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iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 3 Reveals New Features [Update: & 720p Video Recording]

Gordon Kelly


iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 3 Reveals New Features [Update: 720p Video Capture]

iPhone OS 4.0 added many major (and long overdue) features to Apple's hugely popular handset including multi-tasking, folder support and a gaming hub, but it appears we will be getting a number of significant additional nuggets before the final version is released...

Perhaps most surprising is drag and drop file sharing. Yes, this is long awaited functionality and in its current guise allows users to drag files straight from the computer to the iPhone using an iTunes 'File Sharing' section. At present just 'Apps' and 'Mail Documents' are listed which is a bit naff, so let's hope it expands further before launch.

Of course this isn't the full drag and drop music/video/any file format support we'd all love to see independent of iTunes, but then again that's highly unlikely to ever happen.

Next are widgets with Apple adding iPod controls to the multitasking panel. They are accessed simply by bringing up the panel and swiping left and offer play, pause and skipping of tracks. This is much needed as the double tap of the home button which used to bring up iPod controls and/or favourite contacts instead triggers the multitasking panel and we had been wondering how Apple would replace this frequently used feature. It's certainly more cumbersome than the old method, but at least it's there and hopefully it'll be just the start of Apple's move into widgets.

Next closing multitasking apps is now simplified so you simply hold your finger on the multitasking panel icons and close buttons appear over all apps allowing you to close as many as you want. Previously this operation had to be completed for every app which was clearly daft.

Lastly there is a screen orientation lock provided so users being driven mad by the iPhone's sensitive accelerometer constantly flipping things between portrait and landscape modes can choose to stop this at any point. Handy, though I'd suggest just holding your phone steadier.

Hopefully the nuggets will keep coming before iPhone OS 4.0 inevitably launches in June alongside that other cat out the bag: the 4th generation iPhone...

Update: MacRumours has also picked up on these preset values in the new iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 3 SDK:



Looks like 720p video recording is also a shoo-in. So who is betting on 'iPhone HD' being the new name?




May 5, 2010, 6:20 pm

This is all good to hear and hopefully June 7th will bring us the 4.0 device and this update to the OS.

Regarding the screen orientation lock, this will be most useful to those of us who often like to write messages or browse websites while lying on one side in bed. Thankfully I already have a rotation lock tool courtesy of a third party app.


May 5, 2010, 6:28 pm

@Orinj: Glad to know it's not just me.


May 5, 2010, 6:33 pm

Apples tactic seems to be to initially release an incredibly under-featured product and then incrementally add standard features over the years to keep people hooked.


May 5, 2010, 7:02 pm

Well quite, i never thought i would see Copy and Paste as a sales bullet point for a new OS (phone or not).


May 5, 2010, 7:17 pm


Firstly... It is what they all do and how software gets sold. I should know I write software!

Secondly... Love the name (speaking as a naturalised Pie Eater "Wiganer", I wish I came up with it!)... oh have thought of another pies4u.


May 5, 2010, 7:30 pm

And to think that Microsoft used to get bagged out for the "wait for service pack 1" rule... seems like with Apple you need to wait for Version 4 to get features that have been in other OS's for years. Still, my wife wants to buy one <sigh>


May 5, 2010, 8:47 pm

Well not being anti-apple or anything, but I can't say I have ready anything anywhere that makes me regret getting the Desire, (especially considering the difference in price the Desire and iPhone 4 will be)

Oh well ill give it 24 months and see what the apple iphone 6 is like


May 5, 2010, 8:47 pm

@piesforyou > It does indeed seem to be the way for Apple but given that people are hooked on the basic interface first it hasn't stopped them from selling millions of iPhones/iPads. We said similar things when cut and paste was introduced in 3.0. Google also employ a similar technique - get the basic functionality and UI right first in a Beta release, then add obvious features later.


May 5, 2010, 9:06 pm

All being well and good, OS 4.0 should make my 3GS as capable as it is now but without needing the jailbreak!


May 5, 2010, 9:31 pm

Am I the only one that feels Apple is now trying to catch up with Android?


May 5, 2010, 11:31 pm


Sorin is right, when android was released, it ate iphone OS for breakfast. It's a shame about the hardware - Apple certainly won on that score.


May 5, 2010, 11:57 pm

Now fix the annyoing notifications system.


May 6, 2010, 2:18 am

Of course, like everybody else, I wish the display of my iPhone would be much brighter so as ro toast my slices of bread in the morning, but can't I live without it before it happens?

I do not quite understand the complaint by some about the incremental development of software.

Is it just me who wishes not to be deluged with a never-ending list of new functionalities, because in my humble opinion, OS and Software developpers have really annoyed me most the past thirty years for always bringing forward new functionalities without bothering to make sure the existing ones are bullet proof.

I understand that in the perspective of a developper it may seem more exciting to work on new functionalities than to sandbag and mop the mess of previous ones, but as an end-user, I am appalled by what the software developpers have got away with.

It seems to me that Apple , while it may feel frustrating, have had a habit of finishing their products better than many others, and as a result tend to be slower to provide their customers with new functionalties.

I see there a prudence which seems to have won them a loyal and slowly increasing crowd of followers.

Even if I accept that Windows 7 is a success, Microsoft would not be considererd as they are if they had adopted a more considerate approach to debugging before getting our cash.

Welcome to OS4.0 , 5.0 and so on beyond.

As for my slices, i'll stick to the toaster for a little longer...


May 6, 2010, 3:02 am

@Sorin+piesforyou > Yeah I won't deny that Android is probably the better mobile OS but unfortunately it's taken two years to get the hardware up to scratch compared with the iPhone. Cameras aside, it's the touch screen that's the most important function and up until recently with the HTC Desire and HD2, it still wasn't good enough. That said, Apple are now equal or now lagging behind the Android handsets, at least until the iPhone HD is released in July.

Hamish Campbell

May 6, 2010, 1:27 pm

As much as all of us might like reams of functionality remember we are the minority.

My wife absolutely adores her iphone. She has not once used copy/paste and probably never will.

There are a lot more people like my wife than nerds like you lot (and me :) ). If I was selling something, guess who I would target.

The impressive design and usability of the iPhone will mean it will continue to sell like hotcakes (even if it doesn't have as many cherries, sprinkles and hundreds and thousands as some others).

Hamish Campbell

May 6, 2010, 1:29 pm

I should point out, I'm looking to buy an HTC Legend in the near future, can't wait!!


May 6, 2010, 1:43 pm

Kieran, I totally agree with you. Now I've started down the Android route with the Desire I can't see myself changing in the near future. However, I am a bit of a geek. I can totally appreciate how Android is not for everyone. I think Kerwood's comments are insightful. Whilst Apple lags slightly with functionality, they are always top of the pile in terms of ease of use, reliability, and crash-proof-ness. I hope both platforms continue to improve as a result of the competition between them.


May 6, 2010, 3:46 pm

So if the rumour mill is pointing to the iPhone's big selling point being 720p video recording, do you think the iPod Touch is gonna finally get a camera too? Or will it still be a protected feature on the iPhone line?


May 6, 2010, 4:44 pm

@GoldenGuy > It's likely that the iPod Touch will finally get a camera as the iPod nano now has one and it's something that 'touch' owners have been asking for due to the number of applications that can make use of a camera and photos.


May 12, 2010, 8:37 pm

I will make a bet here: the single most important feature of the next gen iPhone will be not in the software/features but battery life. There are a few things that point to that:

- back of the phone made of some ceramic that improves reception (i.e. phone needs less power for the radio)

- slightly bigger capacity battery

- same processor as in iPad

If you think about it, probably the thing that most people complain about in any smartphone is battery life, so Apple will deliver and present it as a breakthrough in mobile computing (magical?!).

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