Some time has passed since Apple unveiled the future of the iPhone OS. The blogging/developer community has had some time for additional details to emerge after developers who have installed and then combed through the revised OS like a junkie looking for their next fix. I refer to some of the users as addicts for a reason, and that is because that is how some of them act. (I have been known to, and am willing to admit to, having drank the kool-aid myself a time or two.). What Apple announced last Thursday was far from ground breaking in the overall mobile OS landscape, some would say that they are just playing catch up with other mobile platforms, and that these features should have been there from day one. I can’t and won’t disagree with those statements, in fact the lack of these features is one of the main reasons I ditched my iPhone 3G and went back to my beloved BlackBerry almost 2 years ago.
There were “7 tent poles” announced for OS 4.0 and they were; multitasking, folders, Mail enhancements (unified mailboxes, multiple exchange accounts, threaded messages), iBooks, increased enterprise support, game center social network, and iAd advertising platform.
Now let’s take the multitasking, folders, Mail enhancements, and enterprise support. These are all features that have been around on various mobile platforms for quite some time, there is nothing groundbreaking about these features at all. There was no excitement from me about these features, and there won’t be. Apple does a pretty good job, when it comes to the iPhone, of listening to its customers and giving them what they ask for even if it takes them some time. That is one thing I have to give Apple credit for, the fact that they listen to their users….eventually. At first, they try to convince their users that they don’t need the requested feature, that the way Apple says to do it is the best. There is a great blog post on Dotsix Blog detailing all of the “lies” and times Apple has tried to convince users their methods are right. In the end, Apple gives its users what they want. As for the remaining tent poles, only time will tell how well those play out. There was a brief overview of the game center which has potential, the iAds platform didn’t impress me that much, and iBooks was a given after it was launched on the iPad.
What does excite me about iPhone OS 4.0 would be the details of the OS that they have not officially announced. Developers have had their hands on the OS since last Thursday and have found a treasure trove of new features, including having all but confirmed that the next gen iPhone will have some sort of video chat. Who knows what else Apple has up their sleeve, they always seem to pull something out of their hat that changes the way the average consumer looks at their mobile phone.
Do these new features make me want to go out and get an iPhone? You bet. iPhone OS 4.0, in my eyes, is finally on the same playing field as a BlackBerry or Android device. Does that mean I am going to rush out and get a 3GS, doubtful. I want to see what the next gen iPhone has to offer, and more importantly if AT&T is going to lose its exclusivity. I am glad Apple stepped up and brought features to their platform that should have been there from day one. iPhone OS 4.0 will go over great with both die hards and new users alike, it has a lot to offer and looks to implement it well. But guys, try not to claim it is the best OS ever and that they changed the mobile game again, cause they didn’t, they merely caught up.