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Well, we didn't really expect this to come so soon after the iPad release, but sure enough, Apple is going to show us the iPhone 4.0 operating system this Thursday. That doesn't give us a lot of time for speculation, but I'm sure we'll squeeze it in. As per our reader expectations, various rumors and leaks, and other random news and scuttlebutt, what can we expect to see in a new iPhone OS?
- Multitasking. Yup. If Apple's going to answer the naysayers, this is when it will happen. Of course, it will be done Apple's way (as we've heard, the new OS will probably still rely on notifications for most apps, and incorporate more of an "app-switching" idea rather than full multitasking), but the iPhone 4.0 will likely be able to run more than one third-party app at a time.
- A new home screen. This one's probably a little more of a guess, since Apple didn't mix up the home screen, even for its historic iPad. Though, since the iPhone is a smartphone, and since this is one of the most vocal complaints we've heard from actual users of the iPhone, a new screen of information would be very welcome.
- Better app management. With iPad and iPhone apps now out there, we've all got a lot of apps to deal with. From the longtime idea of "stacks" for apps, to the ability to remove official apps, to app gestures and navigation, the iPhone needs a better way to browse through apps, and it's likely that we'll see it this week.
- Landscape mode/switch. This one's a shot in the dark from me, but when you play with the iPad, one of the first things you notice is that it's able to adapt to any kind of usage situation; even when you turn it on the home screen, the icons adjust to the way that you want to use it, rather than the other way around.