10 iPhone OS 4.0 Features That Apple May Announce

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-04-07 Print this article Print

NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple is poised to announce updates to its iPhone OS on April 8. And although Apple has been mum on what it plans to deliver, here is a look at 10 possibilities that may or may not make their way to your iPhone or iPad.

As Apple prepares to deliver iPhone OS 4.0 on April 8, speculation abounds over what the company will show off. Apple, tight-lipped as ever, is unwilling to provide any details on what may or may not find its way into the new iPhone operating system. However, that hasn't stopped the rumor mill. Some Apple watchers believe that Apple will be offering multitasking in its next mobile operating system, while others contend that it will deliver Flash. In any case, it's all a guessing game at this point.

So, that's where we come in. Rather than wait for Apple to tell us what the next iteration of iPhone OS will offer, it might be worth taking a look at what may or may not come to the operating system. There's no guarantee that any of the following 10 items will actually make their way to the software, but based on consumer opinion and obvious issues with the software, it's entirely possible that iPhone OS 4.0 could be a major upgrade.

Let's take a look at some of the features that may or may not find their way to iPhone OS 4.0.

1. Flash

It seems that everywhere you turn, someone is wondering why certain sites, videos and games don't work with the iPhone. It's simple: It doesn't support Flash. I, like many others, have been calling on Apple to bring Flash to iPhone OS for quite some time. But I fully realize that the chances of that happening are slim. By not offering Flash on the iPad, it seems CEO Steve Jobs has made it his personal mission to kill Flash on the Web. That means the standard probably won't be making its way to iPhone OS anytime soon.

2. Multitasking

Multitasking has been one of the most coveted iPhone OS features since the device's launch. Users want to be able to listen to Pandora while they work on another application. It's not asking a lot. Anyone who owns a BlackBerry knows that they can use another app, like Pandora, and check e-mails, surf the Web and more. Realizing that, I think it's almost a sure bet that Apple delivers multitasking on Thursday. It's the most glaring issue with iPhone OS, and it's something that Apple's competition has used as a marketing ploy against it. If Apple can deliver multitasking, it will find more customers.

3. Tethering

Tethering is currently not available to U.S. customers because AT&T is dragging its feet. Well, it's time for that to stop. Look for Jobs to make an announcement that tethering will finally work with iPhone OS 4.0. Granted, it's more of an AT&T fix than an Apple fix, but Jobs is likely to be the person to break that kind of news. And it's becoming increasingly likely that he will.

4. Social networking

Some folks have speculated that social networking will be coming to iPhone OS 4.0. They believe that Apple has realized the value of social networks on mobile platforms. But the chances of that happening seem awfully slim. If Apple makes Facebook or Twitter a default application on the iPhone, it could further damage its relationship with developers that currently rely on users downloading apps to access those services from the iPhone. It's certainly possible that Apple will do that, but it's doubtful that the company will want to get into another tussle with developers.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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