iPhone 3GS and 3G owners are expecting the iPhone OS 4 release from Apple today. Renamed iOS 4, the new firmware adds 100 new features including multitasking, folders and more. Apple watchers are predicting that the company will make the update available on its servers by 10 am Pacific time (1 pm EDT).
Demand is sure to be high as millions of devices, including the iPod Touch, are eligible to receive the operating system upgrade for free. Users will certainly flood Apple's servers with requests, much like the iPhone 4 pre-order swamped AT&T and Apple. iOS 4 requires iTunes 9.2.
Users plagued with battery problems in iPhone OS 3.1 are hoping for a fix, and several security upgrades are included behind the scenes. Steve Jobs announced the iOS 4 gold master candidate at WWDC earlier this month. The iPhone 4 hits stores on Thursday and will feature the new operating system.
Before updating your iPhone, be sure to sync your device and back up any photos and videos to your computer. Make sure iTunes has been updated to the latest version (9.2). When the iPhone is connected to iTunes you can click the "Check for Update" button to download and install the latest firmware file. The latest version before iOS 4 release was iPhone OS 3.1.3.Features of iOS 4 include performance upgrades, app organization into folders, multitasking, and an integrated Mail inbox. Once apps are made fully iOS 4 compatible they will be able to perform certain tasks in the background without straining the battery. For example, Pandora is widely expected to allow users to listen to Internet radio while performing other tasks, similar to the iPod app.
Some features will not be available on the iPhone 3G, such as multitasking. Presumably, processor and memory limitations would make the feature too sluggish. iOS 4 is not available on the original iPhone (2G) at all.
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Unfortunately, iPad users have also been left out of the current upgrade. Apple has only said that the iOS 4 software will be available for iPads this fall.