is undoubtedly testing the new version of its iPhone’s operating system, it remains to be confirmed what exactly it brings in terms of new features, as well as the hardware it will run on. It is a widely accepted conception that Apple will roll out iPhone OS 4.0 in tandem with a revamped version of the smartphone itself, which is reportedly taller, sports a higher resolution display, and a front-facing camera.
New details on these rumors have now emerged, with a particular focus on the software front. AppleInsider claims
to have been talking with people briefed on these matters, reporting that the next version of Apple's mobile operating system is set to finally allow third-party applications to run in the background, via an Exposé-like interface, in what would be a real multitasking capability. These sources allegedly confirmed the presence of an OS X-like window-management system that would allow users to switch between applications.
Specifically citing people familiar with Apple's plans for the new firmware, the report reveals that, “The technology […] will finally allow users to launch multiple apps in the background and quickly switch between them,” as exclusively reported by the website a while ago, AppleInsider outlines. “Currently, a running app must be quit when the user returns to the Home screen,” it points out, citing Apple’s reasons to avoid a multitasking model – preserving battery life, and simplifying the user experience.
Touted as being familiar with the design of iPhone 4.0, these people allegedly also said that, “The user interface will resemble Apple's desktop Expose feature, in that a key combination […] will trigger an expose-like interface that brings up a series of icons representing the currently running apps, allowing users to quickly select the one they want to switch to directly.”
Reportedly, the key combination is hitting the Home button twice, a function that is programmable in the current version of the iPhone OS. “When a selection is made, the iPhone OS zooms out of the Expose task manager and transitions to that app,” these people claim to have learned, according to the same report. Still, the function backing multitasking on the iPhone allegedly “exhibits several characteristics of the Expose brand,” people who've shared knowledge of iPhone OS 4.0 pre-release builds are telling AppleInsider.