Mobile // Mobile Devices
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3/17/2009
02:58 PM
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Apple's iPhone 3.0 Adds Features, Rewards Developers

The beta of Apple's next iPhone operating system supports in-app purchases, peer-to-peer connections, Bluetooth, Spotlight, turn-by-turn directions, and new app business models.

Accessories could play a stronger role in the iPhone and iPod Touch ecosystem because the 3.0 software will enable manufacturers to build custom accessories that "talk" right to the iPhone via Bluetooth or the connector dock. For example, a manufacturer could build a speaker system that uses the iPhone as an equalizer. The iPhone will support standard protocols for things like playing music, and device manufacturers will be able to build custom protocols as well.

One of the complaints about the current generation of iPhone software is the lack of turn-by-turn navigation, but that has been addressed with the 3.0 software. Developers will be able to create apps that use Core Location as the basis for turn-by-turn directions. This will use the internal GPS as well as cellular tower triangulation for determining location.

Content creators won't be able to use Google Maps for turn-by-turn programs, but Google Maps will be included in the public API. This means apps will be able to have integrated maps that have multitouch integration for zooming and panning.

Apple also addressed why it chose a push-notification system instead of background processing, which can be found in rival platforms like Symbian, Android, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry.

"It's not good for the customer," Scott Forstall, Apple's senior VP of iPhone software said of background processing. "It drains your battery, won't let your phone go to sleep when it needs to, and it won't let it reach the lowest power-state."

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