iOS 4: 10 things to know

6. iBooks comes to the iPhone

While we in the UK were slightly underwhelmed by the iPad announcements of the iBookstore (not least because we're not getting it over here yet) it doesn't mean it's not a good thing that Apple is expanding the functionality of the service to the iPhone.

In true Apple style, users will be able to buy an iBook from one place, be it the iPad, iPhone or somewhere else, and see it across platforms without needing to buy it again.

You'll also get full cloud-based synchronisation, meaning you don't need to lose your place should you leave the iPhone and want to continue reading on the iPad.

We're still not totally sold on the idea of eBook readers, but if they are to succeed, it's elements like this that will give them the boost they need - cross platform synchronisation is key.

You also get a free copy of Winnie the Pooh with the new iPhone iBookstore - we know, we don't really care either.

7. Guess what? No flash still

Those of you waiting patiently for Flash to appear on the iPhone/iPad shouldn't hold your breath - Steve Jobs still seems dead against it.

Despite the increasing clamour for Flash (and Java) integration into the platform since the launch of the iPad, when questioned about the possible addition Jobs was pretty terse.

Asked whether Apple's position on Flash or Java would change, Jobs replied a flat: 'No', showing that it seems there's no thaw in sight for that frozen spat.

8. iPad widgets on the way?

It was a brief mention in the Q&A at the end, but it seems we might be getting widgets to fill that vast expanse of screen real estate on the iPad.

When questioned about why Apple decided against widgets on the iPad interface, the reply was pretty comical: 'We shipped it on the Saturday, and we rested on the Sunday'.

When pushed further on whether this meant widgets could appear in the future, the retort was 'Everything is possible.'

Given the high-powered abilities offered with the new iOS 4.0 upgrade, also coming to the iPad, we can't help but feel widgets would be a great differentiator for the iPhone's bigger brother.

9. More love for enterprises

It's probably the least sexy element of the release, but hey, it's still very important given the amount of businesses out there using iPhones.

Apple will be offering increased data protection, wireless app distribution (so IT guys can decide what you should be using and multiple Exchange accounts to make all your business suit people out there more efficient.

Add into that SSL VPN support (crucial for a number of users and sorely missed so far) and an upgrade to Exchange Server 2010 mean that the iPhone is now that little bit more relevant in the boardroom.

10. A later iPhone launch than usual?

Jobs sprang a possible surprise on us with the announcement of the release date for the iPhone 4 firmware - it will be coming in the 'summer'.

Looking at last year's timings, the 3.0 firmware was announced in mid-March, the iPhone 3GS unveiled on 8 June and the firmware launched on 17 June, two days ahead of the iPhone 3GS launch.

We're a month later than that already this year, and while a mid-June launch for the new iPhone (if we're getting one at all) would still be technically summer, we're starting to wonder if Apple is looking more at July or even August for a possible launch.


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Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.