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iPhone 4.0 rumored with multitasking; Apple tablet name claims [u]

Reports about a forthcoming update to the iPhone OS continue to grow, with a new batch of rumors claiming the iPhone will gain "new ways" of multitasking and syncing; and two potential takes on the name of the forthcoming tablet have been presented.

There remains ongoing chatter that the assets acquired in last summer's purchase of Google Maps competitor Placebase could play a part in the new mobile operating system. Currently, Apple relies on Google's Maps service for its iPhone application.

In November it was revealed that Apple was seeking a full-time employee to take the Maps program "to the next level." With rumors that iPhone OS 4.0 could be a part of Apple's Jan. 27 event, it is possible a new Maps application could be a part of those plans.

In addition, Boy Genius Report chimed in Tuesday with alleged new iPhone OS 4.0 info from what they called a "trusty Apple connect." The source said Apple will introduce "a few new ways" to run applications in the background, and a brand new syncing ability for contacts and calendars will be introduced.

It also stated, somewhat cryptically, "there will be multi-touch gestures OS-wide," and user interface and graphical changes aim to make the mobile operating system easier and more efficient to use. The tipster said the update would be made available only for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, leaving first-generation handset owners supposedly out of luck.

While Boy Genius Report has a respectable track record in forecasting iPhone-related announcements tied to its AT&T sources, its predictions pertaining to Apple have often fallen off the mark. Last year the site incorrectly indicated iTunes 9 would add Blu-ray support and said Apple would create a social media consolidation application, both times citing a "reliable" source.

Another claim from the Web site came in the form of a headline that suggested Apple could call its tablet the iTablet, though no mention of that information was included in the text of the article. Conflicting with that report, however, was a new trademark filing for the name "iPad."

Last week, the IPAD name was registered in New Zealand, Australia and Trinidad and Tobago by a company called IP Application Development. Apple was also found to be behind the company Slate Computing in trademarking the name "iSlate." Given the timing, MacRumors said they believe Apple is behind the IPAD trademark.

Earlier this month, another report said some developers had access to a software development kit of a iPhone OS 4.0 beta. It was said that the new SDK includes a new "simulator" for Apple's forthcoming touchscreen 10-inch tablet that aims to make it easy for developers to adapt to different screen resolutions.

In addition, in December, some developers were allegedly asked to prepare full-screen demos of their iPhone software for a public unveiling in late January.