Apple’s upcoming iPhone 3.0 OS features a smattering of incremental upgrades, including a long-awaited copy and paste function and support for in-app billing, which should prove popular with developers. The nature of the software upgrades makes it likely that the next iPhone will be a small upgrade on the current model, says analyst Tim Renowden of consulting firm Ovum.
“The new iPhone OS does provide some insight into the next hardware revision, and the incremental nature of the software upgrade indicates that the next planned version of the iPhone will also be an incremental upgrade to the current model, with no radical changes to the device’s capabilities,” Renowden said in a research note.
Apple has focused its marketing and advertising on applications in an effort to position the iPhone and iPod touch as the best mobile platform for apps and games. To that end, the iPhone OS 3.0 has several improvements for developers, demonstrating the extent to which Apple’s iPhone strategy is driven by the applications market.
“The new SDK and developer tools are aimed squarely at attracting as many developers as possible, preferably away from other platforms,” Renowden says. “The new SDK gives developers access to 1,000 new APIs, which Apple claims will give applications better access to the iPhone hardware, ultimately improving the quality and variety of applications on the platform.”
For example, developers will be able to write applications that communicate with the phone’s hardware and can also embed Google Maps in applications.
For consumers, the upgrade will provide an improved user experience thanks to features like push technology and a more consistent interface with a landscape format, on-screen keyboard across all core applications. Users also will be able to search across multiple applications thanks to the addition of Spotlight, which functions across proprietary iPhone applications. New peer-to-peer connectivity scans for iPhones in the area. The feature is a boon for gamers, allowing them play against each other on separate handsets.
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