All iPad Reviews are now Pointless- iPhone 4.0 OS Speculation

MoD was all set to write an extensive review of the MotherShip’s newest iCon. The iPad’s faults and strengths were all prepared to be discussed and argued in depth including highlighting and countering some of the arguments of others. It was going to be the first real review for the MoD. Unfortunately, as the MoD entered the halls of propaganda writing, a dispatch from our Cupertino office rendered everything completely worthless. The biggest weakness of the iPad in all the various reviews could be eliminated by this software update.

Apple, exactly 9 days later than the MoD had speculated (MoD will be doing a recap of our January speculation article later this week.), has sent out a press invite to the iPhone 4.0 OS media event. MoD along with others back in January at the iPad release event speculated that the Apple would follow the same pattern as the last two years with a media event in March and full release of the new iPhone software at WWDC later in either June/July.

It’s funny how analysts and pundits forget how feature limited the initial iPhone OS was. No apps, no Exchange support, no games, no Twitterific, no cut and paste. The list is pretty damn long. So what might we see on Thursday? Let’s go back in time to MoD’s speculation piece.

  1. Multitasking- the lack of multi-tasking for 3rd party applications is probably more of a limitation for the more powerful/bigger screen iPad than the iPhone. Android/Chrome have multitasking, WinPhone7 (since MS removed series from the name MoD will return the POS designation) will not. It’s time for Apple to eliminate a perceived weakness of the iPhone and only real advantage of some of their competitors. This is going to require app developers to make changes to their applications. A demo is a foregone conclusion (if Apple is smart, they will have already been working with Pandora) demonstrating this capability.
  2. Integrated Inbox for Email – Steve himself has indicated that this will happen
  3. Easier navigation of application pages – The pages metaphor worked well initially but with users having 6 or more pages, the number of swipes to get to the app you want is becoming annoying. The search feature as an app launcher doesn’t really work in practice.
  4. Printer drivers/API – the iPad even more than the iPhone desperately needs direct WiFi printing (Bluetooth options as well would be nice). There are variety of printing apps in the App Store, but their reliability is questionable. This feature needs the stamp of Apple approval.
  5. Notification system changes. The iPad again demonstrates that the current scheme is not very effective. It works for SMS, but needs to be improved to handle the ever increasing variety of notifications. This will require app developers to make changes so it will be demo’ed Thursday giving developers the time needed to be ready for the new iPhone 4.0 release
  6. Updated home screen? More of an iPhone issue here, and the MoD loves the concept. However, MoD rates the chances of this feature as pretty low.

Why was the iPhone event later than MoD predicted?

1. The iPad launch. Finishing that software clearly stretched Apple’s resources. The launch delay of a week from end of March to early April was probably due to software issues not hardware delays

2. Don’t distract from the iPad hype, leave a clear ground for the iPad the week leading up to launch.

Will iPhone 4.0 OS be available also for the iPad?

1. The iPad is running iPhone OS 3.2, and they share the same OS core. So it stands to reason that features that make it to the iPhone 4.0 OS should be available to the iPad if relevant to the iPad. The only question the MoD has is whether the new OS will launch at the same time for both devices. The event on Thursday should provide more clarity on that issue.

Why launch the iPad now, only to potentially upgrade the device OS significantly 3 to 4 months later?

1. This summer is going to be dominated by the new iPhone. Apple has done very little with the overall shape of the iPhone since launch. Is this the summer Apple launches several new iPhones not just distinguished by storage volume? Is a CDMA iPhone on the agenda? Coupled with new features of the about to be announced OS, it might be the summer of iPhone again. Don’t distract the media by launching too many things at once.

2. From a product launch window, this spring was right for the iPad. iPhones get the summer. iPods get the fall. You don’t launch anything late in Q4. Apple just doesn’t do that.The timing was right, Apple released their tablet before any tablets using Chrome OS or Windows 7. Apple has again set the bar which all other tablets will be judged.

3. iPhone/iPod Touch is the big dog. The iPad will get OS updates on the iPhone’s schedule. For now.

4. What better way to demonstrate Apple’s biggest advantage of being OS experts than to upgrade their newest device just 3 months after launch. Apple’s biggest advantage is always going to be in the software department.

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