Into the Wild: Looking Toward the iPhone 4.0

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For iPhone users, and iPod Touch users for that matter, the constant release of iPhone OS updates is a lifeline to the constantly changing expectations of the smart phone world.  As we constantly ramp forward we will begin to see the iPhone as a living device, always in a state of flux and attempting it to conform to the new needs we will stress on it.  This is partially answered by the changing technology in each generation of the iPhone, but more importantly in the firmware as this really has the ability to stay moving.  The iPhone 3.0 update was a fairly dramatic one as it came on the shoulders of the iPhone 3Gs, yet it really ramped up for those who had made the hardware jump as well.  After this we have had a series of small software updates that bring moderate revisions to the current structure, and are almost unreasonably expensive for iPod Touch users.  Now we look forward to the next impending jump and what it may bring.  What do we have to expect from the iPhone OS 4.0?

When we are discussing this jump forward to the iPhone 4.0 we are really talking about the software and hardware working in unison, similar to the case for the 2009 launch of the iPhone 3Gs.  The rumors have been coming in full force and it takes a certain amount of discernment to see what is likely to show up.

One common aspect to these rumors is that Apple is going to revamp the still camera in a completely revolutionizing way.  This does not mean that it is going to include a single element that will improve the quality of your mobile phone pictures, but instead a concert of different features that will bring this up to the quality expected by many consumer digital cameras.  It has been suggested that camera will be a five megapixel and that it will be paired with a flash LED.  These two upgrades alone will be enough to make the practical use of a cell phone for all picture needs a reality.  Since there should also be a more superior graphics chip under the hood this should end up meeting the tasks at hand.

This theory about the iPhone 4.0 camera abilities comes from reports from AppleInsider that they will be receiving a large shipment of "LED camera flash components" for 2010.  Along with this is the assumption about Philips Lumileds Lighting possibly being a company working on the development.

Another main feature that may be included in the iPhone 4.0 update is the inclusion of multitasking features.  The iPhone OS is still behind the curve of upcoming mammoths like the Nexus One in that you are really streamlined to one task at a time.  Instead of being able to run multiple applications and tools you are forced to single yourself out.  The iPhone 4.0 is supposed to answer this, though there have not been reports as to how extensive this is going to be.

Over all we are going to see iPhone 4.0 as a way for Apple to declare their phone in the coming smart phone wars with companies like Palm and Google.  The updated graphics ability of iPhone 4.0 should give gaming developers more freedom, so it may be likely that this will lead to more in depth licensed games from the more respected videogame developers.  All the built in iPhone applications that we have need major reforms to make themselves competitive as the competing phones get released, and if Google's "super phone" abilities are anywhere near the hype it is going to take every type of upgrade to make the iPhone 4.0 to continue to stand on top.  This means that there needs to be both a revamp in what the iPhone can do on a consistent basis and how Apple controls it through iTunes' and the App Store.  Each of these rumors seems promising so we can begin to think about what the iPhone 4.0 will actually have in store, but it was also not that long ago that we were hoping for the iPhone Nano and iPhone Pro.

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