Apple is set to release one of the most anticipated and useful updates of the iPhone’s existence in June, along with a major mobile operating system update; iPhone OS 4.0. Multitasking is set to be included in the latest software update, filling what was seen as a gaping hole in the benefits list of the iPhone specs.
The iPhone is one of few smart-phones which has not enabled multitasking, which is seen by most as a serious downfall when going to consider a new phone. Mostly, however, the cult of Apple and the handsets’ momentum in sales has kept this from being too serious an issue for first time consumers or the company in general.
It has puzzled many as to why Apple has released the iPhone without multitasking in the first place, when it’s models are more then capable of allowing for this feature, and so many competitors allow for it as standard.
Some sources have explained that while low intensity programs like the iPod app, are able to run alongside another program; other apps are far more battery intensive and would drain the battery to a fraction of what it normally would last, which is small as it is.
Another concern from Apple is that of security; many consumers now do their banking, shopping, and personal bits and bobs through various iPhone apps, the potential for malicious hackers to sneak in through backdoors in less secure apps, or even apps themselves being created with suspicious intent which can be running at the same time is worrying. It’s understandable in this context how Apple are quite hesitant to allow multitasking, given the potential trouble for them which could arise.
The announcement of this update comes as a new iPhone is also rumoured, with forum sites going a-frenzy, telling you not to buy an iPhone until the Apple date in June, along with the possibility of some updates to the MacBook line, and various other lines, the general tone is; “if you’re looking to buy a new Mac, DON’T, not until June anyway.”
iPhone OS 4.0 might be an update to bridge the gap between any features which the iPad probably will have, which the iPhone does not, such as multitasking. A big fear for many was that the iPad would be unable to multitask, however it seems that it will allow users to do so.
Whether this functionality will be appearing straight away in the first iPad release, or in a software update, alongside the new iPhone releases in June is yet to be seen. Either way, there’s only a few weeks in the difference, and it gives users plenty of time to get to grips with the new devices.
And plenty of time will be needed, with 120,000 pre-orders made (including mine) in the first day, there are plenty of people going to be breaking in their favourite newspapers and magazines. Although high, the amount of pre-orders for the iPad, is no where near as high as the iPhone was, but it is believed that people are holding out for the WiFi + 3G version, rather than the solely WiFi version.
On that note, it does look like Ireland won’t be seeing the iPad released until at least late June or July, along with the UK, it seems that iBooks, Apple’s ebook and newspaper store won’t be available outside the US either until around the same time.
Still no news on which carrier will be looking after 3G yet in Ireland or the US, it looks like Apple might be staying out of this one, with a note on their site reading;
“3G data plan sold separately.”
This delay is believed to be due to copyright issues with European publishers and magazines, for which talks appear to be already underway. Another reason which has been put forward is production problems, which both Apple and their manufacturers quickly denied.
This year is proving to be an interesting year for Apple; lawsuits, online mud slinging, world dominance, a whole new range of ‘iKillers’, 2010 is hotting up already. Whatever happens, we’ll be seeing multitasking on our iPhones, and our iPads will still be opening up a new world of print media, just depends on how long we have to wait.