iPhone OS 4.0: Almost New, But Official – Jailbreak Still Rules

This image described by iPhone, apps, Jobs, Steve, iPhone OS 4.0, IPhoneOS4-027

Apple may have announced new features for 4.0, but they're still playing catch-up with jailbroken software.

Yesterday Apple held a keynote to show off the newest version of their iPhone operating system iPhone OS 4.0. Touted by Apple as an "update to the most advanced mobile operating system in the world."

And there is no denying that the iPhone OS is a powerful, fast system that works wonderfully on the hardware it's built for, but that doesn't mean there aren't ways to improve it. Apple is answering that with this summer's update. The thing is, many of these features have already been available to jailbroken phones for some time now.

Features as simple as changing the home screen's background were for some reason left out of the iPhone. Those who chose to jailbreak their iPhones were able to do this long ago, while the official OS that will allow it is still a few months away. Though a feature like this seems so basic, it's unknown why or how this was left out until now. Either way, that is changing for everybody.

One of the other major complaints about the iPhone was its inability to multitask. Again, this is something that those with jailbroken iPhones have already accomplished. Granted, Jobs is aware of that. During the keynote he said, "Now, we weren't the first to this party, but we're gonna be the best."

Two of the reasons for Apple's delay of the feature, he said, were battery life and the tendency for multiple Apps to cause slowdown. Apple says they were able to work around this. "But I think we nailed it," Jobs said at the keynote.

One of Apple's other major additions was folders. There was no question about a need for folders. Just ask anyone with more than 40 apps…it gets a bit crowded. A software called Categories provided some order to this chaos, but again, that was only to those with jailbroken iPhones. It's nice to finally see this sort of thing added in an official Apple update.

This image described by iPhone, apps, Jobs, Steve, iPhone OS 4.0, IPhoneOS4-115


Almost anything one can think of that will be added in the OS update has been created in some form by smart programmers wanting to run the iPhone their own way, and users downloaded these 'fixes'. Perhaps Apple has finally listened to their customers' demands.

Now the real question: Was Apple simply doing this to give users what they wanted? Or were they trying to in some way deter the jailbreaking?(not so fast, iPhone OS 4.0 was jailbroken in less then 24 hours)

Probably both.

And that's what they call killing two birds with one stone, to use a cliche.

 (Photos: James Martin CNET)

For more related info, read iSmashPhone's Ten Reasons to Jailbreak Your iPhone.

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