March 16, 2009 Apple is set to preview the iPhone software version 3.0 at an invitation only event on March 17th and, as is traditional in the lead up to any Apple event, the rumormongers have been busy with predictions of what will and won’t be added to the device. So we thought it would be timely to do a bit of a rumor roundup in readiness for the imminent announcement.
Copy and PasteThe strongest rumor doing the rounds concerns the addition of copy and paste capabilities. Besides this oft requested basic feature being an obvious addition, the rumor is lent credence by coming from Digg founder Kevin Rose who has been accurate with several iPhone improvements in the past. Rose says the new feature will allow users to bring up copy and paste by magnifying or double tapping a word or by selecting text using a finger pinch to select ‘copy boundaries’. The user will then get an option to cut, copy or paste the selected text.
Background or ‘push’ notificationsThis rumor is a little shakier. Rose doesn’t think it will be included while others do. Apple has previously suggested a push notification system that would allow third-party iPhone apps to alert users was in the offing, but nothing materialized. A loosening up of restrictions on applications running in the background would come in handy for programs like music players, macro utilities, GPS data loggers, and instant-messaging clients, but that doesn’t mean it will be included.
MMSThis is another basic feature that even the most basic phones are capable of, yet iPhone users are still waiting for. The ability to incorporate images, audio, video and rich text into SMS messages would apparently only require a minor software tweak and BoyGeniusReport (BGR) say they were tipped off about the inclusion of this feature, however, Rose begs to differ.
Tethering via Bluetooth or USBAlthough surprisingly easy on a jailbroken iPhone, tethering is still impossible on your stock standard iPhone. If Apple were serious about cutting down on the jailbreaking market this feature should be at the top of their list. Although BGR are predicting tethering via Bluetooth and USB, they’re just about the only ones.
Video RecordingThis one isn’t generating a lot of buzz. Although it may be technically possible to implement – 15fps video capture is already possible using a jailbroken iPhone and a third party app - many are saying the quality of the current iPhone’s camera may not live up to Apple’s standards so they may be choosing to overlook it rather than implement a second-rate feature.
Of course the replacement of the current camera used in the iPhone would solve this problem so the inclusion of video recording capabilities in the new firmware could point to a future upgrade in forthcoming models. And it is this hint at next-gen hardware that is really causing all the fuss with the 3.0 firmware update. Not only will it provide new features for existing iPhone owners, it may also provide a tease as what is in store for the next model iPhone.
Keep Dreaming – probablyScanning the forums reveals iPhone users seem most interested in the possibility of running background apps and push notifications but, as usual the wish list from users far outweighs the list of rumors. These include Flash support, a horizontal keyboard for every app, SMS forwarding, and voice dialling. It seems users aren’t being too greedy since most of these features are things that can be found on much cheaper handsets. Also the fact that many of these features such as MMS, copy-and-paste, turn-by-turn GPS and tethering are available on jailbroken iPhones just shows how much people want these features – take note Apple.
So what does everyone think? Do you believe the rumors or is the whole rumor thing just a waste of time? What features do you existing iPhone owners want to see added, and if you don’t have an iPhone, what features would convince you to buy one? Let us know in the comments.