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A closer look at new Photos, iPod, Folders features in iPhone OS 4

post #1 of 54
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Packed with more than 100 new features, Apple's forthcoming iPhone OS 4 update brings changes both major and subtle to the existing integrated applications. Included are a look at changes to the Photos and iPod applications, as well as the new Folders feature.

With the iPhone update set to be released this summer, developers have had early access to version 4 since Apple announced it last week. While the biggest upgrade to the mobile operating system is multitasking capabilities, it's just one of a number of improvements to the iPhone OS. AppleInsider offers a closer look at some of the new features, tweaks and changes in the upcoming update.

Photos

A new "Rotate Photo" feature will rotate an image 90 degrees counter clockwise when selected. People familiar with the pre-release iPhone OS 4 build said it does not offer an option of a direction to rotate.

The new select photos feature allows users to share, copy or delete a number of pictures at one time. Currently, the Places button in the bottom right of the Photos app vanishes and reappears. Clicking on it reportedly crashes the app -- a glitch that has allegedly been well-documented with users of iPhone OS 4.



The video application does not include a zoom, however the digital photo zoom was said to be "beautiful."



Pages for Events and Faces have also been added to the photo application, but like on the iPad, these features are only accessible when the data is synced from a Mac desktop.





iPod

Apple also slightly tweaked the iPod application, bringing a new design for the album view when playing music files. iPhone OS 4 now features the album art, release date, number of songs and album length at the top of the page when an album has been selected.

Track numbers are also shown to the left of the song title, while track lengths have been added to the right side.



Folders

Finally, one of the "tentpole" features highlighted by Apple at last week's iPhone OS 4 unveiling was "Folders," which involves dragging app icons on top of each other to create a folder to consolidate applications. The feature automatically names a folder according to its contents, something the company has dubbed "intelligent naming."

Up to 170 folders can be added to the iPhone home screen, allowing a total of 2,160 applications, with 12 apps per folder. Included are photos of the folder feature in action:



For more, see AppleInsider's in-depth coverage of iPhone OS 4:

Apple's iPhone Software 4.0 suggests next-gen iPhone will have camera flash
Apple adds seven major features, 100 minor features in iPhone 4.0
Apple's iPhone Software 4.0, multitasking demoed in videos
iChatAgent, Note syncing over MobileMe discovered in iPhone 4.0
Apple adds Web, Wikipedia to Spotlight search in iPhone OS 4
Apple removes Google branding from iPhone OS 4 search
Apple's iPhone 4.0 beta includes linked contacts, iChat sounds
On-demand video of Apple's iPhone Software 4.0 event now available
post #2 of 54
The user experience will only get better as the development of iPhone OS 4 gets ramped up for release.
post #3 of 54
Sounds like some great stuff. Folders---finally! I can't stand trying to organize my apps by page, only to have some slip out upon update, etc.
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post #4 of 54
I wonder how they got 170 folders and 12 apps per folder. Is that some limitation of the OS?

I would think that 16 apps per folder would be better, as opening the folder would use the entire page. And when they say 170 folders on the "home screen" do they mean folders within folders on the first page? That seems to be what it sounds like, but that's an odd number. If we can get 16 folders on the top level, then we can get 10 folders within each as a minimum, with 10 having 11. Sounds odd.

Where am I going wrong here?
post #5 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I wonder how they got 170 folders and 12 apps per folder. Is that some limitation of the OS?

I would think that 16 apps per folder would be better, as opening the folder would use the entire page. And when they say 170 folders on the "home screen" do they mean folders within folders on the first page? That seems to be what it sounds like, but that's an odd number. If we can get 16 folders on the top level, then we can get 10 folders within each as a minimum, with 10 having 11. Sounds odd.

Where am I going wrong here?

Watch some of the demo videos....when a folder is selected, the contents opens above or below it. So the folder icon is always visible as well as well as the row the folder is on... The doc isn't covered so that leaves 3 rows of 4 icons available for the window to cover...I suppose they could have designed a scrolling window of icons but maybe they thought that would be too complicated.
post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Sounds like some great stuff. Folders---finally! I can't stand trying to organize my apps by page, only to have some slip out upon update, etc.

For my money, folders is the big deal. Of course, I'll have to buy an iPad to use that feature.

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post #7 of 54
The screenshot shown in the article seems to be unchanged from the way it looks in OS 3. From the camera roll, hit the the botton on the bottom left (normally the email button). Am I missing something?

SO psyched for the updates!! Woo hooo!!!
post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by swinge View Post

Watch some of the demo videos....when a folder is selected, the contents opens above or below it. So the folder icon is always visible as well as well as the row the folder is on... The doc isn't covered so that leaves 3 rows of 4 icons available for the window to cover...I suppose they could have designed a scrolling window of icons but maybe they thought that would be too complicated.

I haven't seen the videos. But that sounds wasteful to me. I don't see why they had to have the folder visible. A press on the home key would close the folder and bring us back to the home screen. A press on the home button when in a program would bring us back to the open folder, and two presses could bring us back to the page of folders. That way we could have 16 programs on the screen and in the folder, unless there is some reason why 12 is a limit other than the GUI reason you showed.

So how did they get the 170 limit?
post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I wonder how they got 170 folders and 12 apps per folder. Is that some limitation of the OS?

I would think that 16 apps per folder would be better, as opening the folder would use the entire page. And when they say 170 folders on the "home screen" do they mean folders within folders on the first page? That seems to be what it sounds like, but that's an odd number. If we can get 16 folders on the top level, then we can get 10 folders within each as a minimum, with 10 having 11. Sounds odd.

Where am I going wrong here?

the home screen is the app launch screen (black background - where until 4.0 you couldn't change the wallpaper on). The home screen includes all of the pages of apps. You can have 170 folders spread across ALL of the pages on the home screen. As far as I've seen, you cannot have folders within folders - but if you can, I'm sure you can't have it 3 layers deep. The home screen isn't just the first page of apps, that would be considered the home page of the home screen (the default landing page when clicking the home button from any other page on the home screen).
post #10 of 54
Shame it dont work for my itouch 1g
post #11 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazinlwfl View Post

the home screen is the app launch screen (black background - where until 4.0 you couldn't change the wallpaper on). The home screen includes all of the pages of apps. You can have 170 folders spread across ALL of the pages on the home screen. As far as I've seen, you cannot have folders within folders - but if you can, I'm sure you can't have it 3 layers deep. The home screen isn't just the first page of apps, that would be considered the home page of the home screen (the default landing page when clicking the home button from any other page on the home screen).

I didn't think it would work with folders within folders, though that would be good, though it doesn't seem to be a problem with having 10 or 11 folders within one folder. I'm just talking about one level down, not 10. So 3 isn't the question there. I'm thinking of the 1st page as the home screen only in the context of having ALL the folders there. If that's not the case...

As we now have 9 screens available, that would mean that we would need to have 18.89 folders on a page to have 170 total, all on the top level. Has Apple now gone to 11 pages so that they can get 16 folders on a page? Then that last page will only have 10 folders on it. Still very odd. How are they doing this? Is it some number other than 16? Do you know?
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I wonder how they got 170 folders and 12 apps per folder. Is that some limitation of the OS?

I would think that 16 apps per folder would be better, as opening the folder would use the entire page. And when they say 170 folders on the "home screen" do they mean folders within folders on the first page? That seems to be what it sounds like, but that's an odd number. If we can get 16 folders on the top level, then we can get 10 folders within each as a minimum, with 10 having 11. Sounds odd.

Where am I going wrong here?

I think the 170 is wrong. I think it is 180.

170 folders *12 apps = 2040
180 folders *12 apps = 2160, which is the stated number of total apps.

The 180 also makes sense because there are 11 screens
11 available screens * 16 folders per screen = 176
176 + 4 spots in the 'dock' = 180 folders in total
180 * 12 = 2160, again the number of allowed total apps.

170 just doesn't fit with the math.

As for why the limitation to 12 apps per folder, likely purely for aesthetics.

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post #13 of 54
Sounds like photo upload apps such as Flickr will be able to grab location data now. It would be nice to upload full-res photos with accurate locations from the phone.
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post #14 of 54
Only 12 apps per folder? Why the limitation? I need at least 30 or 40. That's how many apps my 3-year-old has on her screens. Be nice if they could all fit inside the "Ava" folder.
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I think the 170 is wrong. I think it is 180.

170 folders *12 apps = 2040
180 folders *12 apps = 2160, which is the stated number of total apps.

The 180 also makes sense because there are 11 screens
11 available screens * 16 folders per screen = 176
176 + 4 spots in the 'dock' = 180 folders in total
180 * 12 = 2160, again the number of allowed total apps.

170 just doesn't fit with the math.

As for why the limitation to 12 apps per folder, likely purely for aesthetics.

Your post looks convincing.

Anyone what to test this?
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post #16 of 54
Is OS 4 coming to iPad too?
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post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I think the 170 is wrong. I think it is 180.

170 folders *12 apps = 2040
180 folders *12 apps = 2160, which is the stated number of total apps.

The 180 also makes sense because there are 11 screens
11 available screens * 16 folders per screen = 176
176 + 4 spots in the 'dock' = 180 folders in total
180 * 12 = 2160, again the number of allowed total apps.

170 just doesn't fit with the math.

As for why the limitation to 12 apps per folder, likely purely for aesthetics.

The math makes sense. And I agree with the limit being purely aesthetics - it also doesn't confuse the user by thinking they are on a different page when really they are in a folder. Having the first line on the screen showig you what folder you're in makes sense since there's no navigation bar like you would generally have when selectng sub-menus in an app.
post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I think the 170 is wrong. I think it is 180.

170 folders *12 apps = 2040
180 folders *12 apps = 2160, which is the stated number of total apps.

The 180 also makes sense because there are 11 screens
11 available screens * 16 folders per screen = 176
176 + 4 spots in the 'dock' = 180 folders in total
180 * 12 = 2160, again the number of allowed total apps.

170 just doesn't fit with the math.

As for why the limitation to 12 apps per folder, likely purely for aesthetics.

Can the built-in apps be put in folders?
post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Is OS 4 coming to iPad too?


Fall 2010 (and free from what i've read).

likely a similar but still unique version of 4.0 (like 4.2 or something) since some of the core apps are different (calendar, notes, mail, photos, etc)
post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

Only 12 apps per folder? Why the limitation? I need at least 30 or 40. That's how many apps my 3-year-old has on her screens. Be nice if they could all fit inside the "Ava" folder.

12 is 3 rows of 4 apps each. The iPhone can display 16 apps (4x4) on the screen at a time. Limiting the number of apps per folder to 3 rows allows the OS to display all the contents of the folder plus the row of apps that the folder is actually located in. If you "need" more space, make a row of folders that you can easily switch between. 4 folders in a row would allow for you to quickly access 48 apps.
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post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Can the built-in apps be put in folders?

I would assume so if you can fill up the limit of spaces with folders, the built-in ones would have to be in a folder.
post #22 of 54
I wish they would let Iphone be more independent from syncing with desktop. I would like to see the ability to create picture albums and collect the photos as I see fit. Then when you do sync, it can mirror the changes back to the desktop if desired. Hell you can't even delete photos on the iPad. At least you can delete from the iPhone. I guess they enabled that feature since it has a camera.

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post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Can the built-in apps be put in folders?

Not sure, haven't actually downloaded the SDK.

I assume they can...otherwise my math falls apart.

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...sometimes it's both
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...sometimes it's both
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post #24 of 54
. . .
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post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wish they would let Iphone be more independent from syncing with desktop. I would like to see the ability to create picture albums and collect the photos as I see fit. Then when you do sync, it can mirror the changes back to the desktop if desired. Hell you can't even delete photos on the iPad. At least you can delete from the iPhone. I guess they enabled that feature since it has a camera.

Actually you can only delete the photos in the camera roll, not the the stuff you sync from your photo library.
post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Can the built-in apps be put in folders?

Anything and everything can be in folders. 1st party apps, 3rd-party apps, Settings app, Home Row apps (Phone, Mail, Safari, iPod) and Webclips. You can even put the folders in the Home Row.

PS: There is one caveat, though it's minor. You can't make folders of items in the Home Row, but you can pull them out of the Home Row into a folder or onto and item to create a folder, and then move that folder into the Home Row.
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post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Anything and everything can be in folders. 1st party apps, 3rd-party apps, Settings app, Home Row apps (Phone, Mail, Safari, iPod) and Webclips. You can even put the folders in the Home Row.

PS: There is one caveat, though it's minor. You can't make folders of items in the Home Row, but you can pull them out of the Home Row into a folder or onto and item to create a folder, and then move that folder into the Home Row.

Are you on an NDA?

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post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Are you on an NDA?

No, but you can preface everything I'll say about any Betas as "I heard a rumour that..."
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post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by longfang View Post

Actually you can only delete the photos in the camera roll, not the the stuff you sync from your photo library.

Thanks I did not know that since I don't have any pictures on the mac I sync with. You can save images from other sources like email and web and they can be deleted thankfully.

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post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wings View Post

Only 12 apps per folder? Why the limitation? I need at least 30 or 40. That's how many apps my 3-year-old has on her screens. Be nice if they could all fit inside the "Ava" folder.

Based on Apple's UI Guidelines, I believe it is the objective to reduce scrolling, if not to eliminate it completely. Especially now with multitasking.
post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I think the 170 is wrong. I think it is 180.

170 folders *12 apps = 2040
180 folders *12 apps = 2160, which is the stated number of total apps.

The 180 also makes sense because there are 11 screens
11 available screens * 16 folders per screen = 176
176 + 4 spots in the 'dock' = 180 folders in total
180 * 12 = 2160, again the number of allowed total apps.

170 just doesn't fit with the math.

As for why the limitation to 12 apps per folder, likely purely for aesthetics.

It seemed to be an error. That number just didn't add up, OR make sense. It's too bad they went with the 12 apps per, that was a waste of screen resource. They didn't have to show the folder and a line along with the apps inside it. It's also too bad because many people are going to have many more apps in one category than 12. Games, for instance, will need a number of folders. So we have different folders for different kinds of games, but after a few folders, that becomes clumsy as well. I still would have liked to see at least one more layer of folders. If one folder could hold 12 more inside, or better yet, 16, that would likely resolve the problem (for now).
post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Your post looks convincing.

Anyone what to test this?

You don't need the grin. There are enough free apps so that you can try it yourself.
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazinlwfl View Post

The math makes sense. And I agree with the limit being purely aesthetics - it also doesn't confuse the user by thinking they are on a different page when really they are in a folder. Having the first line on the screen showig you what folder you're in makes sense since there's no navigation bar like you would generally have when selectng sub-menus in an app.

I would think that one would know which folder one is in by the apps on the screen. Apple could also have simply put the name of the folder at the top of the screen. The type size they now use for the folders doesn't take up much space, and there's space on the bar above now.
post #34 of 54
There are a couple of things I'd like to see changed/fixed in the iPod app:

1 - Scroll long file names. iPods have done this forever, but the iPhone OS never has and it drives me nuts. I have lots of podcasts with very long names, so I have no idea which is which as I can only see the first 3 or 4 words.

2 - Show podcast show notes. A simple centre click on an iPod brings these up, but not so on an iPhone. It will display lyrics, and some podcast providers now copy and paste the notes into the lyrics section to get around this bug. But come on Apple, just fix it already.

It would also be nice if the iPod app didn't crash so much. My poor, painfully sluggish, ready for retirement in a landfill iPhone 3G crashes in the iPod app 3 or 4 times a day. Annoying, yes.
post #35 of 54
Yeah any app can be put into a folder, no folders cannot be put in folders. Since syncing with iPhoto places crashes less frequently, it actually starts to load before crashing. Great feature, if you have your iphone synced with iPhoto 09, and you sync an album with facebook. When you tag people on facebook and resync that album the tags get brought into iPhoto and then onto your iPhone. Pretty neat.

Also iPod on there supports genius mix's now
post #36 of 54
I wonder if apple will finally make a radio app for the ipods. Only the second and third gen idevices and the iPad, have the chip that could let them do it, and only the second and third gen idevices and the iPad are getting the update.
post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexisonfire View Post

Also iPod on there supports genius mix's now

Or mixes.
post #38 of 54
Next opportunity for Apple. Make downloadable apps available for OSX on Macs, not just iPhones/iPod touch's/iPads.

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post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Next opportunity for Apple. Make downloadable apps available for OSX on Macs, not just iPhones/iPod touch's/iPads.

There are already lots of those. You want Apple to add a Mac section to the App Store?
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Next opportunity for Apple. Make downloadable apps available for OSX on Macs, not just iPhones/iPod touch's/iPads.

After seeing what iPhone apps look like on the iPad I no longer think that is a good idea.
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