Tuesday, 22 June 2010

iOS4 - Review

My iPhone
Yes it needs a charge.
It took a while to download last night... just the three hours including installation, but today I've had a chance to have a full play with the new iPhone operating system (iOS4).  And what fun that has been!

Essentially it's a taster of the new iPhone 4G but it's given the 3GS a new lease of life with some, admittedly, long called for additions.

The two most important of those are multi-tasking and folders.  Multi-tasking will, eventually (as the apps catch up), allow users to flip between different apps.  Safari and twitter apps are already working nicely, they effectively freeze as you jump between them with a swift double tap of the home button.  Hopefully we'll see more and more apps take advantage of this feature, being able to pause Angry Birds, for example and leap to twitter, then jump back to the game post tweet could be very cool.

Folders
Folders allows you to place up to 12 apps in to one home.  Simply drag one on top of the other and the iPhone will have its best guess at the name you want for it (although you can edit).  It works very well, I've created 10 folders, just leaving 12 frequently used apps on the first home screen along with eight main folders.  The whole thing just feels easier to use and that process probably took 10 minutes.

There are other new features, the new spell checkers is glorious for someone like me and the new iBooks App is a welcome addition to Apple's cannon, almost mirroring the iPad equivalent in terms of usability.  There's better syncing for calenders, Google Calenders now working perfectly with the iPhone's out of the box app.

The new background function, which allows you to put what ever you like on the home screen is frivolous but pretty and gives every users phone a unique look.  And that's the great thing about the iPhone generally for me.  We all have our favourite apps and we'll all have a different way of organising our home screens.  Now there's even more ways to individualise them.

iPhone 4G looms on the horizon but for those of us whose long term contracts don't expire for an age Apples free update is a welcome chance to sample most of the new features the new phone is going to get.