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Apple to reveal hallowed iPhone 4.0 on Thursday

Exposé exposé?

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Apple will uncloak a new incarnation of its iPhone operating system on Thursday morning during an event at its Cupertino headquarters.

According to CNet, the Jobsian cult sent invitations to certain members of the media on Monday morning that said it would be providing "a sneak peek into the future of the iPhone OS." But The Reg has yet to see one. And we have reason to believe we never will.

The event is set for 10am on Thursday morning, and, well, that's about all the invitation said.

The word from AppleInsider is that the new iPhone OS 4.0 will offer "full-on" multitasking. According to the publication's sources, Jobs and company will provide a multitasking manager that taps technology already included in the Mac OS.

As of March 11, these sources said that 4.0 development still had a ways to go, and they did not provide details on the alleged multitasking set-up. But last week, a subsequent story from AppleInsider reported that the iPhone would adopt an interface similar to the Mac's patented "Exposé" UI, which lets fanbois choose various views of running-application windows via key combinations.

Apparently, with the 4.0 firmware update, Apple has deigned to give fanbois the power to run third-party applications in the background, and they'll be able to switch between them by hitting the device's "home" button twice in quick succession. Currently, you can use this double-click technique to summon one of five iPhone choices: your home page, search function, "Favorites," camera, or iPod app.

Based on the Mac OS kernel, the iPhone OS has always been capable of preemptive multitasking, but Apple has barred third-party apps from running in the background in order to protect people from their own battery-draining habits.

Incidentally, Apple also bans third-party background apps on the iPad, the Jobsian tablet that launched over the weekend. But Steve Jobs says it's "magical and revolutionary." So lots of people waited in long lines to buy one. ®

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