Tomorrow sees the iPhone 4 software get its official airing by Apple. It’s the second year running that Cupertino has touted the all-new features for its next-gen OS well ahead of release. Last year’s iPhone 3.0 announcement saw the dawning of in-app purchasing and basics like copy and paste. So what will iPhone 4 bring? Here’s the Top 10 features we think it has to come packing.
1 3rd party multitasking
The iPhone has been crying out for proper multitasking from day one. Now all its main rivals tout it, surely it’s time that Apple's wonderphone does too. Rumours are swirling of it landing with iPhone 4, letting you double tap the homescreen to flick between open apps, just as you do to pull up music controls.
2 Changeable wallpapers
These are already sitting pretty on the iPad, so it’s not a huge leap to suggest iPhone 4 will offer the same feature. It would mean a move away from the old-school black background we’ve known since the first iPhone landed. But handing back control to the user is something Apple needs to do more of.
3 Better live updates
Push updates on the iPhone arrived with OS 3.0. But the brilliant HTC Sense and even MotoBLUR handle it better, especially when it comes to the likes of Twitter and Facebook. A dedicated social networking page, like Friend Stream, would be a great, if unlikely, addition.
4 iChat support
Full iChat support for the iPhone has long been gossiped about in Apple-fanboy circles. But a proper iChat app for iPhone 4, with front facing camera support for future versions of the phone, would help bring VoIP to the masses. Apple’s software skills would doubtless make it a winner.
5 Lockable rotating screen
This has been baked right into the iPad, letting you read books at the angle of your choosing while dozing in bed or on the sofa. So why not do the same on the iPhone? After all, there are enough e-reader apps to make it worthwhile.
6 Leap-like expose
This could come as part of multitasking for the iPhone. But Apple was so incensed by HTC’s Expose-style Leap feature in HTC Sense that surely it has something similar planned, letting you pinch-to-zoom and see all your homescreens, with all your apps and the Spotlight function, in one place.
7 Higher res screen support
The iPhone’s screen is starting to look a tad less bright and sparkly now the HTC Desire and Google Nexus One have rolled up with lush AMOLED panels. Apple needs to include support for these screens, pointing to a new phone that can handle movies and photos in the brightest conditions.
8 Rejigged mail
The iPad’s software will doubtless feature heavily with iPhone 4. With that in mind, the new popM up menu system used in Mail has to be ported across and used in a smart way which doesn’t cause you to lose screen real estate while skipping through messages. Mail on the iPhone has been looking creaky for ages, so a new look is imperative.
9 iWork support
The iPad’s iWork app is a central part of the tablet’s make up. Adding an iPhone version would give Apple the kind of productivity makeover it needs to put their blower at the centre of businesses as well as everyday punters. Smaller versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote would be ace.
10 Built in Google Translate and Wikipedia tools
A key plank of the HTC Desire is its browser’s ability to use these tools just by holding text, which adds a new dimension to searching the web wherever you are. Apple could come over a tad 'me too' and go for something like this to show HTC that two can play that game.