As expected, Apple is going to release 4.0 of the ever-popular iPhone. Most of us have the patience to wait and see what they have to offer. Unfortunately I’m not that sort, so here is my best guess as to what to expect from Apple.
If you follow Apple news and rumors, you’ve likely heard that multitasking is finally coming to the iPhone. The interface will reportedly resemble the Expose feature in Mac OS, with all open programs revealed when the user double-clicks the iPhone’s Home button.
Multitasking always seems to have a place on iPhone OS wish lists, and if the rumors are true, Apple’s finally found a method it’s comfortable with. The rising popularity of multitask-friendly Android phones only makes this feature more likely for the iPhone OS this time around.
Somewhat Likely: Global Mailbox and Home Screen Contacts
According to AppleInsider’s report, pre-release builds of iPhone OS 4.0 show a global inbox that merges multiple e-mail accounts into a unified view, plus the ability to add specific contact names as icons on the iPhone’s home screen.
Definitely Possible: GPS Navigation
With Google adding free, turn-by-turn, voice-guided GPS navigation to its Android phones, and Nokia doing the same for several of its handsets, the pressure’s on Apple to offer something similar.
Apple acquired mapping company Placebase recently, and is looking to put some recent engineering effort into overhauling the iPhone’s Maps app. The stage is set for big changes to iPhone Maps, and hopefully GPS Navigation is among them.
Pure Speculation: E-mail Attachments, Contact and SMS Groups, Rotation Lock
I hate that you can’t attach files within the e-mail app (you can only send them from outside apps), and the inability to create groups for contacts or text messages is a pain. And with the iPad getting its own handy rotation lock switch, it’s time Apple built a solution into the iPhone OS as well. It’s all wishful thinking, but these aren’t impractical or controversial improvements.
iPhone has made a tremendous shift in the way we use mobile communication and it can continue to make serious changes as long as they keep the momentum going strong ahead of everyone else.