updated 12:35 pm EST, Tue January 19, 2010
More distance drawn between iPhone, tablet
Some of the first details of the iPhone 4.0 firmware have emerged, a report claims. An Apple source informs that the code will make several major changes, for instance expanding multi-touch gestures to be used across the OS, and not just in apps like Maps or Photos. There should also be "a few new ways" to run apps in the background, which is taken to mean multitasking.
Multitasking has been a long-requested iPhone feature, as the technology is standard on smartphones like the Palm Pre, and any number of devices based on Android or Windows Mobile. Apple currently resorts to push notification for background tasks in order to keep up the speed of iPhone and iPod apps.
iPhone 4.0 is also expected to bring many interface and graphical changes, and new sync functions for the Calendar and Contacts apps. Differences are claimed to be so significant, in fact, that it will make iPhones "more like full-fledged computers" than any phone so far released.
Unusually the source says that the firmware will be available only for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, which could cast doubt on the notion that it will be used for an impending tablet. The iPod touch is unmentioned however, which may suggest that the source is merely being strict in defining software versions. Modified iPhone firmware has always been used on the Touch.