App Industry Roundup: New version of iPhone OS 4 beta arrives for developers

May 19, 2010
Finance

App developers always get the good stuff first, as we point out in today’s App Industry Roundup. Also, the iPad goes to school and the official Twitter app comes to the iPhone.  iPhone app folders coming soon  Developers continue to get a glimpse of what the latest version of the iPhone software will look like, […]

App developers always get the good stuff first, as we point out in today’s App Industry Roundup. Also, the iPad goes to school and the official Twitter app comes to the iPhone. 

iPhone app folders coming soon 

Developers continue to get a glimpse of what the latest version of the iPhone software will look like, as Apple marches toward a summer release of the next-generation iPhone and a developer’s conference starting on June 7. The fourth beta version of the iPhone OS 4 was just released and it shows some interesting features, including a technique that geeks have been wanting from the iPhone since its debut.

The new folder system will be on display on a new-like home screen, as tools like the clock, calendar and voice memo will be stored in a utilities folder, Gizmodo writes. (The folders are potentially my top new feature, by the way, as it will be so much easier to just tap open a folder to access all your games, news apps, photo tools or social networking favorites. That’s much more convenient than scrolling through 11 screens of apps.)

And then there’s tethering, a technique to grant Internet access to an unconnected computing device through a mobile phone. The iPhone has not been able to do this, but it appears that the iPhone OS 4 will allow for it. It will be found under network settings, according to this screen shot from Gizmodo.

The iPad goes to school 

If you were wondering why iPads remain hard to find in some parts of the country, you can blame it on American education. Many schools, including the Illinois Institute of Technology, are using the iPad to lure students. ITT, for example, will give iPads to all 600 of its incoming freshman when school starts in the fall.

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One reason for ITT’s largesse, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, is that “the school has started some of the nation’s first courses in mobile application development.”

Giving away iPads to students shouldn’t be a surprise. The iPod was a popular give-away too, as school’s justified these gifts by saying professors would create audio versions of their lectures for downloading. Who knows how many kids downloaded these lectures, but isn’t it nice that our higher institutions of learning make it easy to skip class so students can stay hunkered down in the dorm and play with their new gizmos?

Missing Tweetie mystery solved!

We noted in yesterday’s App Industry Roundup that the popular Tweetie 2 app had been removed from the iTunes App Store — the original Tweetie remains faithful on my iPhone, thankfully — after the company that built the app was bought by Twitter itself. Now, today, word is spreading in Tweet-like speed that the official Twitter app will start hitting the iTunes store very, very soon. Heck, it may have arrived by the time you read this, but it wasn’t by the time this was written. New Zealanders, apparently, will be first to get the app.

According to Steve O’Hear at TechCrunch, here’s what’s new: “Search has been improved, adding geolocated tweets and the ability to view top tweets and suggested users; you can signup to Twitter within the application, including the Suggested User list (a pretty big deal); the Retweet button has been given more prominence; and finally you don’t need a Twitter account to start using the app e.g. you can browse tweets, users or see trends etc.”

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An Appolicious review will follow soon.

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Eric Benderoff

Eric Benderoff is the principal of BendableMedia.com, an editorial services firm, and a founding member of the Appolicious content strategy team. His personal technology column for the Chicago Tribune has appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide. He is a regular guest on Chicago's WGN Radio and is a frequent commentator about consumer technology on national TV news programs.

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