Friday, April 9, 2010

iPhone OS roadmap confusing? Or is it due to the A4 chip?

I was quite surprised today that nothing was mentioned about the A4 chip for iPhone OS 4.0, and that there are going to be 2 separate launches for the iPhone OS 4.0 (one in June and the other in the fall for the iPad). This doesn't make any sense to me because from the product point of view, it seriously does not make sense to have 2 different versions of iPhone OS 4.0, one for the iPhone and the other for the iPad.

Unless of course Apple is not telling us everything, which is quite usual for them. I can only think of 2 reasons why the iPhone OS is used for both the iPhone and iPad:
  1. The A4 chip is using the same ARM processor calls used in the iPhone, so a separate branch is not needed; or
  2. There is going to be another version of the A4 chip specifically just for the iPhone.

In any case, I find it very confusing to have 2 different versions of the iPhone OS 4.0 for 2 different types of product.

Read about the multi-tasking feature of the iPhone OS 4.0. If you have read my post here about what I felt about existing multi-tasking capabilities available in the iPhone OS 3.0, then you'll  find that all Apple is doing is to automate this process so that it is available for every application on the iPhone. My guess is that it'll leverage on the existing APIs on the saving of states for the app. If you have not done anything, it'll just restart the application for you automatically when you switch (my guess).

Of course for the iPhone OS 4.0 APIs, there will also be new APIs to take advantage of selective processes that they'll allow to truly run at the background. One example that was shown is that now you'll be able to play music at the background from any application that takes advantage of that API.

I guess more news will be released closer to June. I hope by that time, the roadmap will be clearer. The news released so far however points that the iPhone OS 4.0 will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS (esp. multi-tasking). Good news for existing owners.

2 different versions of iPhone OS 4.0? Weird used of versioning.

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