Live Blog: Apple's iPhone OS 4.0 announcement

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It’s that time again, folks. The day that is looked upon with excitement by fan boys and cynics alike: it’s an Apple announcement day.

Apple has already made it perfectly clear that today’s announcement will bring details about iPhone OS 4.0 – but what ever will they be? Will it multitask? Will there be interface overhauls? Will this new OS singlehandedly eliminate world hunger, disease, and flash floods?

We’re in Cupertino to find out – join us after the jump for a constant stream of updates from our live blog.


The event begins at 10 A.M. Pacific. We will be fielding questions and providing commentary/image from the Apple campus in the time leading up to the event. If you’re just looking for the main event, tune in at 10 A.M. sharp.

  • 9:50 AMGregKumparak They’re telling peopleP that they wont be allowed to take pictures whilst also holding a laptop due to space issues. That’s not going to go over very well.
  • 9:59 AMGregKumparak Phew! I think we’re back up
  • 10:00 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:01 AMGregKumparak Our live blogging system just crumbled under the weight of many thousands of people try to refresh repeatedly. We’re switching to manual mode for the time being, please follow along below. We’ll switch back to automatic mode if the system restores itself.
  • 10:02 AMGregKumparak We’ve just been seated
  • 10:03 AMGregKumparak The lights are dimming, Jobs has entered.
  • 10:04 AMGregKumparak We’ve got something to share today that we’re very excited about. That’s iPhone OS 4. But before that: something we just shipped recently: the iPad.
  • 10:05 AMGregKumparak He’s quoting some of the iPad reviews. Hes quoted Walt Mossberg and Ed Baig so far.
  • 10:05 AMGregKumparak They sold 350,000 iPads on launch day, and 450,000 total so far
  • 10:07 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:08 AMGregKumparak 250,000 iBooks on day one. 600,000 iBooks downloaded since. 3.5 million apps downloaded so far
  • 10:09 AMGregKumparak Are we back?
  • 10:09 AMGregKumparak And we’re back!
  • 10:09 AMGregKumparak Please refresh if you missed anything, but we’ll resume here for as long as possible
  • 10:10 AMGregKumparak We’re moving onto the iPhone
  • 10:11 AMGregKumparak Please refresh if you missed anything, but we’ll resume here for as long as possible
  • 10:11 AMGregKumparak We’re moving onto the iPhone
  • 10:11 AMGregKumparak 50 million iPhones sold so far, 85 million iPhones and iPod touches
  • 10:11 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:12 AMGregKumparak Today we’re going to be giving a developer preview of iPhone OS 4.
  • 10:12 AMGregKumparak We’re going to ship it this summer, and release a developer preview TODAY.
  • 10:12 AMGregKumparak iphone 4 adds thousands of new APIs
  • 10:12 AMGregKumparak SMS inside apps, full map overlays, quick look, calendar access, and a framework called “accelerate”
  • 10:13 AMGregKumparak Over 2000 “Accelerate” APIs alone, providing hardware acceleration to developers
  • 10:13 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:13 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:14 AMGregKumparak Those are some of the new user facing features in iPhone OS 4 pictured below
  • 10:14 AMGregKumparak MULTITASKING IS COMING
  • 10:15 AMGregKumparak “We weren’t the first to this party, but we’re going to be the best”
  • 10:15 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:15 AMGregKumparak “It’s really easy to implement multitasking in a way that kills battery life. It’s also really easy to do it in a way that reduces performance. If you don’t do it just right, your phone will feel sluggish and battery life will go down”
  • 10:15 AMGregKumparak “We’ve figured out how to implement third party multi tasking and avoid those things. I think we’ve nailed it”
  • 10:16 AMGregKumparak He’s about to demo multitasking
  • 10:16 AMGregKumparak Whoa!
  • 10:16 AMGregKumparak He sneakily just showed iPhone homescreen having wallpapers
  • 10:16 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:17 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:17 AMGregKumparak Double click the home button to bring up all running apps
  • 10:17 AMGregKumparak Steve is switching from eBay to Tap Tap Revenge. He plays TTR for a second. “Well, i’m not winning here”
  • 10:17 AMGregKumparak he double taps the button, TTR pauses
  • 10:17 AMGregKumparak he hops back to mail
  • 10:18 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:18 AMGregKumparak The audience claps, hoots, and hollers
  • 10:18 AMGregKumparak All the apps running are shown at the bottom, and you can scroll through them
  • 10:19 AMGregKumparak “And THAT! is our multi-tasking UI. We’ve been using it, and we love it.”
  • 10:19 AMGregKumparak “To explain how we did this and preserving battery life, I’ll turn it over to Scott Forstall”
  • 10:19 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:20 AMGregKumparak Scott: We looked at the 10s of thousands of services that the iPhone apps need, and we’ve distilled those services that developers need in the background
  • 10:20 AMGregKumparak Seven services (APIs) will be able to function i nthe background
  • 10:20 AMGregKumparak The first of these is Background Audio; forstall goes on to discuss Pandora, and its popularity
  • 10:21 AMGregKumparak “With iphone OS 4, Pandora can continue to play in the background. AND you can use the pop up iPod controls to control it.”
  • 10:21 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:22 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:22 AMGregKumparak Tim Westergren of Pandora has taken the stage, and is discussing the implications of the iPhone
  • 10:22 AMGregKumparak “With the launch of the iPhone, our growth rate doubled almost over night. When Scott offered to bring us here today, we jumped at the chance.”
  • 10:23 AMGregKumparak Jack Johnson’s “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” is playing on the iPhone; the pandora guys hop into safari, the music continues playing
  • 10:24 AMGregKumparak While he’s talking, here’s what we’re looking at: Multi tasking works because Apple picked 7 APIs to allow to run in the background, chosen because they’re the most popular uses
  • 10:24 AMGregKumparak Next big API: Voice over IP in the background!
  • 10:25 AMGregKumparak He’s showing Skype. “The problem is: Up until now, if you close the app, the call ends. With iphone os 4, that all changes. You can switch, and the call continues.”
  • 10:25 AMGregKumparak You’ll see a “return to call” bar, similar to non-voip calls that are put in the BG
  • 10:25 AMGregKumparak Skype’s head of mobile dev, David Ponsford, has entered the stage
  • 10:25 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:26 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:26 AMGregKumparak “Until today, navigating away from the Skype app meant I went offline. With iPhone OS 4, when I leave the app, I can still receive calls.”
  • 10:27 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:27 AMGregKumparak He hops into Doodle Jump, and then receives a Skype call. The incoming call looks like a text message alert.
  • 10:28 AMGregKumparak They’re making a call, switching between apps via the switcher at the bottom.
  • 10:28 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:28 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:28 AMGregKumparak Next Big Service: BAckground Location!
  • 10:28 AMGregKumparak The implications of that: Turn-by-turn apps can now run in the background.
  • 10:28 AMGregKumparak He’s showing TomTom as an example
  • 10:29 AMGregKumparak He’s listening to music while getting turn by turn directions
  • 10:29 AMGregKumparak The music goes quiet as the next direction comes in.
  • 10:29 AMGregKumparak Other apps that require it: social apps, like loopt
  • 10:30 AMGregKumparak “We’ve figured out a great way to allow these social apps to work without draining the battery: Cell towers”
  • 10:30 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:30 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:30 AMGregKumparak “With these location apps, we take privacy very, very seriously” “We’re taking security several steps further with iPhone os 4″
  • 10:31 AMGregKumparak One of the ways they’ll be doing this: when you’re transmitting your location, a marker is shown in the status bar
  • 10:31 AMGregKumparak You can also toggle location on an app-by-app basis in settings now. Apps that have requested your location in the last 24 hours show a small check mark next to them in settings
  • 10:31 AMGregKumparak Next big update: Push notifications.
  • 10:32 AMGregKumparak They’ve push 10 BILLION push notifications since launching them 9 months ago
  • 10:32 AMGregKumparak He’s recapping how the push system works; the app talks to a middle man, and the middle man talks to the phone
  • 10:32 AMGregKumparak New addition to push: Local notifications. No server necessary
  • 10:33 AMGregKumparak This is for things like TV Guides; things that need pop up alarms
  • 10:33 AMGregKumparak Next big change: Task completion
  • 10:33 AMGregKumparak The example he’s giving: uploading to flickr. If the app is in the middle of uploading something, saving, etc, it can continue to do so
  • 10:34 AMGregKumparak Next big change: “Fast app switching”. “This is what allows apps to be store its state and put in the background, so it’s not using any cpu at all”
  • 10:34 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:34 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:34 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:34 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:34 AMGregKumparak Thats a wrap up of Multitasking, the first of seven “Tentpole” features apple will be announcing today
  • 10:35 AMGregKumparak Next tentpole: FOLDERS!
  • 10:35 AMGregKumparak Users can now put folders on their homescreen
  • 10:35 AMGregKumparak Hold any app to bring up the standard “Move” function. Drag one app onto another, BAM! Folder made.
  • 10:36 AMGregKumparak The folder will automatically be named by whatever category the apps are from. You can rename them however
  • 10:36 AMGregKumparak Folders look just like icons. Tap on one to launch it, drag it around to move it, etc
  • 10:37 AMGregKumparak Tapping a folder brings up a pop over view
  • 10:37 AMGregKumparak “Another thing for the homescreen — its not big — is the ability to change the wallpaper”
  • 10:37 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:37 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:37 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:37 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:37 AMGregKumparak Setting the background works just like setting your lock screen. Pick a picture, scale, done deal.
  • 10:38 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:38 AMGregKumparak Recapping folders: Drag and Drop UI, Intelligent naming.
  • 10:38 AMGregKumparak You can now hold over 2,160 apps on one iPhone, using folders.
  • 10:38 AMGregKumparak Tentpole #3: Enhanced Mail.
  • 10:39 AMGregKumparak “Lots of changes. First: Unified Inbox”
  • 10:39 AMGregKumparak MobileMe, Yahoo, All your accounts, brought to one inbox
  • 10:39 AMGregKumparak You can also now have multiple exchange accounts
  • 10:39 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:39 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:40 AMGregKumparak “Organize by thread!”
  • 10:40 AMGregKumparak You can pull all email responses into one view. It looks like you still have to open each individually, but it filters them
  • 10:40 AMGregKumparak You can also now open attachments in third-party apps in mail
  • 10:41 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:41 AMGregKumparak Tentpole Number 4: iBooks
  • 10:41 AMGregKumparak Looks just like it does on the iPad. Same interface, same store
  • 10:41 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:42 AMGregKumparak “We think customers will really enjoy this on their iPhone or iPod touch. You can buy them anywhere and read them anywhere”
  • 10:42 AMGregKumparak Feature recap: iBook store, buy once read anywhere, Sync pages and bookmarks between devices. Oh, and free copy of Winnie the Pooh
  • 10:42 AMGregKumparak “We labored over that. What book to include with iBooks? Winnie the Pooh won.”
  • 10:43 AMGregKumparak Fifth tent|pole: Enterprise features.
  • 10:43 AMGregKumparak First enterprise feature: improved data protection, including data protection within third party apps.
  • 10:44 AMGregKumparak Second enterprise feature: mobile device management
  • 10:44 AMGregKumparak Third enterprise feature: wireless application distribution. “Until now, company employees would need to plug into iTunes. Now, companies can distribute apps from their own servers, wirelessly”
  • 10:44 AMGregKumparak Fourth: “As steve mentioned, multiple exchange accounts, along with Exchange 2010 and SSL VPN”
  • 10:45 AMGregKumparak Tentpole 6: Game Center
  • 10:45 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:45 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:45 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:45 AMGregKumparak “We have more than 50,000 games. If you look at the dedicated competition, we blow them out of the water”
  • 10:46 AMGregKumparak “This allows you to challenge your friends at games.”
  • 10:46 AMGregKumparak Including automatic matchmaking
  • 10:46 AMGregKumparak leaderboards!
  • 10:46 AMGregKumparak Achievements!
  • 10:46 AMGregKumparak Holy cow, it’s Xbox Live for the iPhone
  • 10:46 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:46 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:47 AMGregKumparak It’s a preview in iPhone OS 4, with availability for everyone later this year
  • 10:47 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:47 AMGregKumparak iAd!
  • 10:47 AMGregKumparak Apple is announcing their advertising platform!
  • 10:47 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:48 AMGregKumparak “Developers [of free apps] need to find a way to start making their money. A lot of developers turn to advertising – and we think these current advertisements really suck.”
  • 10:48 AMGregKumparak “If you look at advertisements on a phone, it’s not like on a desktop. On a desktop, its about search. On mobile, search hasnt happened. People aren’t searching on their phones. People are spending their time in apps”
  • 10:49 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:49 AMGregKumparak Steve: The average user spends 30 minutes a day in apps. If we put an add up every 3 minutes, that’s 10 ads per day.
  • 10:49 AMGregKumparak Steve: Throughout the iPhone community, that’s 1 billion ad impressions per day
  • 10:50 AMGregKumparak “We want to do more [than what’s being done right now]”
  • 10:50 AMGregKumparak We’ve all seen interactive ads on the web. We want to deliver interaction – but also emotion
  • 10:50 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:50 AMGregKumparak He’s comparing the emotion here to the emotion of TV ads.
  • 10:51 AMGregKumparak iAd ads keep you IN your app.
  • 10:51 AMGregKumparak “If you click on an add now, you’re yanked out of your app. As a result, people don’t click on ads.”
  • 10:51 AMGregKumparak “We have figured out how to do interactive and video content without ever taking you out of the app”
  • 10:52 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:52 AMGregKumparak Apple will sell and host the ads, and give 60% of ad revenue to developers
  • 10:52 AMGregKumparak Developers can add ads to their apps “in an afternoon”
  • 10:53 AMGregKumparak Jobs pulls up a news up, showing a Toy Story 3 ad down at the bottom.
  • 10:53 AMGregKumparak Pixar. Nice.
  • 10:53 AMGregKumparak “Toy Story 3, it’s going to be a great movie. I’ve seen it. It’s really good.”
  • 10:53 AMGregKumparak OH SNAP: While showing the ad: “Oh, by the way, all of this is done in HTML 5.” (a jab at adobe flash)
  • 10:54 AMGregKumparak Jobs brings up the ad. It’s fully interactive, and looks a lot like a native app.
  • 10:54 AMGregKumparak Wow, it’s really smooth. He rolls around a bunch of onscreen 3d characters, and then starts up a video.
  • 10:54 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:54 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:54 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:55 AMGregKumparak “They’ve even included a game in this ad! Well, we’ve including a game in this ad, I should say”
  • 10:55 AMGregKumparak It’s a basic matching add, but is filled with nice animations and interactivity. For an ad, it’s actually incredible impressive
  • 10:56 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:56 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:56 AMGregKumparak “This is a new kind of mobile ad. Have you ever seen a mobile ad like this? Anything even close?”
  • 10:56 AMGregKumparak “I’ve got another one here – it’s Nike. None of these folks are endorsing us, we just love their brands”
  • 10:56 AMGregKumparak He pulls up the app with the Nike ad. It puls up an Air Jordan 2010 clip
  • 10:56 AMGregKumparak Reader Brown says: Apple’s dev site just went down for maintenance
  • 10:57 AMGregKumparak He’s flipping through the app: it’s offering up the history of nike ads, allowing you to flip through the years to see all the shoes throughout history
  • 10:57 AMGregKumparak It’s not so much about the content of the app, but the interactivity
  • 10:57 AMGregKumparak All the animations are interactive, and crazy smooth.
  • 10:58 AMGregKumparak Ads have access to much of the same APIs as apps, like location and some level of accelerometer access
  • 10:58 AMGregKumparak
  • 10:58 AMGregKumparak
  • 11:00 AMGregKumparak Looks like he’s done with ads – he’s recapping.
  • 11:00 AMGregKumparak
  • 11:00 AMGregKumparak “In addition to ad agencies that can make these things, there are hundreds of thousands of app developers that can make these things” (In other words, unlike iTunes LP, apple wont be keeping these close to the chest)
  • 11:00 AMGregKumparak “..And that’s iAd, our seventh tentpole”
  • 11:01 AMGregKumparak He recaps the features we’ve discussed so far. “These are just 7 of the thousands of new features”
  • 11:01 AMGregKumparak
  • 11:01 AMGregKumparak
  • 11:01 AMGregKumparak It’s coming for developers today, and iPhone users in summer
  • 11:02 AMGregKumparak They’re releasing it for iPhone 3gs and iPod touch 3rd gen this summer – those devices will do everything
  • 11:02 AMGregKumparak iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2nd gen will not get multitasking
  • 11:02 AMGregKumparak “So that’s iPhone OS 4! We want to thank you for coming today. We’re going to do a quick Q&A beginning in about 5 minutes”
  • 11:02 AMGregKumparak No mention of iPad multitasking.
  • 11:04 AMGregKumparak Media members have been asked to remain for the Q&A, everyone else (developers, Apple employees) are shuffling out
  • 11:04 AMGregKumparak
  • 11:06 AMGregKumparak Steve and crew have returned for Q&A
  • 11:06 AMGregKumparak
  • 11:06 AMGregKumparak Susan from IBC: I’m wondering that, given multitasking will increase data usage, how will AT&T compensate?
  • 11:06 AMGregKumparak Jobs: I’m not sure that’s an accurate assumption. Remember: Data usage requires attention. We’re not multiplying the # of minutes users will give to their phone.
  • 11:08 AMGregKumparak “The wireless app distribution. You described that as an enterprise feature, but I wonder if that opens a door for downloading apps without the app store”
  • 11:08 AMGregKumparak Jobs: No.
  • 11:08 AMGregKumparak Forstall: Apps must still be signed via Apple.
  • 11:08 AMGregKumparak “Given the huge demand in the US of ipad, will that impact international launch?”
  • 11:09 AMGregKumparak Jobs: No. We said it’ll be near the end of April, and it’ll be near the end of april.
  • 11:09 AMGregKumparak “Will the social gaming network supplant the openfeint, NGmcoo plus+ networks already available?”
  • 11:10 AMGregKumparak Forstall: The problem was that thereare so many networks. When you play a game, you want your friends to be on that network.
  • 11:10 AMGregKumparak Jobs: There’s no money to be gained by having your own social gaming network.
  • 11:10 AMGregKumparak Asker Retorts: But there are companies that have built up massive networks
  • 11:12 AMGregKumparak Jobs: These are the same people who asked us to build this.
  • 11:16 AMGregKumparak Jobs just confirmed that iPhone OS 4.0 is coming to iPad this fall
  • 11:17 AMGregKumparak A question about widgets on the iPad:
  • 11:17 AMGregKumparak Jobs: “We just shipped it on Saturday! And we rested on sunday.” *crowd laughs*
  • 11:17 AMGregKumparak “So widgets are possible?”
  • 11:17 AMGregKumparak Jobs: Anything is possible
  • 11:19 AMGregKumparak Someone asks for a break down of the “1 billion ad impressions per day” statement. By jobs: 30 minutes per user, 10 ads per day. 100 million units shipped. 100 million units * 10 ads per day = 1 billion ads per day.
  • 11:20 AMGregKumparak iPhone SDK 4 Beta just went live for developers on the Dev Center
  • 11:22 AMGregKumparak Jobs: “We don’t know much about this advertising thing. We tried to buy a company called Admob, and Google came in and snatched them because they didnt want us to have them. We bought a smaller but still great company called Quattro”
  • 11:25 AMGregKumparak We’ve confirmed with a few developers: iPhone OS 4.0 beta just went live, but it is NOT available for the first generation iPhone. Time to upgrade, folks.
  • 11:27 AMGregKumparak “Are there any plans to allow unsigned applications on the iPhone?”
  • 11:28 AMGregKumparak Jobs: You know, there’s a porn store for Android. You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That’s a place we don’t want to go – so we’re not going to go there
  • 11:31 AMGregKumparak Jobs on iPad’s success: “If our competitors ever introduce a competitor to iPad, they’ll be HOPING they can get 3,500 apps in a year. We’ve seen that in 5 days”
  • 11:32 AMGregKumparak “You didn’t mention anything about how the app store might change. So many apps.. discoverability can be an issue. Do you have any thoughts on how you can improve that experience?”
  • 11:33 AMGregKumparak Jobs: “A few things. The App Store is not part of iphone OS 4.0, or any iPhone release. It’s a service. It’s programmed mostly on the server side, and we can enhance it without waiting for a new release. We can constantly, incrementally improve it. We have to be careful that we don’t do something that will… will.. bring the service down. We’re constantly interested in improving discoverability.”
  • 11:34 AMGregKumparak “Especially on the iPhone, with its smaller screen, we can only offer up so much – but you see more and more by publications and websites offering up apps of the week. An infrastructure is being built up outside of the App Store”
  • 11:37 AMGregKumparak “With the new multitasking, how do you close applications?”
  • 11:38 AMGregKumparak Forstall: You don’t need to.
  • 11:39 AMGregKumparak Jobs: If a user has to use a task manager, they [the UX team] blew it.
  • 11:45 AMGregKumparak And we’re done here! they’ve just wrapped up the Q&A, and we’re heading out. Thanks so much for tuning in, everyone.
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