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Apple Launches iPhone OS 4.0, Previews it; Apple iAd Advertising Service Announced

It was a big day yesterday for Steve Jobs and co, with the big Apple guru announcing the brand new iPhone OS 4.0. This platform enhances most of the iPhone’s features, with its most important function being the support for multitasking. Jobs also announced Apple’s entry on the advertising market, thanks to a service called iAd.

The event started with the Apple CEO announcing the company has sold around 450,000 iPad units and that 600,000 iBooks were downloaded so far. Also, 3.5 million iPad apps were downloaded till now and the total number of apps that were downloaded from the App Store has reached an impressive 4 billion, with 185,000 pieces of software available via Apple’s service.

Moving on, we learn that 50 million iPhones were sold until now, for a total of 85 mil iPhone + iPod touch units reaching the customers’ hands. As far as the iPhone OS 4.0 platform is concerned, Jobs announced that it’ll ship this summer, while last night it was all about previews and announcements. The platform brings no less than 100 new user features, among which there are some very interesting functions, like: 5x digital zoom, Bluetooth keyboards support, tap to focus video and, of course, multitasking.

After detailing the multitasking feature (based on a bar at the bottom of the screen, allowing you to switch between apps), the Apple officials also discussed APIs, like VoIP, background location and local notifications. Another innovation is the implementation of folders, allowing the iPhone users to stop the annoying page flicking, while looking for apps.

Your favourite games will now be included a “Games” folder, if you want to and you’ll be able to organize your on-screen icons much easier. Steve Jobs ended the keynote with the announcement of the iAd, an Apple advertising service, built into the iPhone OS. Apple sells and hosts the ads, giving the developers 60% of the revenues.

Advertising takes the shape of an “application within an application”, a brilliant way of generating revenue, specially for free apps. Last, we learn that iPhone OS 4.0 will be hitting the iPad this Fall. If you want to check out the video of the full keynote from April 8th, feel free to do so, by checking out this address.

[via Engadget]