iPhone 4 lands in one week and Apple is gearing up for its arrival. We had iTunes 9.2 this morning, now the first iOS 4 multitasking apps are hitting the iTunes App Store. The most obvious of the batch is an updated version of our favourite file sharing and syncing app Dropbox. But multitasking on iPhone 4 isn’t a free-for-all, apps will only be able to do certain things. Here’s a quick reminder of what iOS 4 multitasking will enable…
Background audio and VoIP
This one’s the biggie and should mean we’ll get an updated Spotify iPhone app that will be able to pump out tunes in the background just like the Spotify Android app can do right now. American streaming service Pandora confirmed that it had already tweaked its app way back when iOS 4 was still plain old iPhone OS 4. VoIP apps like Skype will also be able to use the feature and while the TomTom iPhone app hasn’t been updated yet, it has been submitted with new multitasking skills.
The TomTom iPhone app will also be able to take advantage of this iOS 4 multitasking feature when it hits iPhone 4. Background location will let apps run in the background and keep offering turn-by-turn directions even if you’re listening to music or checking another app. Other location apps like Foursquare will be able to get in on the action too and opt to use cell tower locations instead of the GPS if they need to.
Previously iPhone apps had to send notifications through Apple’s servers but they’ll now be able to sit quietly in the background and let you know when an event is about to happen or an alarm has just gone off.
The current system of push notifications will still work on iPhone 4 so if an app isn’t running, updates will still pop up via the familiar onscreen message boxes.
If you jump out of an app and it’s in the middle of completing a task, it’ll keep plodding along in the background until it’s done. It’ll then close itself so you don’t end up with a bundle of apps slowing down your iPhone 4.
Fast app switching
Finally, you’ll be able to quickly change between apps by double tapping the home button. iOS 4 apps will remember where you were before you left and you won’t need to reload them all over again.
Let us know: what apps do you most want to have iOS 4 multitasking enabled by the time you get your iPhone 4?
Out now | £varies | Apple