Apple’s iOS4 Came Today, Here’s What’s New

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At an indeterminate time today that describes only as “soon” iOS4, the new OS for iPhones and iPod Touches, will become available for download. Let us remind you why it’s worth the upgrade, aside from the fact that it’s, you know, free. Not to say it’s perfect, but it brings some much-needed improvements.

Multitasking is most likely the biggest change. Users can now run multiple apps at the same time, running Pandora while you check your mail, for instance, or any other combination you choose. There are several other uses for this tech besides just listening to music while you do other things, and the main breakthrough here is that you can multitask all these apps without draining the battery insanely quickly.

Update: iOS 4 is now available for download on iTunes. You will need to upgrade iTunes to 9.2, however.

Another great step forward is folders, which work simply to let you organize all the apps on your home screen into a far more manageable system. You can put as many objects in a folder as you want, and move those folders anywhere on the home screen as though they were any other app. And while iOS will automatically name the folder based on the type of app in it, you can obviously rename it whatever you like.

A few other key improvements: Mail now works more like it does on your computer. You can view all e-mails from one conversation in a single thread and perform actions on the entire conversation at once. Also, you can now, with multitasking, attach items and then open them using another app without having to close your mailbox, and your mailbox can handle multiple accounts. There’s improved networking for enterprise, and company-developed apps can be downloading without going through the app store. And finally, wallpaper. Pretty.

Unfortunately, not all features will work with all generations of hardware, so some of you may miss out on the fun unless you go buy some new Apple products. Also, you still won’t be seeing Flash around any time soon.

This upgrade also paves the way for the soon-to-be-introduces iAds, which look surprisingly fun for just being product placement in your apps. Also, there’s allegedly some sort of gaming hub with leaderboards and stats to be coming soon, interfacing probably exclusively with iOS4.

Well, that’s the quickest, dirtiest possible way we could bring you the arguments for and against upgrading to iOS4. Happy downloading.

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