Elance Blog

iPhone OS 4.0 Brings Multitasking and More

Since the summer of ‘07, consumers have fallen in love with the iPhone, iPod touch, and most recently, the tablet device known as the iPad. However, nearly all users of the devices have complained in unison about one missing feature spanning all three devices – multitasking.

Today, the Cupertino electronics giant announced the highly-anticipated iPhone OS 4, which brings multitasking, folders, and a newly redesigned email inbox to the iPhone 3GS, iPad, and third generation iPod touch.

The new unified email inbox offers multiple Exchange accounts, fast inbox switching, threaded message view, and the ability to open attachments directly from email, while folders allow you to neatly organize your hundreds (or now thousands) of apps into collapsible folder icon. Also joining the ring is Apple's iAd, an ad platform for developers to earn revenue to help "free apps stay free." These are all welcome additions to the operating system, but multitasking is clearly the killer feature of the day.

While Apple’s multitasking implementation isn’t “true” (due to the amount of resources true multitasking requires), the seven APIs that are now available for applications to utilize have the potential to increase the functionality of many existing applications. The seven APIs include background audio, Voice over IP, background location, push notifications, local notifications, task completion, and fast app switching. This allows applications like “Pandora” or “Skype” to operate as you original intended – you’ll be able to hear your Pandora stream and browse the web without any interruptions.


Now that the SDK is available (find the 4.0 SDK beta here), it’s clear that there will be an increased demand for skilled iPhone developers as app creators will be looking to tap into these new found resources for new app concepts as well as beefing up existing apps, although the scale of its effect on the development world is left to be determined. We’ve already seen a huge increase in demand for iPhone and iPad related skills throughout Q1 with the insane buzz surrounding the iPad. Now that OS 4.0 addresses one of the biggest concerns of skeptical anti-iPhoners, I don’t imagine the momentum will be dying down anytime soon.

Elancers, what do you think? Do you think the iPhone 4.0 OS has what it takes to take the iPad, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch to the next level? Does it quench your multitasking thirst? Will it drive app development demand to unprecedented heights? Let me know what you think.

Elance - iPhone Experts
Elance - iPad Experts
PC Magazine - Apple Adds Multitasking, iAd Platform to iPhone OS 4
Apple - iPhone Dev Center