No new iPhone hardware today, folks. This is about software. Any new iPhone would come at WWDC in June.

This is Simon Nicol reporting LIVE from CNET.com on the latest iPhone OS 4.0 updates. In the studio audience is Josh Lowensohn and KentGerman of CNET.com, many thanks to them for relaying the feed.

Well there were no new hardware announcments from Apple today – this is a software only presentation. On stage were Steve Jobs flanked by …. and …. head of marketing at Apple.

Steve Jobs announced that there would be 100 new features added to the iPhone but had time to only cover only 7 of them (presumably the most important), however of those features there are quite a number exciting new features…

Mutli tasking

was pretty much top of Steve Jobs’ list saying it’s easy to implement, and has been done in a way that won’t slow down whatever app you’re using – However it didn’t transpire until the very end of the presentation during the Q&A session that multi-tasking along with an undisclosed number of other features would not be available fortheĀ  older phones like the iPhone 3G and the iPod second gen due to a lack of processor power, which is a bit dissapointing.

If you want to get your hands on the new OS 4.0 you need to be a registered developer with Apple (for a small fee of about $200) Otherwise regular consumers will have to wait until Autumn (fall).

Jobs: “We weren’t the first to this party, but we’re going to be the best.”

100 new user features.

Among features that were glossed over but worth a mention are – The ability to create playlists, 5x digital zoom in camera, Bluetooth keyboards, spell check, gift apps, Tap to focus video, Places in Photos, Home screen wallpaper, file & delete mail search results, web search from sugestions,Larger fonts for Mail, SMS & Alerts, Rotate photos, Sync IMAP notes, iPod out and a Wake on wireless feature.

Demo time: Jobs opening up a link in Mail, which opens up Safari. Page loaded, but Jobs says he wants to go back to his mail. Now usersĀ  can double-click the home button and a window pops up at the bottom of the screen with whatever apps you have open.

Apps keep track of where you were and can start right back up again. Just demoed it with Tap Tap Revenge, which implemented a count-down timer to give Jobs a few seconds to get ready to play.

Looks like it supports quite a few apps at once. Can see four at a time on the bottom though.

Apple iPhone OS 4.0 preview event

Jobs showed it working with 12 apps at once. There could be a hard limit though.

When you go back to an app you’ll return to the exact place you left. Also demonstrating the new custom wallpaper at the same time.

Apps keep track of where you were and can start right back up again. Just demoed it with Tap Tap Revenge, which implemented a count-down timer to give Jobs a few seconds to get ready to play.

Scott Forstall, senior VP of iPhone Software up on stage now explaining how multitasking was done. “We looked at the 10s of thousands of apps, and distilled down the services that these apps need to work in the background. Then we implemented these services ourselves in a way that preserves performance.”

So these “services” devs were using are now Apple-provided APIs. Forstall says there are seven big ones. Background audio is a very welcome

1. Audio APIs, used big time on Pandora, which Forstall says can now run in the background while you switch between apps. The iPod controls which work with a double tap of the home button, now work for Pandora too.

Tim Westergren of Pandora now up giving a demo of how it works.

Kent I’m assuming by background audio you mean not only ipod audio but other online streaming radio sources?20,000 users a day added to the iPhone version of Pandora. Westergren says it only took a day to get the new background prYou can use the controls for Pandora on the iPhone lock screen.ocessing working with the Pandora app.

Next service: Voice over IP

Forstall says 1 out of every 9 international calls are connected by Skype. And now, when users are on Skype, the phone calls will keep going even when you’re using other apps.AT&T just killed themselves.David Ponsford of Skype now up on stage giving a demo of it running. Says the service has amassed more than half a billion registered users.

Incoming call invites come in as a standard iPhone/iPod notification. Clicking the answer button just brings that app back.

Gamers are rejoicing more.We’re seeing how you’ll be able to play a game and receive calls via Skype.In-call VoIP functionality similar to how standard phone calls work, with a pulsing bar at the top of the phone to bring you back.Send Skype to the background, but remain on the call while you use another App like Yelp.

Next service: Background location. Forstall says there are 2 classes of applications–things like turn by turn directions (TomTom, Garmin, et al) and social networking applications like Loopt.

Demoing this working with listening to music and getting GPS directions at the same time.

And, this is the challenge for Windows Phone. Their, essentially v1 product is coming this holidays with minimal multitasking, no copy/paste. Apple is outlining a list of things they won’t be able to match.

Forstall says Apple is using cell towers to make this GPS work without using a ton of power. Can be used to “wake up the application” to send location status updates.

Forstall says privacy has been updated with this. There’s now an indicator on the status bar to let you know if an app is using your location (kind of like the little satellite logo in Android)

Users can also enable or disable location by app in the settings menu. Apple is including a little arrow on the location services menu that will let you know if that particular app has used location within the last 24 hours.

Cell tower triangulation — not always that accurate, but not a bad first step

Next API: Push notifications. Forstall says 10 billion push notifications have been sent so far.

Next iteration of this is “local notifications.” Now apps can push out notifications without having to go through Apple’s servers.

Like the location icon on the status bar, but I’m hoping to see a multi-notifications bar like we get on Android.

The “local notifications” thing sounds like doing what the calendar app already does, using data on the phone to create notifications

There’s also a new “task completion” API that will let apps alert the user when it’s done with something. Forstall showed this being used with a Flickr app uploading pics. It then pops up an alert when the app is done, even if you’re off doing something else on your phone.

Last API is “fast app switching” which lets apps essentially hibernate to not use CPU, then wake up when you hop back to them. “Everything has been preserved” Forstall says.

Jobs back up now. Announcing “folders,” a solution for flicking between pages of apps on the phone.

Jobs calls the implementation “beautiful.” The new way to do this is to place your finger on an app until it jiggles. Then you drag one app on top of another and it instantly makes a folder. The icon changes to show you a small preview of all the apps that are in there.

When you tap on the folder it expands to show you the apps.

“You can have as many folders as you like,” Jobs says.

Folders can be placed in the dock, just like any other app icon.

Jobs now showing off how to change a wallpaper. Users can set it to be the background wallpaper, the lock screen–or both.

180 app limit, now “2,160”

New stuff:
-Unified inbox (all your various accounts in one inbox)
-More than one Exchange account
-Fast inbox switching (to still switch between accounts in the new unified mailbox)
-Organize by thread. Groups together messages by date.
-The capability to open attachments with whatever app you have installed on your machine.

New features for enterprise users.

Forstall says 80 percent of fortune 100 companies are using iPhones.

-Better data protection. Encrypt all your e-mail, including attachments with PIN codes.
-Mobile device management. Letting IT managers deploy iPhones and manage them remotely.
-Wireless app distribution. Companies can push out custom apps over the air instead of relying on an iTunes sync.

-Support for multiple Exchange accounts
-Support for Exchange server 2010
-SSL VPN support from Juniper and Cisco.

Jobs says ads are easy on the desktop b/c of search. But people are spending all their time within apps. “This is where the opportunity to deliver advertising is,” Jobs says.Jobs says Apple wants to help developers make money off their creations, but says that “most of this mobile advertising really sucks, and we thought we might be able to make some contributions.”iad… advertisments on a device i already paid for…
iAds: A good way for developers to get paid, or an annoyance?
I’m in favor of developers making money
( 37% )

Hate ads! Hate!

( 63% )

iBooks coming to iPhone/iPod. Just looks like a smaller version of its iPad sibling.

Books can be read on any devices. Apple is also syncing what page you’re on between all those devices (as Amazon does).

Winnie the Pooh is getting bundled in as a free book.

New platform called “iAd,” Jobs says it’s mobile advertising that’s built into OS 4.0.

This might reduce the price of apps. Perhaps more high quality free apps?

iAd ads keep you in the app.

Jobs said it was annoying for people to click on an in-app ad b/c it would take them out of whatever they were doing. Jobs: “oh, and one more thing. a network that allows you to complete calls. (Loud Applause). Introducing iPhone 4 for Verizon Wireless! (Thunderous Applause)”

Devs can add iAd in their apps for a 60% split of the revenues. All the sales and inventory are handled by Apple.

iSPAM

Now the dilemma for iPhone 3G owners: do you buy the 3GS to get multitasking or wait for something in June? Fortunately, WWDC should answer that for you.

Q&A starting now. Jobs sandwiched between Scott Forstall and Phil Schiller VP of Marketing for Apple.

First question is about data usage, and whether multiple apps running will mean hindrance on AT&T’s network.

Jobs says there’s nothing to say it will break things, but that video uses the most data. “You’re not going to be watching a video that runs in the background.”

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