iPhone OS 4.0 Details

iPhone 3G Earlier today, Apple discussed its highly-anticipated iPhone OS 4, the next major software upgrade to hit the iPhone/iPod touch/iPad lines. It will ship this summer for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and later in the fall for the iPad. Pay attention: It’s only going to be available for the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 2nd generation (late 2008), iPod touch 3rd generation (late 2009 – 32GB/64GB) and eventually the iPad. Yes, the original iPhone is not showing up in that availability list. Apple is touting 100 new features for users and 1500 new APIs for developers in creating their apps.

Was it everything that everybody wanted? No and these kinds of things never will be.

Was it everything that I expected and wanted? Mostly.

There are four major new features that most of us will come into contact with. You could throw in iAd, a new mobile advertising platform for the iPhone OS line as well as gaming additions and enterprise additions, but I’m going to ignore those for now. The major additions, as far as I’m concerned are:
1) Multitasking – this is going to be beneficial to those of us wanting to run VOIP or instant messaging apps while we are doing other things. To me, it’s actually not a big deal, but I think the platform as a whole was in need of it. Yes, you could be messing around in a genealogy application, and assuming everything is coded properly, you could get on Voice-Over-IP or IM and call up a relative or check something out without losing your place.
2) Folders – this is a bigger thing to me – organizing your apps into folders. It allows you to go past the current limit of 180 apps, which is a huge deal, since it’s actually easy to rack up that many apps. For me, it’ll be nice to have my genealogy and genealogy-related iPhone apps all in one folder. Yes, there’s not much difference between going into a folder and say flipping to another screenful of apps, but I was started to run out of slots for more apps.
3) Mail – a unified inbox and the ability to switch between inboxes, organize messages by threads, and open attachments in third-party apps.
4) iBooks – It will be yet another way to read books on an iPhone or iPod touch, and this is just bringing the iPad’s bookstore down to the level of those devices. This joins the Kindle in things that are cool to have, but may not necessarily be practical in real-world usage, depending on your tolerance for reading on mobile devices.

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Evernote for iPad

Evernote has now been released for the Apple iPad. It is a “Universal” binary, and does not require the 2x mode that some iPhone-formatted apps do – it has full support for the iPad’s hardware. There is a note on the Evernote blog complete with video showing it off. In … Read more

MobileTree Lite – Free Today (April 5)

Note: You may need to be a member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in order to use this iPhone or iPod Touch app – it uses their genealogy database and this app requires login credentials for New.FamilySearch.org. This app will also not display information from living … Read more

iHeritage – Genealogy App for the iPad

I’ve been wondering when a dedicated genealogy application (“app”) or software would be available for the new Apple iPad which launched yesterday. I didn’t expect too much at first – it took a bit for genealogy apps on the iPhone to build up steam, and technically some/all genealogy apps that … Read more

Added – Genealogy eBooks through Amazon’s Kindle

Amazon Kindle Genealogy eBooks Just a few minutes ago, I finished adding another page to the site, this one is a new page (I’m still behind on updating some of the old pages), and it covers a topic that I’ve been very interested in lately – genealogy-related eBooks. Specifically it covers genealogy ebooks through Amazon’s Kindle – it’s only covering eBooks you can download for Amazon’s Kindle platform – the actual Kindle eBook readers, the Kindle software for Mac or PC, or for Kindle on iPhone or BlackBerry. I’ll be expanding it to cover other eBook readers (Barnes and Noble Nook, etc.) and getting third-party materials on the Kindle in later articles/entries.

One thing that surprised me – no genealogy magazines in the Kindle format. That’s one area I’d like to see a few publications try out – perhaps Family Tree Magazine or some of the others. I know that some magazines are either stopping publication, or have already stopped publication of their print editions (these past few years have been hard on a lot of companies), but there are still some genealogy-related magazines around.

I’d also like to see back issues somehow made available through services like the Kindle – don’t ask me how that would work. I just know I have a stack of older magazines that would make for great light reading if I had all of them on an eBook reader (or an iPad for that matter). You name it, I’ve got it – Everton’s, Family Tree Magazine, Ancestry, plus some of the smaller publications not to mention some of the UK publications I’ve bought over the years. While some of those have ceased publication, some companies have made their back-issues available in digital formats and you can easily (in my view) get the PDF-formatted files over to the Kindle, but I’d like to see it expanded. I think there is a market if they were reasonably priced. A lot of magazines had a lot of quality writing and interesting/unique articles. Given how tough things have been, I would think that more companies would be looking into trying to make more money from their older materials.

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