Flashback: iOS 4 Provides Multitasking, FaceTime, and Different Necessary Options


Flashback articles typically concentrate on {hardware} options. For instance, within the story of the iPhone 4, we talked concerning the new Retina show, upgraded cameras, glass and steel sandwich builds, and extra. However software program will be simply as essential as {hardware}, if no more.

The iPhone 4 launched with iOS 4, which added FaceTime video calling to Apple’s first front-facing digicam. Nonetheless, the launch of iOS 4 additionally meant loads to homeowners of older iPhones, because it made their units significantly better. In actual fact, iOS 4 could also be one of the vital important releases for the platform.

Flashback: iOS 4 Adds Multitasking, FaceTime, and Other Important Features

First, now we have to handle the identify. The unique software program was referred to as iPhone OS as a result of that is all. Nonetheless, months after the unique iPhone, Apple launched the iPod. Then got here the iPad in 2010. So the software program was renamed to iOS to cowl all iDevices powered by it (Apple rolled this out just a few years in the past and now now we have iPadOS, tvOS, and many others.).

Second, the introduction of multitasking was the largest change to the platform for the reason that introduction of the iPhone OS to the App Retailer. In fact, the way in which iOS 4 did it wasn’t true multitasking. While you step away from an app, its execution will cease. The state of the app will likely be saved in order that it may be restored whenever you come again, nonetheless, the app couldn’t do something within the background.

There have been exceptions – some apps had been allowed to carry out sure capabilities. For instance, iPod (the native music participant app) and Pandora can proceed to play even when they’re small. Different permitted background actions embody Web telephony and satellite tv for pc navigation.

multitasking interface
kill some apps
ipod control
Portrait Orientation Lock/Unlock

Multitasking Interface • Killing sure apps • iPod controls • Portrait orientation lock/unlock

It supplied a reasonably stable reproduction of true multitasking – many apps simply sit idle whereas ready for person enter, which does not come on when the app is not on the display, so it may be paused as effectively. Nonetheless, apps like Navigon’s MobileNavigator could proceed to supply driving instructions even when the app is not activated, for instance since you acquired a telephone name.

Multitasking was accessible on the then-new iPhone 4, essentially the most highly effective Apple telephone ever, with a 1.0GHz Cortex-A8 CPU (ARMv7) and 512MB of RAM. It was additionally succesful on the older iPhone 3GS (600MHz A8, 256MB RAM), however not on the older fashions as that they had an ARMv6 CPU and simply 128MB of RAM.

Apple’s quickly rising App Retailer already had a number of hits that permeated popular culture. keep in mind indignant birds, Doodle Soar, fruit Ninja, minimize the rope and others? However the place to place all these apps? Older iOS variations restricted customers to 180 shortcuts on the display.

The answer was apparent – folders. It raised the restrict to 2,160 apps. The variety of objects on the homescreen remained the identical, 180, however every folder might have as much as 12 icons (although no sub-folders). Newly created folders will routinely get a reputation primarily based on the apps you place in (you may manually change the identify later).

a homescreen folder
open a folder
edit a folder
edit a folder

Homescreen Folders • Opening Folders • Enhancing Folders

“Wait, could not it do that earlier than?” One other new function in Class Wallpapers. Sure, wallpaper. There have been 27 pre-installed wallpapers to select from, you may even use your individual picture, or Retina Show as Apple stated. Lock display and homescreen can even have completely different photos. Sorry iPhone 3G homeowners, your telephone is simply too gradual and the wallpapers make the scrolling animation too fickle – no wallpaper for you.

choose an image
for lock screen or homescreen
custom pictures

Wallpaper! • Select a picture for the lock display or homescreen • Customized image

However iOS 4 was not spectacular due to the wallpaper. All iPhones till 4 had the identical fundamental show configuration – 3.5″ with 320 x 480 px decision. The iPhone 4 quadrupled the pixels to 640 x 960 px, making a a lot sharper picture. Facet ratio at 3:2 remained, nevertheless it laid the groundwork for diversifying and enhancing shows on Apple units (the iPhone 5 will carry a taller 16:9 display in 2012).

Flashback: iOS 4 Adds Multitasking, FaceTime, and Other Important Features

We additionally talked about FaceTime. It was offered as a $0.99 app on the App Retailer – Apple wished to supply it at no cost, however bumped into some authorized hurdles. Initially it labored solely on Wi-Fi, however after a yr operation on 3G was enabled. FaceTime was joined in 2011 by iMessage—two Apple-exclusive communication channels—the 2 tallest partitions in its walled backyard (“the inexperienced bubble” is a blur).

Flashback: iOS 4 Adds Multitasking, FaceTime, and Other Important Features

iOS 4 additionally improved search. Highlight can now begin an internet search (utilizing your chosen search engine or Wikipedia), you may Google, Yahoo! and Bing as your default engine.

Spotlight can send web searches to Safari
Choosing a Default Search Engine

Highlight can ship internet searches to Safari • Selecting a default search engine

Apple now has a fame as one of the vital privacy-conscious corporations. iOS 4 was a step in the direction of that fame because it launched person controls to permit/prohibit location companies for particular person apps.

Which apps should be allowed to track your location?

Which apps ought to be allowed to trace your location?

iOS 4 went a great distance towards making the iPad the productiveness instrument that Steve Jobs wished. It launched Bluetooth keyboard assist with a barely completely different structure. It did not take lengthy for keyboard instances for the iPad to hit the market.

Setting the Layout for a Bluetooth Keyboard

Setting the Structure for a Bluetooth Keyboard

If you wish to be taught extra about iOS 4 from a 2010 perspective, take a look at our modern evaluate (carried out on the iPhone 3GS).


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