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Advertising Handhelds Iphone Java Operating Systems Programming Apple

iPhone OS 4.0 Brings Multitasking, Ad Framework For Apps 983

Posted by timothy
from the define-myself-as-outside-the-fence dept.
Low Ranked Craig writes "Apple had an event today to show off the next major update to the iPhone OS. iPhone OS 4.0 should arrive this summer (presumably with a new iPhone) for iPhone and iPod Touch, and in the fall for the iPad. According to Apple the update has more than 1,500 new APIs and 100 new features including the sorely missed multitasking. Other highlights include unified inbox, improved security, support for multiple Exchange accounts, application folders, iBooks, and iAd, an advertising framework for developers to put ads in their applications. The official word from Steve on Flash and Java remains a simple 'No.'" Updated 20100408 22:09 GMT by timothy: Read on for more information, including some bad news if you want to program for the iPhone in C# or Flash CS5.
alphadogg points out some what he calls surprise capabilities targeted at enterprise users and IT departments, including e-mail encryption and "mobile device management."

And CWmike adds more infomation at MacWorld about iAd, which he considers the biggest news in today’s announcement, writing that one way to look at the new advertising hooks "is that Apple can now leverage the App Store/iTunes ‘ecosystem’ lock-in in effect, and deliver to advertisers a huge captive audience."

Finally, binarylarry writes with a look from Daring Fireball at the new user agreement that goes along with 4.0: "Looks like Adobe's release of CS5 with the Flash-to-native compiler has been nixed by Apple's new user agreement: '3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs.'"
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iPhone OS 4.0 Brings Multitasking, Ad Framework For Apps

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:00PM (#31782488)

    This disastrous update makes it clear Apple is internally shitting bricks over the iPhone losing market-share and Google's Android exploding in sales, userbase, and developer support.

    Desperation lawsuit against HTC.
    This pathetic attempt at trying to claim the iPhone can actually multi-task like Android.
    The absolutely embarrassingly lame attempt by Jobs to attack Android over porn.

    It's just going to keep getting worse with the rate Android is leaving the crappy old iPhone OS behind and the absolute flood of new Android based devices that make the iPhone hardware look like old 1970s pocket calculators in comparison.

  • by dingen (958134) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:10PM (#31782624)

    It's just going to keep getting worse with the rate Android is leaving the crappy old iPhone OS behind and the absolute flood of new Android based devices that make the iPhone hardware look like old 1970s pocket calculators in comparison.

    Actually, the rate at which new devices are coming out is holding developers back at truly using Android to it's potential. Android is awesome as a platform, but in the end applications make or break the experience of your device. I tried to find 10 decent games for Android tonight and it was an absolute pain to get things that weren't complete pieces of crap. The quality of the apps in Apple's App Store is really *a lot* better, there's more to choose from and they're generally cheaper too. Android's got some serious work in this field until they can really compete.

  • by markdavis (642305) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:11PM (#31782626)

    Sorry, but it is NOT true multitasking. Applications will have to be re-written to act like a service, then they will be "suspended" and enable quick application switching: http://www.precentral.net/apple-plays-its-multitasking-card-its-no-ace [precentral.net]

    "What Apple is doing instead of 'true' multitasking is offering seven different OS-level services that apps can take advantage of in lieu of actually running in the background: audio, VOIP, location, push notifications, local notifications, task finishing, and fast app switching. To switch to a recently opened app, you double-tap the home button and a dock of your recent apps pops up"

    If you want to see real phone multitasking in action, and with a wonderful UI to go along with it/manage it, look at how Palm WebOS does it.

  • I'm not upgrading... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jorgandar (450573) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:11PM (#31782634)

    I'll be dumping iPhone as soon as my current jailbroken 3GS is considered obsolete. I shouldn't have to literally break the law to make my phone run and work how I, the USER, want it to. I can no longer tolerate Apples' insistence of controlling everything i do and censoring my content, as well as locking in the app marketplace so that THEY profit from every transaction, therefore forcing me to pay higher prices than i would otherwise in a completely free and open market. I'm switching to andriod rather than upgrading. I encourage everyone else to as well.

  • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:19PM (#31782728)

    I would have been pissed if they'd copied WinMo's or most other implementations. As it is, it's at about the edge of my tolerance level. I loved the old Palm PDAs, which had execute-in-place but no background tasks to bog the thing down. It was great knowing that when an app was closed it was using zero system resources without losing any unsaved work. Most devices I've used since then turn into a whack-a-mole of ending programs I'd forgotten about and processes that decided they just wanted to stick around and sightsee. Apple's solution tries to satisfy everyone, but I'm not getting my hopes up until I see how developers abuse it.

  • Flash and iPhone OS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <<ten.frow> <ta> <todhsals>> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:20PM (#31782734)

    I don't see how the user agreement change prevents Flash apps from being recompiled into native ones.

    It says to only use documented (public) APIs. I would assume that the runtime and compiler do this, no? Or does the flash to native compiler already use private APIs?

    When you get down to it, you can code in assembly, C, C++, or other languages that compile against ARM and the libs Apple provides...

  • Re:No ads please (Score:5, Interesting)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:23PM (#31782776)

    Its a unified ad service to give Apple 40% of the pie.

    Expect apps using home rolled ad solutions to be bounced

    It's a unified ad service to keep the information gathered by an ad service out of Google's hands.

  • by markdavis (642305) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:29PM (#31782850)

    I have, and it doesn't impress me. It is far from true multitasking. If you want to see "slick", you need to look at how Palm WebOS does it, and has been doing it for the last 9 months the Pre has been out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waS1jKCrm5I&feature=player_embedded [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mMIHQhSyw4 [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-bGE7FCmDQ [youtube.com]

  • by dingen (958134) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:33PM (#31782896)
    That excludes a lot of iPhone frameworks out there (Unity, Corona, you name it). I'm sure that can't be what Apple means by that statement.
  • Re:No ads please (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Flipao (903929) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:39PM (#31782978)

    You won't suddenly see ads on your iPhone unless you download ad-supported apps.

    Funny you say that, because Steve Jobs said he expects every iPhone user to sit through 10 ads a day.

  • No, he is accurate.
    The Android platform is growing very fast, and already on many different devices. It also has had all these new features the Apple is just now getting around to putting into the iPhone. Plus several features the iPhone doesn't have.

    Let see:
    Easier and cheaper to develop for
    On a lot of devices over 20 different device
    coming out on a lot more devices a half dozen tables are slated for EOY
    user can load what they want on it, so dev son't need to go through the Apple hoops. It's an option the user has to turn on, but it's there.

    the iPhone was ahead of it's time, but not any longer. Now it's playing catch up.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:45PM (#31783058)

    Why did you buy it then, and not an Android based phone? It clearly didn't do what you wanted it to do and you knew that before you bought it.

    I can't use a Corvette to move a sofa without extensive modification or strapping it to the roof in an unwieldy manner, but I don't whine about it.

  • Re:well, sorta (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Movi (1005625) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:45PM (#31783064)

    While i agree with most of what you said, there's one thing that i think you should know about the multitasking bit.

    The way that apple described it's multitasking capabilities in iPhone OS 4.0, seem to be identical in how android handles multitasking - eg your app can have a background worker, that does stuff in the background (media player, IMs, background task for periodically checking stuff), and then the user-visible multitasking of switching apps, where the app that was used gets its state saved, then the process gets killed. If that app is then resumed the code handles the reading of the state.

    This behaviour has been there since Android 1.0 (@override onPause() and @override onResume())

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:46PM (#31783076)

    Maybe if Adobe pulled its thumb out of its ass and made a decent implementation of flash for OS X then Apple would be more willing to throw them a bone on the iPhone OS.

  • by dbc (135354) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:46PM (#31783078)

    The article is unclear if e-mail has been expanded to support multiple user logins. This to me is the deal-breaker with an iPad -- I'd have one sitting on the coffee table today if it had support for multiple user logins to keep e-mail sorted and private. But I'm not going to get an iPad for each member of the household just to keep e-mail private. So is that fixed or not? When they fix it, instant sale. Until then, nope.

  • Re:No ads please (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nick Ives (317) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:47PM (#31783094)

    Apple has a very good thing going with developers and OS X

    And an even better thing going with the iPad and the iPhone.

    If Apple decides that it's more profitable to have a locked down desktop that can only install apps from the app store then they'll do it. It wouldn't surprise me if they locked down iMac and left the Mac Pro for people who want to use professional applications.

    Having said that, why wouldn't Apple put Final Cut on the app store if that's how they wanted their desktops to be run? If Apple decided to lock down, who's to say Adobe wouldn't just go with the flow and distribute Photoshop that way too?

  • by markdavis (642305) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:50PM (#31783140)

    > The three-hour battery life part

    You will have to do better than that. 1) Battery life has nothing to do with the topic 2) Welcome to fast smartphones 3) WebOs has been updated several times to significantly increase battery life 4) The Pre's battery life is on-par with the Droid 5) Unlike the iphone, at least you can easily swap the battery in the Pre/Pixi, and you can charge it instantly with magnetic induction on the touchstone.

    > or the going bankrupt by catering to whims of tech forum trolls part?

    Funny, I seem to remember a time when Apple was moving towards bankruptcy. The fact that they are having financial issues in a crowded market says little about the technology they offer. Again, has nothing to do with the topic of multitasking.

    Now... who is the troll?

  • Re:Fantastic news (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Zadaz (950521) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:52PM (#31783176)

    I can't wait to see how long it takes for an ad platform which is embedded at the operating system level and connected to a global distribution network that users have no control over to cause havoc on a enormous scale.

    I was ready to buy a new iPhone when the product refreshed this year, but now I'm looking at what else is out there.

  • by Macka (9388) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:59PM (#31783270)

    You're right. It's not everything inc the kitchen sink multitasking; it's smart multitasking. Multitasking that has the least impact on memory, on cpu, on battery and on the performance of the app running in the foreground (i.e. the one the user actually wants running the most). The app developer can choose what functionality he wants to keep going and let the OS take care of the rest. This is very smart, and if you disagree then you would do well to remember that this is a hand held device, not laptop or a PC, so it needs to be treated differently.

  • by UndyingShadow (867720) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @07:12PM (#31783448)
    Yeah, this is a sneaky underhanded move from Apple, and despite good points (The flash compiler is a piece of shit and/or Adobe blows!) it still reeks of them throwing their weight around as the dominant smartphone platform to try to hurt Adobe. This is why, even though I love the changes iPhone OS 4.0 gives us, I'm probably done with the iPhone as soon as my 3GS dies. It's taken 3+ years to get access to features that have been possible since months after the platform came out (Jailbreaking), and we're still subject to the whims of Apple. If Adobe was really serious, they'd eliminate support for all their Software on all Apple platforms. We can only hope that they do, which in a perfect world, would eliminate Flash as a dominant standard AND take Apple down a peg or two. One can hope.
  • Re:No ads please (Score:5, Interesting)

    by causality (777677) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @07:21PM (#31783548)

    I personally don't care about advertising. It doesn't bother me one bit in the grand scheme of things, since I'm capable of tuning them out. If the ads in a particular context bother me, then I avoid that context.

    I wonder if you're aware that you're making excuses. The real objection is not about whether you like to see ads or don't like to see ads. No. The objection is that the moment you see a single ad you did not wish to see, you have lost control over the device. That's completely unacceptable when you are already paying. That's why personal preferences towards advertising are completely irrelevant.

    For something like broadcast TV or broadcast radio, that's acceptable, since it costs money to produce those things and you are viewing ads instead of paying a bill. You are obtaining something of value to offset the cost of watching ads. That makes it a fair exchange. However, when you are paying for a phone, phone service, and the application, and still see ads, this is no longer justifiable. It's a form of double-dipping. Thus, it's an adversarial way of relating to your customers because it amounts to taking advantage of them.

    It has nothing to do with whether anyone likes ads. It has to do with the fact that a company is making money from ad revenue without earning that money by providing something of value in return. If you're already paying for it on your own, they are failing to do this but are still collecting ad revenues. It's foolish to reward this behavior because it's parasitic in nature. Do you ever wonder why there are so many companies that take advantage, exploit, and find ways to screw people over? It's because we reward them with our business.

    The only time this would be acceptable would be for free apps that would otherwise cost money. Please read this quote from the summary and tell me whether you believe Apple is going to restrict these ad functions to free apps only (emphasis mine):

    And CWmike adds more infomation at MacWorld about iAd, which he considers the biggest news in today’s announcement, writing that one way to look at the new advertising hooks "is that Apple can now leverage the App Store/iTunes ‘ecosystem’ lock-in in effect, and deliver to advertisers a huge captive audience."

  • by medcalf (68293) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @07:23PM (#31783582) Homepage
    From that description (I haven't seen the keynote or APIs yet), it sounds like Apple is using a publish/subscribe notifications feature to talk to system services for these seven tasks. That's actually both clever and useful, in that it allows the user to know that the backgrounded services are efficient (since Apple wrote them and are, pardon the pun, demons about performance on the phone) while still allowing the developer to easily use the most-requested services. And it would be trivial to extend with other services as they're seen to be needed.
  • Re:No ads please (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2010 @07:34PM (#31783682)

    iMacs will be Macs and iPad, iPhone will be their own thing.

    I'd like to see iMacs get the iPhone OS in addition to the full OS X. It would be great if users could have the option to boot into either OS. My MBP currently sleeps most of the time so that I get near instant on, but I might shut it down more often if I knew I could boot the iPhone OS quickly and pull up a page in Safari.

    I'm unlikely to buy a device that doesn't have the full OS X, but the iPhone OS isn't inherently limiting, it's only a limitation when it's the only OS available to the device. I see it as being very similar to Chrome OS. I wouldn't want it as my primary OS, but I'd love to have it as a dual boot option to save time when I don't need a fully-featured OS to accomplish my computing tasks.

  • by 517714 (762276) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @07:58PM (#31783882)

    I shouldn't have to literally break the law to make my phone run and work how I, the USER, want it to.

    You, the USER, didn't buy an open source phone. You bought a phone with a specified platform and method of operation. Maybe you should back the bus up and ask why you, the USER, bought a phone you didn't like.

    Or maybe ask why he, the USER, liked the phone so much he bought it without thinking it through, and how many times he will repeat this process. Does he really expect more cred because he bought one? More like I made a big mistake, my opinion should not be trusted on things technological.

  • by stony3k (709718) <[stony3k] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @08:06PM (#31783986) Homepage
    In a lot of ways this reminds of the start of "Macs vs PCs". Apple wants more control, so other manufacturers flock to the second best choice. This results in a whole lot of "hype" for the alternate which ends up winning the battle.
  • Re:RAM, ipad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki.cox@net> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @08:30PM (#31784184)

    Yes and my Pentium 3 with 128 megs of RAM years ago had one thing that my iPhone doesn't.

    A stonking huge hard drive for virtual memory and an always on PSU.

  • Re:No ads please (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @08:39PM (#31784260) Homepage

    It will be the first reason I jailbreak my phone.

    because someone will make a iAD's blocker. and I'll jump on that like flies to a turd...

  • by mjwx (966435) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @08:39PM (#31784262)

    Go ahead and jailbreak an iPhone 3g and try to run more than 2 apps at the same time. It slows to a CRAWL.

    My Android phone (Milestone) does this,
    no...
    wait...
    It doesn't.

    Many devices can implement proper multi-tasking without sacrificing speed. I easily have 3 to 5 applications running at the same time on Android without any problems, the only slow downs I have ever seen on Android were when I used a custom ROM on my HTC Dream, replacing that with HTC's Android 1.6 image fixed it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2010 @08:41PM (#31784282)

    I wonder how long developers will continue to be allowed to use ad servers that compete with iAds (for example, MobClix), which might, for example, offer more than a 60% cut or access to advertisers that iAds might censor (such as advertisements for Apple competitors or controversial content).

  • by amRadioHed (463061) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:28PM (#31784698)

    Why not panic? Those N1 sales are with basically no advertising. If Google decided to start running TV ads round the clock like Apple does those sales figures could change pretty quickly.

  • by dakameleon (1126377) on Friday April 09, 2010 @01:59AM (#31786276)

    You're still working in their Multitasking API sandbox. Without having seen the list of APIs myself, I can imagine that there would be cases which don't fall into any of the functions provided, and you really just want a GenericMultitaskHook or somesuch.

    For example, one of the most brilliant jailbreak tools is SBSettings, which lets you flick WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, or Edge/3G off without having to dig down into the Settings app. Turning on bluetooth with SBSettings (for when you want to play multiplayer Flight Control, for instance) is a swipe of the status bar and a tap on a button, then another to close. With the Settings "app", it's Quit to Home > Go to Settings > General > Bluetooth > Flick switch > Quit to Home > Reopen app.

    Will Apple allow the built in Settings app to run in the background? will they expose APIs to manipulate these settings?

  • by ockegheim (808089) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:19AM (#31786594)

    Here's Corona's view on this issue [anscamobile.com]. I hope they're right.

  • Re:No ads please (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Friday April 09, 2010 @08:08AM (#31787886) Journal

    He said future. There is nothing in his post that is misinformed.

    Yes, you're quite right that OS X Apple PCs are a world of difference from the Iphones and Ipads. But at the same time, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Apple drop OS X for Iphone OS in future. You said it yourself:

    Many iPad or iPhone users are looking forward to the day they can replace their computer with an iPpliance

    And so Apple may decide to cater for them - and why bother with the hassle of trying to maintain two operating systems? Apple has no allegience to any particular technology - they've a long history of dropping things (PowerPC, the first "MacOS") when it no longer suited them, even when for years they seemed core to their business and something they'd spent large amounts of effort trying to promote.

  • While this is clearly aimed squarely at Adobe and their Flash compiler

    So all they have to do is output C code instead of finished apps - ohh, wait, Apple is forcing Adobe to be more open.

The first version always gets thrown away.

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