iPhone OS 4 pits Apple against Google

In the most anticipated launch since, er, the iPad last weekend, Steve Jobs today announced that the iPhone is getting multi-tasking. With the news t

In the most anticipated launch since, er, the iPad last weekend, Steve Jobs today announced that the iPhone is getting multi-tasking.

With the news that this summer's OS 4 update for the iPhone and iPod touch will offer background multi-tasking of key features (music, VOIP, location services, push announcements, task completion and speedy app switching), the gloves are finally off between Cupertino and Mountain View.

Apple is claiming that the iPhone will have "the best mail experience on a mobile phone", with improved Exchange links, a single, unified inbox, threaded conversations and the ability to open attachments ("with compatible apps from the App Store").

Another irritation for Google will be Apple's launch of iAds: a way for developers to integrate annoying full screen, animated and interactive commercials directly into apps - with Apple taking a 40 percent slice of any revenues. This pits it directly against Google, which is currently struggling with a regulators over its $750 million acquisition of mobile advertising company AdMobs.

Ironically, Apple's timing of the iAds announcement might actually help Google to persuade the feds that its expansion into mobile isn't a threat to competition.

We can't wait to see what the next versions of Android (Froyo and Gingerbread) bring to the platform.