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iOS 4 Available for Download

Apple made iOS 4 available for free download today for owners of newer iPhone and iPod touch models. The revised operating system, first announced in April 2010 as iPhone OS 4, and renamed to iOS 4 earlier this month, adds a host of features, including specific kinds of multitasking, external keyboard support, a unified Mail inbox, and folders for organizing apps, among many other smaller changes; iBooks 1.1 is also now available as a separate free download from the App Store. An iPhone 3GS or third-generation iPod touch is required for multitasking and using external keyboards.

We've been covering iOS 4 as features have been announced. You can read "Apple Previews Major New Features in iPhone OS 4," (8 April 2010) for a rundown of what was known before release. TiPb has an extensive walkthrough of all the new features if you want to know a little about every single thing that's changed.

The most notable single improvement is multitasking, in which several kinds of activities can continue to function in the background while you're using other apps. These activities include continuing a VoIP phone call, playing music, finishing a download, and updating location for navigation apps.

App developers must update their software to take advantage of multitasking, and Apple started accepting revised iOS 4 apps on 10 June 2010. Companies will likely start promoting specific improved features as their updates are made available in the App Store.

The iOS 4 download (378 MB for iPhone, 315 MB for iPod touch) is available via iTunes; there's no fee for iPod touch upgrades following an accounting change by Apple last year. Connect your iPhone 3G or 3GS, or iPod touch second- or third-generation model, to the computer with which you sync iTunes data. (The original iPhone and first-generation iPod touch cannot be upgraded to iOS 4.) Then select the device in the iTunes sidebar, and click Check for Updates in the Summary tab. Beware that it may take quite some time to download and install the multi-hundred-megabyte update.


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Comments about iOS 4 Available for Download
(Comments are closed.)

Ian Downie  2010-06-21 16:44
Four hours and ten minutes to complete the process!

Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2010-06-22 04:55
Ouch, that's pretty long. It took me about 20 minutes to download and then maybe another 30 or so to extract, install, and reboot.
I installed update and can no longer receive Google Apps email through the Mail application.

And Google Apps calendars no longer appear in the Calendar app.

And Google Apps contacts no longer appear in the Address book.

Also typing is painfully slow. (iPhone 3G)
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2010-06-22 04:56
That almost sounds like a single password setting somewhere within Google. I just changed my Google Account password, and I've been finding all the places it was used over the past week.
Snappier! Also see some art we made

Swipe to Reveal Magic:
Robert Shaw  2010-06-22 12:42
I downloaded and got started at 7PM yesterday. Aborted and restarted the process at 9PM and finally aborted that at 8AM this morning. Looked online and tried the ReStore route. I have about 27 minutes left on Restore from backup (12:41PM).
Eric Lindgren  2010-06-23 05:45
I updated my 3rd gen iPod Touch with my wife's Snow Leopard MBP, and now can't see it with my Tiger-based iTunes (ver 9.1.1).
Any recommendations for 3rd party software to substitute?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2010-06-23 06:38
My impression is that you need iTunes 9.2, but it says it will work in Mac OS X 10.4.11, so you should be able to update.
Harry Dennis  2010-06-23 16:32
I updated my iPhone 3G to 4.0. While I like being able to bundle multiple email accounts, I don't see much else that is new. Loading apps takes longer now, and the phone just feels a bit slower overall. I don't see the value in installing 4.0.
Glenn Fleishman  2010-06-23 16:46
For a 3G phone, it may be less compelling because you don't get fancy multitasking, etc. On a 3GS, the upgrade was significant.