Apple iPhone OS 4.0: What's New

Apple's iPhone OS 4 Event Brings 7 Big Letdowns

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Apple iPhone OS 4.0: What's New

There's much to look forward to when Apple releases iPhone OS 4 this summer. iPhone owners will finally know the joy of multitasking, app folders, unified e-mail and -- get this -- home screen wallpapers. But it wasn't a perfect day. Inevitably, some features will be missing from iPhone OS 4, and some existing iPhone owners won't be able to use everything Apple introduced. Here's a rundown of the biggest disappointments from Apple's iPhone OS 4 event:

No Multitasking for iPhone 2G and 3G

Apple may have a perfectly valid claim that iPhones older than the 3GS model don't have good enough hardware to multitask, but that doesn't make the news any easier to hear. I have a feeling iPhone 2G and 3G owners would be happier if they could at least listen to Pandora radio while running other apps.

No GPS Navigation

7 Letdowns From Apple's iPhone OS 4 Event
I thought Apple might introduce an answer to Google Maps Navigation with some sort of free turn-by-turn navigation service, but it didn't happen. On the bright side, Mapquest's free iPhone app now includes voice guidance, and it could be serviceable enough if it runs in the background.

No Cloud Music

Apple's been expected to introduce a streaming version of iTunes ever since it purchased Lala last December. But it's a no-go for iPhone OS 4, at least for now. Maybe we'll see the feature if Apple holds another iPod-related event in the fall.

No E-mail Attachments

One of my biggest pet peeves with the iPhone is that you can't attach files within the Mail app. And while some apps allow you to send files to an e-mail, there's no way to include multiple attachments. The Mail app will get some nice upgrades in OS 4, such as threaded view and unified inbox, but attachments wasn't among them.

No File Management

I understand Apple's desire to keep things simple on the iPhone and iPad, but there comes a point where not having a central system for managing photos, videos and documents only makes things more complicated. The lack of a file manager may even by a roadblock to the aforementioned e-mail atttachments, which is even more frustrating.

Still No Tethering from AT&T

It's now been more than a year since Apple announced tethering -- the ability to use the iPhone as a wired PC modem -- and 10 months since the feature debuted for carriers outside the United States. AT&T's delays may have little to do with Apple, but the carrier's claims of “soon” (in November 2008) and “fine tuning” (in October 2009) just look dishonest now.

OS 4 for iPad: Not Until the Fall

It's nice that the iPad will gain the same new features as the iPhone, especially multitasking, but the extra wait is a drag.

This story, "Apple's iPhone OS 4 Event Brings 7 Big Letdowns " was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • This touch-screen phone is innovative, but it's expensive, lacks 3G network access.


    • Built-in iPod functionality
    • Innovative design
    • Good mobile Web browser
    • Bright high-resolution screen
    • Elegant touchscreen interface
    • Impressive e-mail, Web, and phone features
    • Beautiful hardware
    • Wi-Fi networking


    • Expensive
    • Only supports slower EDGE cellular data network
    • No third-party non-Web apps (like Word)
    • Text-messaging tool supports SMS but not iChat
    • No support for text selection, cut, copy, and paste
    • Inline headphone jack incompatible with many third-party headphones
    • Browser can’t display Flash content
    • No support for stereo Bluetooth headphones
    • Limited Bluetooth support
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