Apple released their long-awaited update of their mobile operating system, iOS (formerly iPhone OS) late this morning. This build is identical to the gold master build that was put into developers’ hands at WWDC 2010, just after Steve Jobs finished his keynote speech.
As previously noted, this version of the OS is not yet available for the iPad. Likewise, it cannot be loaded on the original iPhone 2G models or the first generation iPod Touch. The build also acts differently according to which device it’s on: camera functionality, for instance, is missing from the iPod Touch running iOS 4.0, and multitasking is stripped from the iPhone 3G.
Seeing as the iPad won’t see the new OS for several months, anyone’s guess is as good as ours as to what new features it will come loaded with. Apple clearly doesn’t have a problem with staggered releases, though; the iPad featured customizable backgrounds, spell check improvements, and orientation lock long before the iPhone ever got them.
Now your games don’t have to take up four to five pages of your home screen.
It’s also worth pointing out that neither iAds nor Game Center are available at this time. The former will go live next week, but Game Center’s official roll out will be on some yet unannounced date, probably later this summer.
As for our own tests, we can confirm that multitasking works well for many apps, but games that have yet to take advantage of the saved-state aspect do not really benefit at this point. Folders, however, are incredibly useful both for sorting apps in general, and more importantly for many of you, sorting your massive game collection.
Stay tuned for more details about the upgrades to iOS as we cover more games and apps that hopefully use them well.