I Want My, I Want My iPhone OS 4


Apple is holding a media event at 10am Pacific time on Thursday, April 6 to discuss the latest release of its mobile OS, which presages new iPhone hardware likely to be released this summer. We’ll know soon enough what it will include, but that won’t stop me from making my own wishlist for what we’ll see on Thursday. Here are a few items on that list:

  • Speed: Yes, I’m well aware that the “S” in iPhone 3GS is for speed. But I can’t help compare even the iPhone 3GS to the iPad for sheer perceived speed of the user interface. The iPad is powered by Apple’s own A4 chip, which accounts for much of the performance improvements, but I’m also hopeful that the OS has been optimized even further in ways that will be come apparent on Thursday.
  • Multitasking: I’ve said before that I think multitasking is overrated, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want it. Support at some level for 3rd-party multitasking would be a great feature to have for certain apps, like Pandora, which I could then listen to in the background while browsing the web or checking email.
  • AppSwitching: I often switch from one app to another, then switch right back. For example, I might be on a phone call, and need to check my calendar, then return to the phone app. It would be nice if there was a more elegant solution for moving among apps than clicking home, finding the app on one of several screens and launching it. A particular gesture or multiple presses of the home button could activate an app switcher of some sort, like command-tab on the Mac, but for recent, favorite or most-used apps.
  • Consolidated Inbox: If you’re at all like me, you’ve got several email accounts. Switching between the Inboxes of these accounts is tedious at best. Having a single inbox for all your accounts, as with Mail.app on Mac OS X, would be a huge productivity boost for anyone with several accounts.

Of course, these are all software-related wishlist items. There’s a slew of potential hardware news to come, such as an A4 chip, high-definition video, and a higher resolution display, all of which seem likely based on the iPad, Android devices and other mobile products. One day and counting: we’ll know soon enough. What changes to the software do you expect for iPhone OS 4.0?

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