The Highlights Of iPhone OS 4.0: Multi-tasking, A New Mobile Ad Network, More

Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) is announcing today the latest version of the iPhone operating system, which will come with at least 100 new features, like five times zoom in the camera. But Steve Jobs says there’s seven major updates coming today. Here’s the list in real-time:

1. Multi-tasking: This is the big one that everyone has been waiting for: Apple is enabling multi-tasking. It allows people to flip between different applications at once and allows them to run in the background. Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs said: “We weren’t the first to this, but we will be the best…just like cut and paste.” To access other applications running in the background, hit the home button twice, and a small scroll bar appears at the bottom, displaying all of the applications that are running, like mail, the browser and a game. This feature won’t be available for iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2nd gen, as well as older models of each device, as their hardware isn’t able to support it. Several tasks are now enabled with multi-tasking:

— Background audio: this enables services, like Pandora, to run while users browse the web, or go into iTunes to buy a song they like.
— VoIP: This enables you to receive Skype calls when the applications is closed.
— Other background services revolved around location, push/local notifications, task completion and fast-app switching.

2. Folders: People currently have to flick from page to page to find all the apps they are downloading. Now, people can store a few apps within a folder.

3. Unified Inbox: Now users can access all their own email accounts in one mail client, including multiple exchange accounts. You can now open attachments using an app from the app store.

4. iBooks: They are making the iPad bookstore available on the iPhone. You can buy on either one, and read on the iPad or iPhone.

5. Data protection: Now there’s better encryption in email, including attachments. Mobile device management, and wireless app distribution (no longer do employees have to plugin to iTunes to get enterprise apps.).

6. Gaming preview: There’s more than 50,000 games on the iPhone. Apple is adding a social gaming network, so you can play with your friends, or match-making (so you can play with strangers).

7. iAd: Apple’s new mobile advertising network. Jobs: “We think most of the mobile advertising really sucks. We thought we might be able to make some contributions. This way you can keep your free apps free.” With this unveiling, Apple directly targets Google (NSDQ: GOOG). Jobs said people aren’t searching on their phone, they are using apps. iAd is in the OS itself. “We have figured out how to do interactive and video content without ever taking you out of the app. People will be a lot more interested in clicking on these, because they don’t have to find their way back to the app.” Apple is going to sell and host the ads, and developers will get a 60 percent split.

Video of the presentation (in Quicktime).