iOS 4: The Rundown

Apple iOS 4

So, while the rest of you are waiting for the Apple servers to stop getting gangbanged to grab your update for iOS 4.0, enterprising men of the Internet realised that they could just download the final developer gold – the one issued to App store coding houses who pay Apple all the monies – and load it onto their phones, sailing past any verification checks provided they were packing iTunes 9.2. As soon as we could we installed this hotly awaited collection of features other phones had three years ago, and we’ve been trialling iOS4 all weekend! We were drunk for most of that weekend, but managed to transcribe this list of notes we found scrawled on the naked back and ass of Gary, the 200-pound short order cook we woke up with this morning. Here we go!!!

FOLDERS, OH GOSH

It seems someone at Apple’s vast campus finally found time away from all that auto fellatio they’re performing on themselves to realise I might not want to have screen upon screen of useless junk to scroll in a futilely attempt to find where the hell I put Space Invaders: Infinity Gene or Hook Champ. Now they’re tucked away into genre-specific folders, bringing some level of order to the home screen. Sadly, you can’t put folders within folders or put more than 12 items in each folder, limiting the usefulness of the feature. An important baby-step forward, but a frustrating one.

STEVE, THIS MULTITASKING  IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MULTITASKING EVER!

Multitasking, right? I used to have a limited version of that kind of thing on my Sony dumbphone back in 2007, but Steve Jobs has been too busy plotting to murder the Adobe Flash development team with a claymore sword (satire, Steve! Don’t send some goons to taze us!) to give much of a damn for sensible utility features. Now Apple have rolled out some APIs  that allow for basic suspend-and-switch swapping and limited background functionality for third party apps – when they update, if they ever do. This means users of programs like Pandora or Spofity can stream music in the background, and GPS-aware apps can keep abreast of your physical location. There’s even a task manager they managed to smuggle past Steve Jobs, possibly during one of his lucid moments. Don’t tell him, or he might feed the dev team to hungry pigs. Hilarious blogger satire in the mighty Gawker manner!

All messing with you aside, the way this is set up is really elegant.

iBOOKS. WOW.

I haven’t downloaded this yet, so here’s a Youtube video of a really messed up guy on Salvia. Don’t do drugs!

OTHER THINGS!

There’s a widget for audio application controls in the task manager, which is pretty useful, as well as a screen lock – but it locks the screen in portrait only, with no allowance for landscape. Firefox-styled spellchecking is grand (it’s integrated into all of the first party apps, but I have no idea if it can apply to third-party apps. There’s also a nifty update to the taskbar search, much in the manner of Firefox 3. The mail program still blows and lacks select-all functions, so it looks like I’ll be sticking to the web-based Gmail application (people buy these things for business? Really?). The lock screen still can’t be customised, which is staggeringly dumb stuff and still only holds one notification at a time. Some things like the video calling and the new camera features will need one of those iPhone 4s and some things like Game Center will need developer support – I’m not prepared to even speculate how useless Game Center will be.

All in all, quite a nice package – but Apple are still infuriatingly slow to add the simple things, possibly because they’re the self-obsessed cheerleader bitches of the technology world. Roll on iOS 5, I guess.

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