Rumorous Maximus: Apple Getting iPhone 4.0 Beta, Resolution Independant SDK Ready for Developers?!


Take this with a 7-to-10 inch capacitive grain of salt, but French site M4Ever [Google translate link] is claiming that we might just see iPhone 4.0 beta fairly soon (hey, maybe as soon as the Jan. 27 media event?) Macrumors supplies the clean text:

Several of our sources give us two pieces of information concerning the famous Apple tablet: In late January, in addition to its tablet, Cupertino should have a beta of iPhone OS 4, accompanied by an SDK. Our informants also tell us of a "simulator" specifically adapted for the tablet. Evidently, the major novelty of the SDK therefore concerns the interface, making it easier for developers to adapt to different screen resolutions. The new iPhone could also benefit from a higher pixel density.

Real, fake, really fake? We know we'll get iPhone 4.0 seeded to developers eventually, and resolution independence (i.e. iPhone HD and iTablet) is something TiPb's been talking about for a while now. No matter what, if Apple wants App Store level success to continue with next generation devices, they'll need to get the SDKs into the hands of developers, so while -- again -- this is just a rumor, it's going to come true sooner or later. The only real question is... when?

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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+.

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Reader comments

Rumorous Maximus: Apple Getting iPhone 4.0 Beta, Resolution Independant SDK Ready for Developers?!


I'd be disappointed if we have to wait another 6 months for 4.0 - to fix the outstanding bugs in the current software. Unless we see the 4.0 software early.

hmm... Suspect that this si something you guys are looking forward to. I recall like episode after episode saying Android is doomed because of resolution independence and that WebOS will also splinter/fracture because of "what a nightmare it is for developers to develop on more than one resolution"... Guess that isn't really how you feel then huh?

I was thinking about this earlier.
The solution about the rumors that the iSlate will be able to run iPhone/iPodT apps is a new software that could allow iPhone apps and maybe Mac apps to be converted to the iSlate. However, the input method will be different so the interface will differ from the iPhone.
There is no way Apple would leave out the app store developers from the iSlate.

Forgot to add :
4.0 will be the bridge that will allow the iSlate and iPhone apps to be interchange able. They should make it so that when you go into the same App store, on the iSlate, apps that are iSlate compatible automatically downloads for the iSlate instead of having two different app Stores.

@FroZt: What makes devices running Android, WebOS, and Windows Mobile fractured is the multiple hardware configurations created by different OEMs. Independent screen resolution is a different story. If done correctly one application can run on multiple devices of similar configurations and automatically scale to the proper screen resolution. This is what Window mobile had for their PocketPCs when they were all touch screen devices.

I'm hoping for an iPhone on Verizon announcement. Apple's been working on a hybrid umts/cdma chip with Qualcomm.
I haven't heard anything about field trials though, maybe it will get announced tho and those trials can begin so we can get this going on!

Don't you know? Everything is a bad idea until Apple does it. Fanboys don't have to make sense...

@frozt: once you work with one iPhone OS device you can work with them all exactly the same, but that is certainly not the case with android devices, beacause of all the difference in phones and manufacturers add ons( think Motorola's Blur and HTC's Senss UI), thats fractured/fragmented

Now this I can definitely see happening. A "oh and one more thing" moment from Steve Jobs would be simply brilliant.

It's a great idea for apple to get 4.0 going earlier this year. Mindshare just dropped for them. Hardware (new iphone) will sell itself. No reason to release both at same time.
So are we seeing the tablet cycle starting in Mar with preview in Jan? Iphone hardware in June. Ipod hardware in sept. All running iphone OS. Makes for buzz all the year round.

@Joe McG
Don’t you know? Everything is a great idea until Apple does it. Haters don’t have to make sense…

Honestly that's straight wack. For real there are many bugs in the iPhone OS right now. I can't see how you can get excited about a preview on what we mght have for June/July? An update is long overdue. There should be something for iPhone users to download after this supposed show for a new device. People get so caught up. I like new devices just like the next person but damn. Honestly with all the time that took away from the iphone with this tablet we probably could have 4.0 now.


@FroZt: What makes devices running Android, WebOS, and Windows Mobile fractured is the multiple hardware configurations created by different OEMs. Independent screen resolution is a different story.

If you had lived anywhere other then the closed Apple ecosystem for the last 25 years you would know that Linux, and Windows excel at multiple different hardware configurations. It seems its only Apple that has this problem.
I've constantly been amazed at Rene bringing this issue up in every pod cast, because he works on windows machines as well as macs and he should know better. This is simply not an issue for any OS any more and hasn't been since DOS days.
Screen resolution is another total non-issue other than for those programmers who designed their applications to specific X-Y sized instead of asking the OS how big the screen is, or simply letting the OS scale it.
All this hype over screen res means only that Apple is coming out with other size screens, either for the iSlate or a new iphone, or both sometime in the future.
That Android runs on many different platforms is a strength, no matter how hard the Podcast crew tries to sell it as a weakness.

Just because I roll my eyes at people who cheer wildly for copy and paste in 2009 doesn't mean I'm a hater. I just don't drink Apple flavored Kool Aid.
Rockin a 3Gs...

Icebike: Used the android market recently? That fragmentation is no strength, it's a nightmare!

@FroZt: I'm the one who asked for a higher res iPhone last year. I've wanted a 480p, WVGA display since before the 3GS came out.
Also, until the Droid, Android had pretty much the same resolution across their line.
webOS is web-based. If you've ever used a browser, it'll show you its fairly resistant to resolution changes if well coded.
I also pointed out the different chips in the 3GS/iPod touch G3 was a fracture point for the iPhone, as is GPS, video, etc.
Android has more potential for fracture due to different input methods and wider range of hardware form factors. The job of the platform is then to abstract away as much as possible and to let things degrade gracefully. The better they can do that, the bigger target they provide for developers, and the higher developer interest becomes. (Making one app you can sell to 50 million is better ROI than having to make 4 versions you can sell to a few million on one device, 10 million on another, etc.)
Likewise, iPhone and webOS have thus far been better at updating users to the latest OS. Android, due to HTC SenseUI, and non-Google devices, has a range from 1.5 to 2.1. It's common for developers to say iPhone OS 3.1.2 required for some camera apps (because they need the APIs). When a large number of users are on that OS, it's not a problem. When only one device is (like DROID), it becomes a problem.
Apologies for letting facts get in the way of your FUD though ;)
@Joe McG: Most things are not good or bad, it's the implementation of the things that matters. If iPhone 4.0 makes resolution independence super easy for developers, that's good. If they mess it up, that's bad. Apple tends to do certain things really well, but we'll see how they do with this.
@Icebike: First, Microsoft works miracles getting Windows to run so well on such disparate hardware. Second, we could go further and say the web is an even larger resolution independent, hardware disparate environment, and lots of apps run great on the web, don't they?
Er... no. It comes down to lowest common denominator, and even iPhone suffers from that. On the web, a lot of us still have to target massive amounts of IE 6 users and Windows programmers have to target massive amounts of XP users, and that absolutely does effect the quality and advancement of software on those platforms. OS X is the same. Many devs were very quick to drop Tiger support and jump on Leopard APIs. But again, Apple is fairly good at moving people to new software versions, and they have a lower target of hardware to support in doing so. Back to the iPhone, we get games that don't leverage the iPhone 3GS and OpenGL 2.0 because developers don't want to leave out the 30 million odd older generation install base, and don't want to bother making 2 versions of the game. (I'd heard Apple was abstracting that away as well, but haven't heard of it actually being done).
Again, it's implementation that matters. The App Store shows Apple is doing something right.
There's no point in arguing if Android is doing it right or not -- just look at Android Market. If devs have an easy time hitting a massive amount of devices, they're doing it right. If they have a hard time or don't hit as many, there's a problem.

"The App Store shows Apple is doing something right."
Like showing 400 apps over and over again whilst hiding the other 99,600 apps?

iPhone OS 4.0 better have multitasking support. In 2010, a non-multitasking smartphone just isn't really acceptable.

Awesome. this is much better than an iTablet post. Love that big blue bg and white font. And a bold statement about how you're just speculating. I hope its awesome so i'll be forced into buying a new iphone to hook up to my itablet. MindController.retrieveMoney(true); while wallet.value > 0;

@Icebike: And let's see the user satisfaction surveys if/when Android hits the mainstream.
It's fine for the geek market, but just as they - year after year - claim "Linux is ready for the desktop", it just never pans out and people dump it quickly.
No doubt the "aura" of the android market is a positive, it's the actual market which is a mess :p

You are making unsubstantiated claims about people dropping desktop linux as justification of dismissing Android? Really?
Most home computer users, and virtually ALL corporate computer users use linux. They never dump it.
They might not know that Linux is the OS on their router but it is.
You might not even Care that Android is Linux and you might not even know what OS runs your phone. Most users don't. The embedded world is not the desktop.
You did read all the way up to the 6th paragraph didn't you? Apple is losing mind share at 4% per month.

Oh Icebike, I'm talking about there desktop/laptop not what embedded OS there toaster runs, be serious!!!
I'm pointing out that the user experience on Android is poor.
Technical users, like those who use Desktop Linux, are totally blind to that. They even dismiss it, and blame the users themselves when it is raised as an issue.
Very similar thing going on with Android at the moment, it's being praised almost ideologically - and being pushed at users, that's it not yet ready for!

It seems that you're spouting a bunch of nonsense. Because a customer satisfaction survey (you know, the one that Rene loves posting about time from time). Android ranked second in "users who were satisfied with their smartphone" slightly losing out to iPhone: 77% to 72%
Also in that same survey, when asked which OS was likely to be on the phone of their purchase, Android garnered 21% right behind Apple's 28% which dropped from 32% just the month before.
So it seems...even with the "dreadful fragmentation", the Linux "curse", and whatever you can think of...Android is still making strides. Still doing good. Still rising.
And honestly, unless iPhone 4.0 WOWS this summer, those numbers will continue to stay the same. Consumers or picky, they don't want what they believe is the same thing. The average consumer buys the iPhone as one of two things. A fashion/icon statement and an iPod on a phone. It's starting to reach the saturation point for the iPod reason (seeing as more and more people are getting fed up with AT&T and iPod Touch offers all plus more minus service and contract). As far as the fashion/icon's hard to make one when it's the same look and feel year after year.


The average consumer buys the iPhone as one of two things. A fashion/icon statement and an iPod on a phone.

Talk about spouting nonsense. :roll:

Support for a folding full size Bluetooth keyboard. I personally would need nothing else in 4.0 but I'm sure they will wow us. I would no longer have a need for a laptop if I had an external full size keyboard and great battery life. Please on the battery life.

In my opinion, I believe that apple is still going to be releasing the iphone but also the little apple os x tablet. However maybe 4.0 software will be on them both just modified. the problem with the iphone is that everything everyone is asking for already exsits via hacking of the iphone. Iphone has been able to send picture messages and tether, multitask, theme and wall paper on homescreens for such a long time. If apple truly wants to eliminate any type of hacking they will need to add in these hacked features that are so highly requested making less and less people need to hack their phones.

I agree. I'm sporting an iPhone 3g 3.1.2 jailbroken. I love it. Especially getting to theme the iPhone. Sorry but looking at the same boring interface an black background an foil dock jus gets old with the open to change the way it looks. Oh an the SMS tones, they r so boring!