Apple Announces the Features of iPhone OS 4.0
Kevin William Grant
Published on
December 31, 2020

Steve Jobs previews iPhone OS 4.0. This report covers the main features of iPhone OS 4.0. Advertising support and multithreading are two of the main advanced features.

Apple has introduced its latest fourth generation iPhone OS. The iPhone 4.0 OS was much awaited and Apple introduced more than 100 features including one high on everyone's wish list, multithreading (running more than one application at the same time).

The new OS will be available only in June 2010. Here’s a list of the major features.


Apple have finally realized the necessity for multitasking on the iPhone. All you have to now do is press the Home button twice and a list of apps running in the background pops up. Then, you can then easily switch between them.


To create folder, press down on an icon until it starts to vibrate, then drag that icon over another icon that you want to group with it. The iPhone 4.0 OS will automatically make a folder containing the two apps; it will even name the folder based on the category of the app. You can also have custom wallpapers on the home screen.


Thew new OS has a “delightful” ebook reader and an iBookstore that allows you to buy a book once and read it across multiple devices. Apple is even throwing in a free iBook of Winnie the Pooh.

Enhanced Mail

In addition to a unified inbox that allows you to merge all of your email accounts into a single inbox, enhanced email also supports the ability to organize email messages by thread and the ability to open email attachments in other apps.

Enterprise Features

Enterprise features include better data protection, mobile device management, wireless app distribution, support for multiple exchange accounts, exchange server 2010, new VPN options and the works.

Game Centre

Apple added an XBOX Live-like experience for the iPhone. You will be able to invite friends to play games, find random players to compete against with Matchmaking, compare performances, and earn street cred with achievements.

iAd Advertising

There is also an iAd i.e. a mobile advertising system that is built into the phone. The iAd system will permit makers of advertisement agencies to create adds straightforwardly to their applications, compete with the emotional effect of television ads. iAd will show full-screen video and entertaining ads without leaving the app. Users can return to their app, where they left off, at any time.

Additional features

Other smaller but significant features include: Support for Bluetooth keyboards, tap to focus for video recording, 5x digital zoom in camera, file and delete mail search results, spell check, sync IMAP notes, search SMS/MMS messages, web search suggestions, birthday calendar and a lot more.

Only the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch (3rd Gen) devices will get all the new features. The iPhone 3G will *not* get multitasking. blahh.

What we didn’t get from iPhone OS 4

  • Mass storage mode: We would’ve liked to see an easier way to just drag and drop files from our computer to the iPhone without having to go through a third-party app.
  • Audio profiles: It would have been nice if the iPhone had different audio profiles for different environments that you could easily switch between.
  • Flash support in Safari: Yeah, this was a pie-in-the-sky wish, but a lot of us out there wanted it.
  • FM radio: Another one that was highly unlikely, but again, we know there are some who want it.
  • Wi-Fi syncing: We would’ve really liked it if we could sync or back up our information on the iPhone over Wi-Fi instead of having to plug in our USB cable.
  • Built-in photo editing: You can get third-party photo editors on the iPhone but it would be nice to have a built-in one as well.
  • Printer support: This is a little more relevant to the iPad, but we also wished iPhone OS 4 would provide some printer driver support, which would be very helpful for printing out documents and notes.
  • Multiple notification bar: On Android, there is a handy pull-down area where you can see all of your recent notifications, like for your new messages or new voicemails. It would be nice to see that on the iPhone as well.