick with my 3GS.

One thing I've been wanting for a long time now a learning dictionary, or at least the ability to add to the on-board dictionary. Something that allows the system to recognize commonly used abbreviations my e-mail every time I start typing it so I don't have to go through the entire string.

What I wanted but didn't get:

  1. Week view in calendar (do we have firm confirmation that this is NOT in 4.0?)
  2. Native printing, either over WiFi, Bluetooth, or remotely.
  3. Better notifications

Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with this upgrade.

Jupp, pretty much nailed all missing things.
Add shortcut to wireless settings via gesture/dropdown to the what's-missing list.

Nice little update but apple really have taken their finger off the pulse. I have had the iPhone for about 2 years now and there are a few very basic changes they really should have implemented to make day to day use enjoyable. Forget about the WOW factor just 'boring' functional changes. For instance a proper notification system, in app SMS implemented systemwide, widgets and a new lock screen! These simple additions would change the iPhone experience in a radical way. Don't get me wrong I appreciate the functions they have added but seriously this update is really a 3.5 multiple-tasking rather then what a proper 4.0 should have been. Very dissapointed!

Apple doesn't have to look any farther then the cydia app LockInfo in how to properly do a notification system. It tracks ALL notifications, plus you can put LIVE weather, a calendar, to do list, clock and it blocks those stupid ass apple pop up notifications.

Widgets or at the VERY LEAST live icons for weather and clock, a REAL notification system, and a way to easily reply to text messages a la biteSMS would've taken away all my reasons to jailbreak... But alas, Apple still is not using their own products it seems.

Excellent post. Multitasking is a great feature we've all wanted for some time but reading this reminds me just how much is still missing. Fortunately, jailbreak addresses most of these issues and I'll definitely keep mine jailbroken. There's really no excuse for a proper notification system!

As much as I like what I see so far, I would gladly exchange the new Core Location (Location Services) indicator for a Message Waiting indicator. The process of using a modal dialog box to list every SMS or MMS is frustrating.
Also, and bear in mind that I haven't had a chance to read all of the new documentation, I hope there is a way for an app not to be put into the background when the home button is pressed. I love the idea of having multitasking, but not every app needs to head to the background...some can simply just end.
Here's hoping that we developers see more and more released as the official launch approaches.

93 other features we haven't seen. That's all you can say. From what they showed it puts the device on point. Sounds like a bunch of kids. Now now now. He purposely does this. Why give you all the secrets right now? All that would do is make other OS developers a chance to start making an equivalent to what they saw yesterday. Don't you guys see this is a chess game. Obviously all you play is checkers. What they showed was on point with every other device right now. Each of these devices has it's strong and weaker points. They are bringing a new device out. Why would they show us all the features and not a phone. It wouldn't make sense. All you genius who say what they should do is get together and build a phone from scratch with everything you need and you wouldn't have this problem. No matter what they do your complaining. If it's bothering you that much get another device and go about your business.

I can see three diode-type things in the upper left-hand side of the screen on my 3GS. What are they? Could they be some kind of future notification system?

Worst article....stop complaining about stupid stuff...weather app? theres 1000 weather apps in the app store, check out the weather network app and u can see the weather in every country for the next year.....no widgets? theres a whole app store!
learn how to use the features available to you first before you start complaining about an OS that isnt even released yet

What happened to the 960 x 640 resolution? Is it still possible that they could add this for the next hardware release?

@tim Chandler. I'm amazed there are iPhone users who have not jailbroken. Tethering alone makes it worthwhile, but I use the wifi and screen rotation toggle a ton. I've now purchased more Cydia apps than App Store

I can say after learning of alot of these updates coming i dont regret getting rid of my 3gs at all! lol, all the reasons i got rid of apple to begin with most still are going to go missing in the new model..what a shame really, my nexus one gives me all the customization and enjoyment iphone couldnt and iphone continues to dissapoint.. it truly has become the smart phone for people that would never have a smart phone and they are so scared to do anything to change the mainstream public(big chunk of there users)user experience afraid the customers will get all confused with all the crazy features of this phone..lol..Just sad...year after year they are just going to get further and further behind on features readily available in other smart os's..and thats ok because my 80 yr old neighbor loves his iphone and the teenagers and non techie types i meet all the time using this device love it as its truly the kinda smart phone for all those other folks that wouldnt have one other wise..the people using iphone that want more and expect more like webos and android i think its time now to make your switch as apple just doesnt get it and prob never will for you guys..happily a former iphone user..

LOL. Every complainer please bring me your iPhone and I'll give you a free Symbian Nokia phone and $10 so you don't complain.
""if you want to talk about Winmo or Symbian, they have had every function the Iphone now has for the last decade.""
Guess how many buttons you need to click to bring up a task manager in a Symbian phone? (hint: more then 3).
As for the archaic notification system, Apple will make it better, trust me. It takes time to design and build things functional but yet easy to use and efficient. Cut and paste is a prime example.

It takes time to design and build things functional but yet easy to use and efficient. Cut and paste is a prime example.
If cut and paste is a prime example of how building good things takes time... they ought to just go ahead and hurry up. It took me like 4 tries to cut & paste the above line.
And for those who have nothing better to say than "quit your whining" - why don't you just STFU. People have legitimate complaints about what has apparently been left out (again) from the fourth freaking version of the operating system, and are under no particular obligation not to voice them. Even if it annoys fanboys.

How about tweeking the ringer volume and speaker phone volume !!! Man I can't hear it ring in my shirt pocket !!
Riely talk to me.....,

The notification system is what really surprised me that didn't change. We can always hope that Apple is holding out for WWDC like they did with Voice Memos, etc. :D

I agree completely. Some sort of customizable widget based home page would have been nice and notification Mgt would be a great enhancement. Hopefully in 5.0. Also need to upgrade off this 3g to multitask. Hope the "HD" is a nice upgrade. iMac type titanium case would be cool. 3 years is a long time with the same design.

It would be nice to customize the iPhone to your needs. I would be willing to give up things. In other words instead of one big update, you choose what you need. I need multi tasking, and folders. I would be willing to give up other functions of 4.0. So the things I need can work without buying another product. Just an idea.

Email sounds. I'm sick and tired of looking like a Western gunslinger in a room full of other iPhone users when someone gets an email. It goes like this...(email SOUND)...everyone REACH!...DRAW that iPhone from it's holster...and then...YAY! It's MEEEEEEE! I got the email!! You would think somebody won the danged lottery!!

Btw, there is a quick and dirty solution for email or phone call sound recognition problem. Assuming you carry iPhone in your pocket, just turn Vibrate ON. I use it since 3G came out. Works 100%, even when you have a ringer OFF.

Text and email distribution lists!!!!! Can't stand having to add recipients one at a time to the to/cc/bcc lines... And I always end up forgetting someone! Come on Apple this is a basic feature that Blackberry has had as long as I can remember.

Steve has taken the blue jeans and black long sleeve mock turtle neck approach to the iPhone OS. The only thing you ever see change is the tennis shoes.

I think what people clearly dont realise is the capability of Android. I was a bit of an Apple fanboy, I bought the 1st iPhone, the 3G and then the 3GS but its not until my brother picked up the HTC Desire that I even considered anything else.
The Desire has all of these features that you want, right out of the box. I quite often run Spotify while and logged into MSN messenger and writing an email. Pair that with the gorgeous screen which is double the res of the iPhone and has far superior colours, and you have a serious bit of kit. The interface may be a little tricky for you to understand from the start as its different, that doesn't make it worse! I've even managed to convert a few guys at work from their iphone's.
Don't get me wrong though, the iPhone is a great phone, but isn't it time for people to look at other options instead of hanging on to stubborn Apple?

Exchange for enterprise use is my big thing - following up on JD's comment at #6, does anybody know if Exchange Server ActiveSync implementation on OS 4.0 will set forwarded/replied to flags on messages?

Access to the file system for both apps and users. Why can't I receive a spreadsheet as an attachment, save it to a folder and open it with Quickoffice or similar? Why can't I organize my photos in folders? Why can't I edit my hosts file for either adblocking or more efficient routing?
That and the requirement that I use iTunes to manage my music are the really only remaining problems I experience on a day to day basis.

where is FM radio almost every phone got to day why not Iphone ?
We know that the chip set can do it so why not give it to us.

Second the Exchange shortcomings...
- notes sync
- replied/fwd flags on emails
- calendar accept/tentative/decline with comment
- calendar delete/update single occurrance not entire series
- I can go on and on
let's get iPhone enterprise ready!!

Unbelievable, 3.0 was more exciting than this, there are only three useful things for me and that is multitasking, folder creating, and wall papers. Where is the custom ringtone, haptic feedback on keyboard, more functions inside built in apps, iPhone os needs a notification system overhaul, and I mean a huge overhaul( maybe swipe down from the status bar to get notification), Bluetooth profiles such as full remote control of music and file sharing( no program needed just allow Bluetooth to run and a pop up will say so and so wants to share a pic/ video with you, do you want to accept? Than click yes and it downloads in the background) we need to be able to download videos from safari, save documents to notes, recent call lost delete, why are they working on iad and not their overhaul, 4.0 has brought alot of advanced features but definitly 3.0 brought the most, I'm not even excited about this update

It occurs to me that for the first time, the Windows mobile operating system might actually out-do Apple in terms of elegance. While it will trail the iPhone OS release date by a few months, the previews look very nice.
Make no mistake however, as I don't intend to give up my 3GS. Microsoft would have to jump many more hurdles to unseat the iPhone. One thing I've not seen mention of is a task list. I can't imagine this woefully overdue feature won't be in OS 4.