IOS 4 (formerly iPhone OS 4)

The Gold Master of IOS 4 was released to developers this week. I downloaded it and installed it on my iPhone 3G, which is the oldest hardware it will run on. It runs a bit slowly, but that’s to be expected.

There are features such as the multitasking that are advertised not to work on the 3G, but everything that’s supposed to work works. (Are wallpapers supposed to work on the 3G? They don’t.)

I’m particularly impressed with the email client. It now has a unified Inbox, so incoming mail from all of your accounts is aggregated into a virtual folder and presented to you as one. You can still see each Inbox individually if you desire. Also, we finally have threaded messages.

Unfortunately, they’re not using the In-reply-to header, but rather by matching subject lines. This method is common, but rather stupid, since any messages with subjects like “Re: Tonight” will be threaded, even when they are completely separate messages about scheduling, possibly separated by months or years in the Inbox. Mac Mail on OS X also uses the subject line, which is stupid, in my not so humble opinion.

But it’s still a great feature. I’ve been missing it.

The other big user-visible change is folders for apps. You can now group apps into folders on your screen. Pressing the folder brings up a list of the apps in the folder, allowing you to select one. Pressing the Home button or pressing off of the list of apps returns you to the screen you were on. They can’t be nested, but who’d want to do that on a phone?

I haven’t tried tethering, because it changes my contract with AT&T, and I don’t really need it at this point.

So far as I can tell, connecting a Bluetooth keyboard does not work on the 3G.

Faces and places in the photo app and photo pickers works great! It imports the faces from iPhoto on my Mac just fine.

And creating playlists in the iPod app works fine.

All in all, this is a good update to the operating system. If I were using a 3GS I might just stick with it. Since my phone will be two years old this fall, I have been considering a new phone.

I’m still dithering between a simple phone with network-based tethering plus an internet tablet with just WiFi vs a new iPhone. If I go the former route I’m dithering between an iPad and an as yet unreleased 7″ Android tablet.

One Comment

  1. I’m a great one for second thoughts.

    I dropped my iPhone and the mute button broke. Fortunately, it broke in the off position, so I can still hear calls and notifications.

    Another reason to get a new phone.

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