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Apple iOS 4 update due today

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Apple is set to release the newly named iOS 4 for some existing iPhones and iPod Touches today.

The company claimed earlier this month that the software update will bring to these devices "more than 100" new features, most notably a way to allow multiple apps to run simultaneously - multitasking.

Apple iOS 4

iOS4 essentially freezes background apps, allowing them to respond to incoming data and send it out, but not hog CPU cylces and thus hinder the foreground app's performance or sap the gadget's battery.

Not all iDevices will support multitasking - only the iPhone 3GS can do it out of the current crop of devices.

More useful for everyone else - and in general, we suspect - are the improved Mail app, now with a single, unified inbox; the abiity to organise apps into folders; the arrival of iBooks on small-screen iOS devices; touch-to-focus on video capture; a 5x digital zoom for still photography; face recognition in the Photos app; the ability to change the homescreen wallpaper; and, from the iPad, Bluetooth keyboard support.

Last week, the availability of iPhone 4 pre-order opportunities caused Apple's Store servers to wobble under the weight of eager enquiries.

The iOS 4 update is due to be pushed out later today. ®

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