OK, so what do we have here? iPhone 4.0 is now official, will arrive this summer. It will bring much of the things we all wanted and knew it will bring, and probably a new hardware as well.
Here are the key enhancements we've collected:
Email improvements: multiple email accounts, ability to open attachments with specific application. An obvious thing to add considering the competition…
Obvious Enterprise relates enhancements: mobile device management, wireless ad-hoc app distribution, and SSL VPN support. I'm saying obvious, because whether Apple planned it or not, their baby is getting some enterprise love but was not optimized for it, now with the latest enhancements there are no more excuses.
Folders: Ha! I had this working (hack) a year ago!
Folders help users better organize and quickly access their apps. Simply drag one app icon onto another, and a new folder is automatically created. The folder is automatically given a name based on the App Store category of that app, such as "Games," which the user can easily rename. Using folders, users can now organize and access over 2,000 apps on their iPhone.
5x digital zoom: Probably means a better camera is coming over with iPhone 4.0, nice improvement.
Game Center: Hey, can it be that Microsoft has yet again missed the train with this one? Apple now has its very own hodgepodge clone of Xbox Live and the Playstation Network. Game Center offers services like: leaderboards, game achievements, and the ability to make and keep tabs on friends. Not sure I will ever use it, but it's there.
iAd: Google, meet your enemy; Apple. Apple, this is Google, your arch-fiend. Apple will be paying 60% of the ads income to the developers. That's a LOT.
The iAd seems to be an interesting concept, probably the biggest item in this list: The theory here is that instead of relying on links to external websites, which pull users out of apps whenever they tap on an ad, developers can use Apple's new tools to keep people in the app while still showing them advertising—sort of like popover browser windows. You can watch videos, play games, and even buy apps from within these ads. This is in the iPhone OS 4 developer tools, but it's not explicitly a part of OS 4, so you won't see apps with iAds until later this year. Full details here.
Obvious Multi-tasking: well well well, we finally got to the biggest enhancement. The thing that was lacking in any previous iPhone version. We feel the implementation is pretty elegant in terms of the user experience, but since all the poor developers now must implement it in their apps, we feel a slight disappointment. The fact that it will only be supported from iPhone 3GS does not make it better of course…
Fast app switching: All apps can now be frozen, in full, so that when you reopen them, they're restored to exactly the state they were in when they were closed.
Switching between apps will be simple, using double click on the home button.
Bottom line: no innovation this time, just some basic things missing from the original version of the iPhone.
If you ask my opinion – iPhone still leads the smartphones way, but, gaps are being closed. Apple needs to find something new to innovate with. Most of the list above are things that exist in other platforms.
On the other hand, all the other platforms are simply not iPhone.