Apple iPhone 4 FAQ: What You Need to Know

I want more than multitasking. What else does iPhone 4 have?

  • Folders, finally, to organize apps into some semblance of order. You can drag-and-drop apps to and from folders.
  • Universal inbox that drops messages from Web mail, MobileMe accounts and multiple Exchange accounts (that last also a first) into one place.
  • Support for BlueTooth keyboards. The iPad has this now; iPhone and iPod Touch get it this summer.
  • iBook. Apple's bringing its iPad online bookstore and e-reader app to the iPhone and iPod Touch, albeit scaled to fit the smaller screens. It offers Kindle-esque features, including bookmark and last-page-read synchronization between devices.
  • Is there a list somewhere of the 100+ new features? No, that would make it too easy, wouldn't it?

    As is Apple's wont, it only touched on what it considers the highlights of the upgrade, but didn't recite, or provide, a full catalog of changes. Apple hits those same notes on its Web site, and gave a bird's-eye-view of some of the new APIs on the iPhone developer site .

    And I'll be seeing ads in my apps, is that right? Yes, indeed.

    Jobs talked for quite some time yesterday about the new iAd mobile ad service that Apple's kicking off with iPhone 4.

    He took a swipe at now-fierce-rival Google when he got started. "On a desktop, search is where it's at," he said. "But on mobile devices, that hasn't happened. Search is not happening on phones. People are using apps. And this is where the opportunity is to deliver advertising is."

    Apple's plan: Ads run within apps -- that's where the eyeballs are, Jobs essentially said -- and those ads can be interactive and include video. Apple will sell and host the ads, then drop them into cooperating apps. Developers, said Jobs, can add iAd capability to their software in "an afternoon," and get the big end of the 60%-40% split with Apple of the advertising proceeds.

    From the demonstrations that Jobs gave yesterday, many of the ads will resemble, if not apps exactly, then apps within an app.

    Will you see ads? You bet you will. Yesterday, Jobs claimed that the iPhone-iPod Touch-iPad universe could provide as many as 1 billion ad impressions -- one impression is one person seeing an advertisement one time -- each day. Say that again: 1 billion ads each day.

    How come we didn't hear about a new iPhone? Not the time, wouldn't be prudent.

    The last two years, Apple has trotted out a preview of the next version of the iPhone OS in March, but waited until June to announce new hardware, then three to five weeks later, put the brand spankin' new handset in stores.

    So Apple's just following iPhone protocol.

    Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld . Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer , or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com .

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