Apple To Announce iPhone OS 4.0

Apple appears intent on keeping the momentum going as today they announced an iPhone OS 4.0 event to be held this coming Thursday, April 8, at 10 AM PST. It is a bit of a surprise that Apple is having this event so close to the iPad launch. My guess is that the event itself will partially serve to enable Apple to gloat about the success of the iPad. The event itself is being billed as a sneak peak of the new iPhone OS, suggesting to me that we may not see the actual product for some time.

There will be two things that I will be most interested to learn from the event. First, to what extent is Apple going to keep the iPhone and iPad in sync with each other? Because the iPad is running the iPhone OS, does that mean that what we learn about on Thursday will be available at the same time for the iPad too? The second thing I am interested in is whether the iPhone OS 4.0 will include multitasking. The addition of multitasking to the iPhone OS has wide reaching implications.

The most often written negative of the iPhone is the lack of multitasking. Multitasking is a key feature often used as a positive for Android when comparing Android phones with the iPhone, and the addition of multitasking to the iPhone will kill this as a differentiator for Android. Microsoft has so closely followed the iPhone model when designing Windows Phone 7 that their new phone operating system does not include multitasking, even though all prior versions of Microsoft’s mobile operating systems support it. If the new Windows phones cannot multitask, while the new iPhone can, Windows Phone 7 will appear behind before it even starts going on sale. Finally, as I read all of the iPad reviews, the most commmon negative comment is that it lacks multitasking. Adding multitasking to the iPad, where it is probably needed the most, will remove a key obstical preventing some from buying the tablet.