Apple is putting the final touches (no pun intended) on the new and improved iPhone and iPod Touch to be released soon. The new iPhone will likely bring substantial performance and capacity increases. Here is a short guide to its likely components.
Items listed here are subject to change but are likely to be accurate based on available information from non-Apple and non-AT&T sources. Please note that this is not official information provided by Apple or AT&T and is not intended to be definitive or relied upon for any purpose.
Although 8gb, 16gb, and 32gb is used for overall storage, the current iPhone only uses 64MB for running applications. The new iPhone and iPod Touch will likely have a larger amount of system memory. This will allow applications to use more memory without fear of crashing the iPhone. One of the reason applications currently crash is lack of available system memory. Applications may not invade memory being used by the integral iPhone and iPod sysem apps (telephone, safari, itunes, etc.)
An increase in CPU speed and system memory will allow more than one app to remain resident at a time. Changes to the SDK will likely allow for programmers to take advantage of this feature. Apps that do not have current “focus” will remain running but will give up control of system resources relating to interaction with the user. For example, file sharing apps would be able to remain running in the background while the user places or receives a telephone call. However, all non-essential apps and services will likely “sleep” when the iPhone sleeps in order to protect battery life. A generic Apple-powered “Push” technology will be made available to developers in the SDK to compensate.
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Apps will likely remain sandboxed from each other and from the system apps. However, the new iPhone platform will likely provide for shared-space to be used by any application - at its own risk. For example, 2 different apps would be able to share data in the shared-space. Apple would need to review apps that use shared data and do what they can to minimize the chances of apps corrupting or deleting each other’s data in the shared-space area.
Improved Battery Life
Technologies most recently on display in the 17″ MacBook Pro will likely be used in the new iPhone platform to increase battery life substantially.
Form Factor and Voice Dialing
The new iPhone will likely look slightly different but will be a similar size overall. Some original and 3G cases and accessories will likely no longer work with the new iPhone. The new iPhone firmware will likely support voice dialing.
To-Do Sync for MobileMe
MobileMe users will likely be able to use a new to-do list and have it sync with MobileMe (and iCal via MobileMe). It will likely be a very basic to-do app and is not meant to take away from existing to-do apps in the iTunes app store. In addition, the current “Notes” system app on the iPhone will be included in syncing operations and to provide for a backup mechanism that is currently lacking.
Safari Speed and Cover Flow
Cut and Paste
Apple will likely implement a “cut and paste” system for the iPhone that can be turned on or off by the user. It will probably also be available for current iPhones. A system-wide “clipboard” would be provided and would be accessible to third party apps. The clipboard would show history, so users could cut and store more than one snippet of text.
System apps currently without landscape mode (Stocks, Notes, E-Mail) will likely be upgraded to support landscape mode. This will likely be a firmware update to impact existing iPhones as well.
One or more iPhones will likely be able to link together, primarily by Bonjour over WiFi, for some specialized applications.
Open Bluetooth and Compass
Developers will likely be able to access bluetooth connectivity to drive any device. For example, a bluetooth keyboard. Manufacturers will be able to create bluetooth devices of all kinds to integrate with the iPhone. The new iPhone will likely have an integrated compass which can be harnessed by the API.
The new iPhone will likely have a slightly different name (as the iPhone “3G” had a different name from the original). Users with expired contracts with AT&T will likely be able to upgrade to the new iPhone at a price similar to newcomers. Users with existing iPhones will likely be given the option to upgrade before their contract expires with a reduced rate for the new iPhone (meaning new contract price plus an extra charge but overall less than a phone with no plan). The current “3G” iPhone will likely remain available for a period of time and will be less than the new iPhone. The new iPhone will likely be available in 16GB and 32GB varieties, with the 8GB 3G remaining and possibly retailing for $99.
The new iPhone will likely have an improved camera and will allow third party apps to access the camera itself, not just the camera app, which will allow for better integration of the camera into apps. The new camera and supporting SDK code will likely allow for video and not just still photos. For example, third party app developers will likely be able to create apps that harness the video camera and essentially provide realtime webcam functionality. Plus, such apps would be able to remain in memory, and transmitting, even while the user places or receives a telephone call.
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