iOS 4 Software Update for iPod touch Is Free

Starting with the new iOS 4, iPod touch owners will not be charged for major updates anymore

Apple fanatics are most likely aware of the Mac maker's latest policy changes, but some iPod touch users out there may not know that the newest version of “the world’s most advanced mobile operating system” will be delivered to them for free, around the time Apple ships iPhone 4. Up until now, Cupertino charged iPod touch users $10 or $5 for all major iPhone OS software updates.

“With over 100 new features, it [iOS 4] includes Multitasking, Folders, enhanced Mail, deeper Enterprise support and Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising platform,” Apple said on June 7, when Steve Jobs showed iPhone 4 to the world. “With Multitasking, users can now instantly switch between any of their apps while preserving battery life,” the company explained in a report. “With Folders, users can easily organize their apps into collections by simply dragging one app on top of another [….] Users can now customize their lock and home screens with an array of supplied wallpapers or with any of the photos on their phone.”

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The iBooks app along with the iBookstore will also be available with iOS 4 when the new software ships for supported devices. The app will sync the user’s current place in a book, along with any bookmarks, highlights and notes created, between copies of the same book on the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. iBooks users can also now read and store PDFs.

Speaking of supported devices, not all features are compatible with all iPhones and iPod touches. The best example is multitasking, but features like custom wallpapers, and Bluetooth keyboard support are also available only with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and the third-generation iPod touch (32GB and 64GB models from late 2009). Moreover, apps that have been developed to work with iOS 4 are the only ones capable of handling multitasking, the Mac maker says in fine print on its website.

Apple is most likely set to release iOS 4 on June 24, to coincide with the public availability of its iPhone 4, which CEO Steve Jobs touts as “the biggest leap since the original iPhone.” Starting with June 24, iPod touch owners will be notified that iOS 4 is available for free download when they connect their device to iTunes, on their computer. iOS 4 is also compatible with iPad (although the tablet will miss out on some of the features as well). The iPad-ready version of iOS 4 was scheduled to ship this Fall, Apple said.

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