I know, it’s only been a day (well, half a day really) but I thought I would drop a few first impressions anyway.

Unified inbox
I am one of life’s “a place for everything and everything in it’s place” characters (a side effect of being an engineer I guess) and so separate inboxes just makes sense to me.  I don’t care about clicking twice back to get to the next account and then twice forward to get to it’s inbox.  Therefore, I approached the unified inbox feature of iOS4 with a “don’t care either way” attitude.

Of course, I have used it now and I can honestly say it saves SO much time.  There are separate inboxes (one per account) for those times when you only want to view the one account but the unified inbox is such a treat.  All my inbox messages in one place.  I suspect most people have used this feature and are wondering what the hell I am on about.  Maybe I’m just playing catch-up.  Whatever, the unified inbox feature is just brilliant. 

Folders
Again, being a character that has to have everything organised, the addition of folders to the iPhone got me excited from the very first announcement.  Now I’ve got it I can honestly say, if you must be organised (like me), folders is the perfect addition to the iPhone. Pages of apps are now condensed into a few folders spanning just x pages.  I feel that little bit more organised and that makes me feel good.

Multitasking
Amidst all the hype, moaning and groaning about the lack of multitasking on the iPhone, I have always wondered where the benefit would be.  I use the iPhone a LOT and do many things on it and I’ve rarely felt that adding multitasking would benefit me much, if at all.  However, the way Apple has implemented it in iOS4 makes it very intuitive and, I have to say, very useful.  I find myself using it more and more.  Of course most apps don’t support it yet and so the full benefit is yet to be realised.  I can see it being really useful with navigation applications where, in the past, one had to leave the app to do something else, only to then have to re-launch the navigation app, have it figure out where you are and then carry on with the journey.  Now, of course (well, when the apps catch up), the navigation app will continue on in the background so that, when you return to it, it’s in the right place and there’s no subsequent delay while you re-launch and wait for it to locate your position.

Overall first impressions?
There’s nothing particularly ground breaking in there but most of what they introduced is useful stuff.  Folders is a big thing for me as I love to be organised and now I have all my apps neatly tucked away in headed folders (and am down to just two home screens, from eight).

Multitasking works ok (and will undoubtedly give more benefit as more apps start to support it) although I always have this nagging in the back of my head that an open application will be draining battery life (I need to go read up on how the apps behave in the background… I suspect Apple has thought of this of course) so I find myself forever closing apps from the tray.

So far, so good.  I would recommend the upgrade to anyone with a 3GS for sure.  Everything seems to run well and the new features do benefit every day use.

I shall update again a few days in.

@craigt44

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