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iPhone OS 4.0 is Underwhelming

Yes, Apple had a little party today.  Did anyone leave the event blown away?  Only Apple lovers.  As an Android supporter, I listened and watched the updates fly across the interwebs and not once did I say, “Whoa!  Game changer baby!”  That officially makes 2 Apple pressers in a row which left most people simply shrugging.  First we had the iPad event where anyone with an ounce of intelligence said, “Um, no camera, no multi-tasking and AT&T? Really?”  And now we’ve got iPhone OS 4.0 which introduced features that have been on the mobile market for, well, months if not years.

Multi-tasking: Umm, does this need comment? Is it even true multi-tasking?  Someone chime in with a “Droid Does!”

Unified email inbox: Hello Blackberry?

Folders: Seriously, the ability to create a folder is worth announcing?

iBooks: I know the online book market is big, but nothing new, nothing groundbreaking.

iAd: What end-user cares about an ad platform?

Game Center: Ok +1 there.

Feels pretty good to have been using a device for almost 6 months now that’s been able to do pretty much everything that Apple announced today.  And Android just woke up from a nap.

Thoughts anyone?

  • Mike

    The Droid over is an awesome phone. Especially for a newcomer to the phone market, it's doing an awesome job. I love to see the underdog rise up and really win, but in this case it's really not going to happen. At least not for a long time. It just makes so much sense that the most popular phone has more money to dump into a phone to make it great. Regardless if two phones can do the same thing, or the one of those phones could do it first, if the other can do it a lot better, then that phone is ultimately the winner. Apple seems slow and releasing their technology but it's basically a strategy that allows more money to come in with each new device and the most development possible to make it as good as possible. They know exactly what they are doing. I was never a fan boy type, except for early nintendo/super nintendo but honestly even though droid has promise doesn't say much besides that. It's always good to have competition but that will just drive the one that is further ahead to try harder to stay ahead. Apple I feel will do that. Same way Nintendo does with their competition. Based on a subjective experience one might have that other systems are better, Nintendo will almost always sell more and be used by more people. They just have the upper hand.

    With that, that doesn't mean the other competitors are bad because they really do have some awesome stuff but that's it really.

  • Mike

    The Droid over is an awesome phone. Especially for a newcomer to the phone market, it's doing an awesome job. I love to see the underdog rise up and really win, but in this case it's really not going to happen. At least not for a long time. It just makes so much sense that the most popular phone has more money to dump into a phone to make it great. Regardless if two phones can do the same thing, or the one of those phones could do it first, if the other can do it a lot better, then that phone is ultimately the winner. Apple seems slow and releasing their technology but it's basically a strategy that allows more money to come in with each new device and the most development possible to make it as good as possible. They know exactly what they are doing. I was never a fan boy type, except for early nintendo/super nintendo but honestly even though droid has promise doesn't say much besides that. It's always good to have competition but that will just drive the one that is further ahead to try harder to stay ahead. Apple I feel will do that. Same way Nintendo does with their competition. Based on a subjective experience one might have that other systems are better, Nintendo will almost always sell more and be used by more people. They just have the upper hand.

    With that, that doesn't mean the other competitors are bad because they really do have some awesome stuff but that's it really.

  • Jj19

    I have a droid, and at least my gf's iPhone doesn't freeze/crash almost constantly and everything she does takes about a third of the time, I don't like the iPhone but at least it works well and has an intuitive ui, that's all I'm sayin…

  • but see what you morons dont understand is…. apple is doing in it a way so when you have many apps open it does not LAGG your phone like your droid does!!!!!! yes droid DOES!!! LAGG!!!! WHEN YOU GOT MANY APPS OPEN!!! with API its gonna keep the iphone from lagging!!!! none of you seem to understand why apple has made the phone to only do one app at a time because it causes instability in the phone…
    so when us iphonee users have 20 apps open.. we wont need the app killer pro like DROID DOES!!!!!

  • chris

    multi tasking? droid came with that built in. email inbox? droid came with that built in. folders. droid also came with that built in. ibooks? droid has many apps on the market for that and alot of them r free. game center? droid has games on the market and emulators. something iphone doesnt have. looks like iphone still has alot of work to do to b as good as the droid

  • Tek720

    Ok, Ok,
    I'll put multitasking to rest.
    It is a common saying among sales people “The Customer is always Right”.
    This was true 100 years ago, when understanding technology wasn't reserved for engineers and technicians.
    Pretty much every one could fix their water wheel or steam engine.
    In the modern era there is a rift between what you want and what engineers give you.
    You want multi-tasking, Apple wants their products functioning perfectly for end users (especially you grandma and grandpa).
    I've had hand held computers since the Newton. Hell my original Palm Pilot was the best TV remote I ever owned. I even had the cell phone attachment for it. My Ipaq had extensive multi-tasking in windows mobile (as well as printing and voip). I could go on, most features in todays smart phones have been available for years in one form or an other.
    Which brings me to my point, my 3gs gets a reboot maybe once every two months. I have NEVER had it crash (or freeze). How is this possible? Apple has a method to their madness, all they care about is that every single time you use your Apple product it works.
    The Ipaq got a boot maybe 10- 20 times a day (this was normal) and don't even get me started on Palm OS (DragonBall).
    You can belly ache all day, the customer is always right, right?
    NO, unless you are an accomplished computer science engineer you technically have no idea what your demanding.
    The bulk of their market is not tech savvy at all. That is how they sell Millions of units of almost any product they produce, you turn it on and it goes (except Newton's, LOL).
    I am not for or against any brand of smart phone technology, I am a technician, I like anything I don't have to fix or futz with (cause thats all I do at work).
    Steve Jobs is defiantly crazy, but if it wasn't for him we wouldn't have widely accepted Top Down Engineering and 10-20 year development cycles.
    If you were an CEO at Motorola and you said “I can make the wolds best ______”, phase one research will complete in 8 years”. Guess what, your fired.
    I think I've ranted enough, Hope you've enjoyed my perspective.

  • takeshi

    Technical merit doesn't ensure market success. iPhone OS 4 will do well despite all this criticism.

  • carl

    compare with Droid, Iphone is like a bimbo who learns new things slowly. it takes her years to learn multi-tasking. but she did not learn it well so she can only do it in limited bases, and she finally learns how to create folder. the plus side is that she know all many kinds of games for you to play with… so in a way, she is not much useful, other than sleep and having fun with

  • The multi-tasking is a step in the right direction.

    The Game Center is cool.

    And I'm still puzzled by the presence of folders on the “tent-pole” feature list. If that's a tent-pole feature I can only imagine how underwhelming the unnamed improvements are going to be.

    • Tom

      You call that multi-tasking? 7 “API”s, no communication apps [so no eBuddy, Twitter, or anything like that in the background…. yeah… nice job Apple, you really know how to leave out important things]

      There are only 2 things that Apple has done right for their iPhone [one thing confirmed and one thing rumored]. Those two things are the Game Center, and the second is a forward facing.

      However the second thing is a mute point because it looks like Android beat them to it. And on top of that… quite frankly… I don't use video chat as it is at home. I don't see the point of a mobile video chat, UNLESS you are a business executive that travels a lot, and need it to attend meetings and where they would need to see you and you see them. However, most people like that would have a laptop or netbook that could do the same and with a bigger screen. Only use is if you are en route somewhere and have a meeting like I just mentioned. But really… how often does that happen? and how many people need that? Nice feature, but pretty useless, like all Apple products [except their computers].

  • Wilson

    I'm a Droid user. No doubt in my mind its one of the best phones in the market to date. I came from the Blackberry Curve which was a huge upgrade. I woke up at 10 AM excited to see what Apple had in store for the 4.0. I'll have to admit, most of the things that Jobs said were attacking other companies such as Google, Adobe and etc. Well… good for you Steve Jobs in generating so much capital for Apple and creating such a unique system for Apple. Still.. cant be that I'm super impressed with this 4.0

    Multitasking has been around for quite awhile. Android has had that ability for quite sometime. Nice job catching up. iAds is interesting but i can still say, I'm not a fan of ads. But great way to generate even more money Apple. More games and folders. The folders capabilities is pretty cool just because it allows iPhone users to have more apps on their phones. Pretty dope but still. EHHHHH….

    In the end, the Droid still beats it in my book. You can do anything on the droid and then some. The only thing thats better with the iPhone is the apps and all the companies that support the iPhone. Just wait for all the companies to support Google's Android.

    Open source is the greatest door opened. Thank you Google. If you can take on China and withdraw, you can do anything.

    • Tom

      Fact: Google is taking over the world. I bet if they wanted to, They could build an army of machines, loyal followers and nerds and geeks who would be willing to fight for them.

      Moral of they story, don't mess with Google, they will be our overload and master one day…

  • pdash

    that looks like a great way to handling multi tasking

  • gadgetman

    Apple and the fanboys make me laugh they seem to think the iphone is the first of its kind, i had my first pda back in 2000 it was windows mobile and guess what it had media player, internet browser office etc, it was brill. I latter had upgrades all the way up to windows mobile 6.1, with all them devices i could use internet watch movies listen to music play games, everything the i phone can do and more. so with that said why is it apple and the fanboys out there insist on saying the iphone changed the world and is the most advanced smartphone in the world etc, when it did not come out till 2007 and had less functions, what i think is it looks really nice thats it. same as the ipad came out this year but i remeber haveing tablet pc's aroud 2001 and yes they had a fully functional os. what is apple gonna claim to invent next VHS.

  • monstergamer

    LOL you forgot that they are just now getting to have a home wallpaper

    • iPhones finally get home screen wallpapers, and Android's already moved on to live wallpapers.

  • palomosan

    This is nonsense, holding an event for this, come on Apple and not only that this update will only be avaliable in the iphone 3GS not the 3G or the iphone.

    Once again Droid Does.


    the moto droid is by far the best phone that i have used and owned, if u ask me im going to tell that any apple product is the a peace of crap. DROID DOES EVERTHING.

  • The Game Center and iAd are huge additions to the mobile world! I wasn't blown away by all of these announcements, but those two features are a head of the mobile game. Everything else Apple announced was just catch up to Android features.

  • Joandy

    It's not TRUE multitasking…

  • dannydarko

    Absolutely true my friend.Droid Does all,point blank period! There have been tablet computers out for years now.They may not have been sleek or stylish but they got the job done and then some.Sapple has reached its lame peak already.They can hire all the B-level actors they want to spew nonsense and what good is speed if you have no coverage.I have4 never been happier with my phone since the day I bought my first Android the Famed G1 and now with the Droid I am completely satisfied with all aspects of performance,openness,and style.It truly is an all in one piece of Android heaven.The industry has come so far since the incarnation of the first cellphone and even the creator has a Droid nuff said!..LIVE IT, LOVE IT, DROOOOOOIIIID-LIFE!!!!!!@

  • DK

    apple has re branded itself as a user-friendly, smart appliance developer–how hard is it use a dishwasher? blender? microwave? etc. however, have you noticed how hi-tech a washer/dryer has become over the years? it's extremely shrewd marketing, mind you. the majority of its consumers don't care about the computing side of their devices. the majority of the 4.0 features is simply adding flair to their line of dishwashers, blenders, etc. it's what apple is planning/doing behind the scenes–the game-changer is what iTunes will become with the implementation and integration of iAd. THIS is going head-to-head with google's pending acquisition of admob.

    the $$$ is in the backend services for ALL tech giants [including IBM, HP, Cisco, Oracle, Dell]–cloud computing/services. apple is definitely playing catchup here. google is way ahead of the game in both infrastructure and services [server farms, VOIP, unified messaging, etc]. buzz and wave is following the same strategy the rest are trying to reach whether through merger/acquisition or in-home developement–unified messaging/collaborative environment.

    apple makes appliances. now they're trying to get in the game with iAd and iTunes. like gmail, iTunes already has a large installed/registered user-base. to capture the enterprise market, i predict iTunes will morph into something like google's gmail, buzz, and wave.

    from an enterprise POV–it not about the Apps, homepage wallpaper, etc. the winner will be whoever can port and unify [ie-single sign-on] these collaborative services to the smart phone. so far, google android is the front runner.

  • RealGame22

    One Word: LAME!!!!!!!

  • Ace Z.

    Guys, Don't attack me for what I'm about to say. Kellex can even vouch that I am a die-hard DROID fan and a big fan of this site. With that being said, the IPhone is a great piece of technology no denying that. With its new features that were introduced today it will make it better. I used to have the IPhone and I switched over to the DROID (best decision made ever!) not because of the phone, but because you couldn't use the IPhone to its fullest capabilities with AT&T service. I liked the IPhone and still think its a nice device. Now is it better than the DROID? Hell f'n no! Can you have unlimited access like the DROID? Hell f'n no! As I mentioned before, because of the DROID and particularly this site, I have refrained myself from switching to over phones (Nexus One, Incredible, and IPhone) because I truly love what Motorola did with this phone and the community that the DROID has built. Kellex single handily changed my mind from ever switching phones till the DROID 2 comes out and it better be manufactured by Motorola. *sigh* that was a lot to say. lol

  • 976Adam


  • shane0790

    Ive got a friend who is an avid iphone user, and since I showed her my droid, she has be salivating over it, but hasnt made the switch as she is a creature of habit. She was so ramped up for the 4.0, and I just showed her your article. Her words “I agree. Its not really worth announcing or even releasing.” My day was just made.


  • afterwego

    The multitasking is still limited to certain types of apps, which effectively cripples the usefulness of the feature. If I recall right from the keynote its Audio, GPS, and one other type of app.

  • Drew

    Weak. I was updating on Buzz as I read the engadget live blog laughing the entire time. When one of their main 7 points was folders I was stunned…and iBooks? hahaha. The great thing is that Android doesn't really have to do that much now. Even with Apple's long awaited OS 4, it's not really ahead of Android. So now Froyo just has to get more secure and smooth things out a little bit, and there's nothing to worry about. And then to think about all the amazing Android tablets coming out…can't wait.

    BTW, when I saw the graph of mobile web browser usage I thought the last data had said Android had passed iPhone…am I making up that I saw some graph about that? I've been searching for it, but can't find it.

  • vsMode

    The Game Center announcement was the biggie in my opinion. Apple just trumped a few major players in that space like Open Feint, Chillingo's Crystal, Ngmoco's Plus+, Agon, and Gamloft. Not to say those guys are completely done but odds are likely they will be obsolete.

    From a gaming perspective, an Xbox Live network for iPhone games is a smart move…late, but smart. I makes sense to have one social gaming network and end-users will benefit from that. The bottom line is that Apple is embracing their device as a gaming platform and I can only hope that we'll see the same evolution for Android devices. My Motorola Droid seems every bit as good from a hardware perspective as an iPhone…yet, the number of quality games available in the Android Market is few and far between.

    Overall, Apple's announcement was certainly underwhelming and perhaps a clear sign they have peaked. The timing is right for the Android community to grow and flourish. I want nothing more than to toss my 2nd gen iPod Touch and have one device that does everything I want…including some of the best mobile games that a touchscreen device offers.

  • rals

    Per Engadget

    Steve Jobs is never one to mince words when taking questions from the press, and he just made it very clear how he feels about other platforms during the iPhone OS 4 event when asked about task management:
    Q: How do you close applications when multitasking?
    A: (Scott Forstall) You don't have to. The user just uses things and doesn't ever have to worry about it.
    A: (Steve Jobs) It's like we said on the iPad, if you see a stylus, they blew it. In multitasking, if you see a task manager… they blew it. Users shouldn't ever have to think about it.
    Yeah, that pretty much sums up the Apple Way, but hey — tell us how you really feel, Steve.

    • slipstream20v

      This one was hilarious! So basically, Apple prefers customers that don't like to think or understand what they're doing?

      Sounds about right.

      • rals

        The iphone is idiot proof….for that matter the average iphone user is an idiot. Works pretty well then haha.

  • darkcomartist

    I'm a little disappointed that they didn't come up with any new innovation. Not because I'm an apple fanboy (which i'm not) but it's the that type of competition that causes the other guys (android devs) to up their following release. Although it kicks butt knowing my droid does most of the stuff they are just getting around to providing their customers. As for the ipad not having 4.0 and it was just released….WEAK!!!! If I had bought an ipad I would have been P!$$3d. Apple is relying on the fact that a lot of their customer base is people who spend a lot of money for their products because they look pretty and not because of how they function. Let's face it, it's a status symbol. If Ford suddenly brought the pinto back and charged over $50k for it there would be some idiot taking out their wallet just to be the 1st D-bag to drive it because of the price.

  • Dan

    I'm a Droid user and I was rather happy with the updates announced from Apple. They waited and implemented multi-tasking as I think it should be done on Android myself. My phone is buggy and crashes a lot more than the iPhone I used to have, due to applications using too much of the CPU, or taking up too much memory, it sort of reminds me sometimes of Windows 98 and how one app would just cause the whole system to go down.

    Anyway, I love my Droid, but these are great updates for the iPhone

  • Han

    The way apple drags customers around by not including features that competitors have had for a while shows how arrogant they are. Simple features such as fm tuner for an ipod or the multitasking for the iphone could've been there since their beginnings, but apple chose to leave them out to keep the customer hungry for more. Puhlease. I will never be a sheep to the apple herd.

  • Michael Chastain

    Blown away? Not exactly, but it's a significant upgrade.

    The multitasking (finally) will be huge, and the improved ad model will lead to even more great free apps. The gaming thing is huge too, as there are relatively few decent multiplayer games on Android and that's something I really enjoy. The new APIs will help narrow the gap to some of what Android can do as well.

    The only huge thing left that bugs me is the inability to run non-approved apps. I hate, hate, HATE it, and I'm terrified what it could mean for the future of computing if the model catches on. I have a year and a half before I have to make a decision, but if the iPhone comes to Verizon and they add a way to run non-approved apps I'll be very tempted.

  • The Rob

    “It's even true multi-taskin”?

    • jchang

      From what I understand, it's as much multi-tasking as android OS.

  • nkhex19

    Don't you guys/gals feel good knowing Apple released this stuff like its revolutionary and our Droids basically do all this stuff. It honestly looks to me from this point the iPhone OS is just gonna be playing catch up with Android. The upgrades iPhone 4.0 is doing, DROID DOES!!!!!!!!

  • John

    This isn't very different from how Android handles multi-tasking. Android OS uses bundles to save states on interruptible apps when memory is needed, then recalls the state when the app is 're-opened'. Every app isn't run all the time.. this would KILL memory and performance.

    Persistent apps (pandora, etc), or apps that provide a service to different apps and need to be run consistently, use the OS's services framework to run in the background. iPhone OS gives 7 APIs (lets call 'em services) that can run in the background. Android OS gives you every service.. but honestly, the 7 gives by Apple cover 90% of what you could ever want to run IMO.. who cares if your twitter app or MMS app isn't REALLY running in the background.. you're still going to get your messages.

  • MJ

    My thoughts exactly. Way to play catch-up Apple…

  • Mike

    I have had my droid for less than three months and it is the best choice I have ever made. I had an Itouch that I used every day to surf the net and play games. Well, I have yet to turn it on since my Droid purchase. The Iphone is now playing catch up and all the Apple fans think these new features are like coming of Christ. They would buy a toaster with no slots if Steve Jobs told them to and they would do it with a smile on their face. Droid Does Everything!!!!!!!!!! I love it!!!!!!!!!

  • I think the Notion Ink Adam will be a nice compliment to the Droid, running on Android it has all the features we expect that the MaxIpad doesn't have.

    Hope there is going to be some integration between that tablet and the Droid so we can at least tether the tablet with our droids as to not double up on 3g payments

  • Jano

    Couldnt agree more. I work with an Apple nut and they were getting all excited. Every time something came up i was able to say, my droid does that already. Feels good.

  • Michael_NM

    iPhon't 0S 4.0 < Android 1.6 < Android 2.1-update1

    Robot beats Princess again!

  • This is no different than when they announced copy / paste like it was a big thing…watch what happens when a motivated manufacturer get a good android tablet out there….game over

  • Chris

    Why even bother with an iPad when Android TVs are just around the corner?

  • rals

    The multi tasking bar is is little bit better…much like the windows task bar. I like that….but like you guys said. Far from being revolutionary!

  • mnkyhead

    Oh come on, its folders! I mean think of the possibilities of never being able to find your apps again! I'm sure shortcuts will be the next big announcement for OS 4.1

  • KEP

    One thing I thought was interesting and overlooked in the apple event was more exchange support/encryption etc. Android really needs more of that to compete in the business environment.

    I work in IT for a small/medium size business (60 people) and I think that within the next year we're probably going to be forced by our industry into tighter and tighter security rules for email on devices, I'm 1 of 2 people with an android phone and there are about a dozen with iphones. It's going to be hard to recommend anything android (even though I love it) until they build those features in. If that happens no more corporate email on my droid as I don't even think touchdown has encryption.

    Hopefully Google adds some of that in Froyo.

  • this is hilarious.. cause i have to admit i was slightly worried they might get really multi-tasking like us and then we'd have another Apple fan-boy wave to deal with; but wow we can trump this phone blindfolded. Thank you Apple for sucking and being Commie douches. oh and did you see, 3g cant update only 3gs can 🙂

  • EggoEspada

    Fail, Simply fail.
    That is all…

  • Lane252

    hahaha DROID DOESn't CARE about this thats something droid doesnt do is care about nonsense lmbo silly iphone add-ons are for kids….Open source or addons? hmmm ANYONE CARE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THE 2?

  • nothign of that was *NEW* all of those features have been around on other devices, it was to see the 19% Android and the 69% Safari web browser (mobile) that chart wouldnt have look that way a year ago.

  • dbizzer15

    Someone made the argument to me that the iPad was some sort of revolution in computing. No, it's like taking a clipboard-sized chalkboard and making it bigger to put it on the wall. Yea, it's more usable, but it didn't change a thing. Apple has shifted its focus from technological innovation to padding its stock price.

    And, did anyone else get the feeling (after hearing that the iPad won't get upgraded until the fall) that they rushed the iPad to market just to “be the first” out there? I think they saw the flood of Android tablets and wanted to cash in while they could…

    • kellex

      Exactly my thoughts! The iPad is brand new and already behind the iPhone and iPod Touch. Nice work.

    • ugadroid

      I agree, they saw all the competition and rushed the iPad out. Congrats, they got a big f'ing touch. I got a feeling Apple is a sinking ship if they don't do something soon. Eventually all these apple customers are gonna realize they got screwed.

      • dbizzer15

        The sad part is I don't think they will… They could put out a new size of iPad every 6 months and it would garner the same hype. A consumer society salivating over a device to consume more content…shocking. Maybe they'll get back to their roots of creativity and expression, but until then, there are an infinite number of possibilites (read: sizes and options they conveniently excluded) out there…

      • Moeyknight

        Apple fanboys are constantly being screwed. Apple always withholds features, releasing them slowly. I will personally never understand. But we all know we Droid users are a lot smarter than the average fanboy.

        • fred80

          Once you realize that Apple is a religion, it all makes sense.

          • tehckotek

            amen brother… amen!!!!

  • syntakk

    Wasn't really expecting much anyway. This is all stuff that should have been there in the first place.

  • I find it interesting that Apple has the ability to excite customers with features that should have been included on day 1 (3 years ago).

    That being said, the “Game Center” feature looks pretty slick. Basically like Xbox Live on your phone, with unified user name throughout games and achievements and the like.

    • mikecaffey

      yeah the game center could be cool, now we need Android to make their take on a game center. I love this competition.


    Droiiiiiiiiiiiid Does…

    • kellex

      Thank you for that. 🙂

  • aarynk

    Yeah pretty lame stuff coming out… Android has nothing to worry about

    • LTD10

      If the max pad could take pictures could you even imagine how funny that would look. But seriously, it should have a camera and phone installed without that who would even want one.

  • ugadroid

    Lol, Iphone is a POS in AT&T's toilet.