iPhone OS 4.0 Has Automotive Implications

The recent release of the iPhone OS 4.0 included at least a few new features that will benefit the automotive industry.

Multitasking has gotten the headlines and rightfully so.  It is a powerful addition and something that has been significantly lacking from the iPhone arsenal (much like copy and paste was lacking for so long).  For your reference, multitasking means that multiple applications can be run simultaneously and applications can run tasks in the background.  This is important because previously an iPhone app couldn’t work without being actively open.  For example, users of location based apps like Latitude and Loopt had to keep apps open to have their position updated.  Multitasking allows ‘background location’ which means that users can actually check their email without giving up the location updates.  This is a key element of making location based services and advertising a viable element of the iPhone environment.

Background audio means that apps like MP3s and Pandora can now listen to music while using a separate app for navigation…a logical next step when you think about this next thing.

The second feature is what is being called ‘iPod out’ and speculation is that it points to an iPod / iPhone automotive dock coming from Apple. A simplified interface and dash mounted dock would go a long way towards making the leading smartphone a bit easier and safer to use in the car.  The details are still rolling in so you can check back for details, but it seems clear that Apple is at least acknowledging that people are using their phones while driving.

via [TUAW] and [gizmodo]

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