The addition of multitasking to iPhone OS 4.0 may be the feature most people are excited about, but it's not the only thing Apple CEO Steve Jobs decided to unveil on stage today.
iPhone OS 4.0 will also introduce the concept of Folders, allowing users to sort and categorize the potentially hundreds of applications currently filling up home screen after home screen on their iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Folders act like the Stacks feature in OS X. Each Folder is created by simply holding down on a single application and stacking them on top of each other. The device will attempt to automatically categorize them by application type (i.e. games), but users are free to change the naming on their own (for example: first-person shooter games). This should clean up some home screens!
Folders can appear on the home screen or be dragged onto the interace dock. The added customization of folders has also lifted the application limit from 180 to 2,160. That's, uh, a lot. I don't have that many!
Enhanced Mail is something iPhone and iPod Touch users have been waiting ages for.
iPad owners have been given a glimpse at what an improved version of the Mail application is like, but iPhone OS 4.0 introduces some major, long-needed changes to the service. For one, a unified inbox. Most users have a work and personal e-mail linked to their device and now the interface supports a single inbox, including threading e-mails, rather than having them separate. You can also switch between inboxes quickly, open attachments via outside applications and, if you need it, add multiple Exchange-based accounts onto one device.
The addition of iBooks is about what you'd expect: a smaller version of iBooks for iPhone and iPod Touch. Nothing too flashy there, but most agree Apple needs a much larger selection of books.
Today's demos were shown on an iPhone, but the features should come to iPad and iPod Touch, too.