Multitasking was given a thumbs-up by a developer in the audience. "I thought the multitasking was definitely a necessary and positive step forward," said developer Luca Rajabi, project manager with First American Information Solutions Group. Rajabi had his iPad on hand for the event.
Enhanced email functions in iPhone OS 4.0 include a unified inbox for maintaining multiple email accounts, such as Yahoo and Exchange. Also featured are fast inbox switching, thread messages, and opening of attachments with applications.
Folders in version 4 enable users to find different items stored on the device. Another eye-opening capability, iAd, enables deployment of interactive ads to run within applications. Apple will host the ads and promises developers will get 60 percent of revenues from the program.
Rajabi also lauded iAd. "It seems quite robust, and I can see an entire ecosystem being developed around that platform," he said.
Version 4 offers an iBook reader as well and a developer preview of a game center.
The timeline for iPhone OS 4 has it available for iPhone 3G S and third-generation iPod Touch units this summer with all features supported. Users also can run the OS on iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod Touch, but some capabilities, such as multitasking, will not be supported. "The hardware just can't do it," Jobs said.
IPhone OS 4 ships for the iPad this fall.
Jobs took time to tout the progress of iPad shipments. The notepad-based device began shipping this past Saturday. "So far, people seem to be loving it," Jobs said. On the first day of shipments, 300,000 iPads were sold, he said.
"I wanted to give you an update -- as of today, we have sold about 450,000," said Jobs. iPad users have downloaded more than 3.5 million applications, he said. There are more than 3,500 iPad applications the App Store.
Jobs said he anticipates that when people look back on the launch of the iPad in a number of years, they will remember it as "a major event in the history of personal computational devices."