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Apple Delivers

Entry 968, on 2009-03-18 at 20:53:51 (Rating 1, Computers)

Yesterday I made a wish list of what I would like to see in the next revision of the iPhone OS. Today Apple delivered on my wishes.

First, we are finally getting copy and paste! As I said yesterday, its surprising how rarely you need it, but when you do need it its really annoying that its not there, so it will be good to get it in the next version of the OS. We will also get tethering, although I haven't heard if there will be any extra charges or other strings attached. MMS messages will be included too. I didn't see any mention of recording video but voice memo recording is there. Push notifications are included but not real multi-tasking. Turn by turn GPS will now be possible. There will be a landscape keyboard. Finally Flash wasn't announced but strong reports indicate Adobe is working on it.

So I'll get most of what I wanted plus a few things I didn't ask for...

There's peer to peer connectivity for example. This allows programs to detect other adjacent iPhones and other devices which can offer useful services, exchange data, and work or play together. This might be a really useful because there are plenty of iPhones around now. It will be interesting to see what Apple and developers can do with this and I think that it might be potentially more useful than copy and paste ever will be!

Spotlight Search will be included. This will allow searching across the whole phone instead of just searching inside individual apps as we can do now. I can't see this being really useful but it is a basic feature that should have been included already.

The in-app purchase feature allows users to buy content from inside applications. This would certainly make programs which allow buying and reading books, etc more useful by making the whole process easier.

The accessories API allows developers to control accessory hardware with their software on the phone. I've never been a great fan of adding new gadgets onto my phones or iPods but maybe now some really innovative and interesting gadgets might be possible.

I find the cable for my earphones often gets hooked up on things so wireless Bluetooth phones might be really useful. The new stereo Bluetooth capability might make them worth looking at although it would depend on the size, battery life and price, of course. Maybe other Bluetooth devices, like small keyboards, etc, might also appear.

So really, in my opinion, the biggest things might be the new capabilities which hardware and software developers can use to extend the phone more than specific features Apple will provide.

Looking at a poll at Gizmodo showed copy and paste was the most popular new feature with 25% support. Push notifications and MMS were next with about 13% each. Turn by turn and the landscape keyboard was next, and then tethering, search, and hardware APIs on 5% each. The rest were between 0 and 4%. So that poll contradicts my thoughts. I guess we'll just have to wait and see who's right!


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