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Apple's iPhone 3.0 Software Stokes Developer Hopes

Developers and Apple fans chime in on the features they'd like to see in the new mobile operating system when the company reveals its hand March 17.

Apple plans to hold a media briefing March 17 to introduce version 3.0 of its iPhone software, an event that developers hope will bring long-promised features to the iPhone.

Among the most desired features missing from the iPhone is the ability to copy and paste data between iPhone applications.

While Apple has not said anything about what will be announced, developers have been hoping for copy and paste with every iteration of the iPhone SDK and one of these days, they'll get their wish.

Multimedia Message Service and tethering are two new features that The Boy Genius Report, citing unnamed sources, claims will be introduced.

Veteran Apple watcher John Gruber reiterated his wish list from MacWorld in January. He's hoping for a new home screen application to make managing multiple screens full of application icons easier. Like many other developers, he'd also like to see the promised background notification API.

Apple said it was working on an API to enable developers to push data to applications that aren't active. Background processes that do this are currently forbidden by the iPhone SDK license agreement, partly to prolong the iPhone's battery life.

An additional possibility for the iPhone 3.0 software is the ability to synchronize the Notes app (not IBM/Lotus Notes) between the iPhone and Mac computers.

Jeff LaMarche, co-author of Beginning iPhone Development: Exploring The iPhone SDK, expects that 3.0 won't bring any radical changes to how iPhone apps are developed.

"Much of the stuff we're doing on the iPhone is relatively unchanged from NextStep," he said in a blog post. "A surprising amount of NextStep applications can still be compiled to run as Mac applications. Yeah, there will be a few bumps in the road, but mostly 3.0 will be backward compatible with what we're doing now. There will likely and hopefully be cool new stuff for us to use, but it will follow the same design patterns we've been using all along, unless Apple fired a whole lot of people without the press getting wind of it."

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