Steve Jobs just shared with the world what is coming with the latest iPhone OS version 4.0. In a media presentation lasting about 1 hour, a couple of the simply amazing features were demonstrated by Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall. Really amazing features like, ahem, being able to set a wallpaper for your home screen. Yes, for the first time ever, iPhone users will soon be able to customize the background of their home screen. I’m sure they will spend countless hours deciding which denim texture to adorn their iPhone screen with. Steve Jobs took no less than 90 seconds to show how wallpapers are selected in his demonstration.
It just simply amazes me how such yester-year’s features can be passed off as “new” and still inspire so much excitement. Wallpaper. Can you imagine that, wallpaper being a new feature? Not now, but soon?
What else is new? Folders. Folders so you can organize your apps. So instead of organizing your 180 apps into a bunch of screens, you could now have 2000 apps in screens and folders. Wah.
Then, finally, the iPhone will multitask. Yeah, finally. But wait a minute. It’s not quite what you’d think multitasking is. What happens is that the iPhone OS will expose a set of services to perform background operations. It’s still not as if the apps can do any arbitrary thing they like in the background. It sounds like an evolution of the Apple Push Notification that was released last year. In fact, it really seems like that, because now there is local notifications… which doesn’t need a central Apple server to push notifications to the phone.
The one thing that looked interesting to me is iAds. It’s not what ‘d consider revolutionary. But it is an improvement in how mobile advertising can work within mobile applications. There’s no Flash involved but just plain HTML5, a point Steve Jobs stressed a couple of times, and it is quite impressive what HTML5 is capable of delivering. You should zoom in to this part of Steve Jobs’s presentation.