iPhone 3.0 gossip lassos MMS, tethering, cut-and-paste...
All the rumors in one place
On Thursday, Apple announced that it would be giving the world a sneak peek at the next version of its iPhone operating system on St. Paddy's Day. On Friday, the rumor mill began churning out shameless gossip on what will be included in iPhone Software 3.0.
Speculation includes support for the Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), the ability to act as a wireless internet connection for a computer (aka tethering), and support for one of the most-glaring omissions of the iPhone's current software: cut-and-paste.
We'd like to add support for multiple concurrent apps to that wish list.
The Boy Genius Report led off the speculative parade, claiming its sources told them that MMS support and tethering over both USB and Bluetooth would be included in iPhone Software 3.0.
The iPhone's lack of MMS - the image and video upgrade to SMS - is arguably as embarrassing as its lack of cut-and-paste. After all, MMS has been around since 2002 and swept Europe as early as 2003. RIM's BlackBerry supports it in plans from MetroPCS, Sprint, and Alltel, and Palm's upcoming Pre is set to support it in Sprint plans, as well.
Speaking of the Palm Pre, Apple's March 17th sneak peek may be a sneaky way to pique interest in the iPhone's future while stealing headlines from the Pre. Although the release date of Palm's hopeful company-savior has not yet been finalized, Palm and Sprint announced wireless-plan pricing this Friday, and other Pre press is sure to come soon.
One Pre feature that we believe may also make it into iPhone Software 3.0 is the ability to have multiple apps open concurrently - a capability that's currently available only through a hack and only on jailbroken iPhones.
The ability to run background apps would allow you to quickly switch back and forth from, say, an iPhone spreadsheet and email. It could also allow developers to write software that could run in background mode, waiting for messages either from the internet or from other apps running on your iPhone, or using the iPhone's location services for any number of purposes - say, to alert you to the fact that you're nearing a preselected address.
Like background apps, copy-and-paste is also currently available only through the kind ministrations of third-party coders, either through a jailbreaker's hack or through a convoluted-but-useful service called pastebud. For those of us who want to cut snippets out of web pages and slip them into email messages or notes, cut-and-paste would be a productivity-booster.
Tethering has been on its way to the iPhone since at least last November, when MobileCrunch reported that AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph De La Vega had told an interviewer it was coming "soon." Even before that promise, Gizmodo had revealed a supposedly authentic email message from Steve Jobs that said that Apple was "discussing it with ATT."
One sticking point in the tethering discussions is undoubtedly what fees AT&T would charge for using the iPhone as a wireless data modem. We have a suggestion: none. After all, the iPhone - which Jobs calls Apple's netbook - already downloads internet data. Why should iPhone users pay more for moving that data over Bluetooth or a USB cable to a laptop? ®
Ah yes, The iPhone does this as well. The player runs in the background whilst you do other things. What it can't do is run (say) a GPS tracker in the background whilst you browse the web in the foreground.
I suspect the iPhone OS is capable of this but that it is a deliberate policy by Apple to reduce drainage on the battery.
Can't remember the cut/paste on the K800i .. obviously never needed it!
My K800i is no 'smart phone' but it manages to run several apps at the same time... I can play mp3 files or listen to the inbuilt FM radio and tap out a text message and drop into a game or browse a web page (crap screen compared to the iPhone I have to admit though). I use this all the time... its hard to understand that iPhone with its 'sophisticated' OS sitting underneath all it does cannot do this... and thats not to mention that the K800i supports cut/paste, has hassle free BlueTooth, a 3.2Mp camera with a Flash etc etc.
I am not an Apple basher or iPhone hater at all... it just amazes me that a product that in most other ways is so advanced has such a big whole in its functionality.
> Also you have to realize that apple is more about style than substance. They don't so much sell products as *end user experiences".
This is a criticism? The iPhone is the first phone I've had in about 8 years that actually seems to have been designed with the end user in mind. Prior to getting the 3G I had a Nokia N series phone and it seriously sucked balls. I got it full of hope after suffering an Ericsony for a year only to discover that Nokia had forgotten how to make a usable phone. The 18 months I was tied to it it brought me only stabbing pain and misery.
The thing that singles Apple out is that they pick a useful feature set and then implement that well, instead of throwing in a full kitchen sink of me-too features and buttons. As already noted by other people:
Copy-n-paste: I've missed it maybe a handful of times since I got the phone. It'll be nice to have, but it's not going to change my life. The problem is really a lot harder than you think since the useful instances of copy-n-paste involve non-trivial things like the need to copy-n-paste multiple lines of text into different fields in another app - such as copying an address out of a message. Yes, you can do this with other phones, but the experience is clunkier than just writing it down and typing it back in.
Tethering: this is down to the operators and is obviously a problem with the unlimited data plan. Apple got away with strong-arming an unlimited plan as standard on the basis that there is a limited amount of data you can seriously download with the phone anyway. Screaming at Apple won't change anything. I could tether my Nokia on Orange, but I only had 8MB of data a month or something measly like that.
Background apps: on many occasions I'd take my Nokia piece of shit out of my pocket to find it roasting hot and out of battery because some background app had live-locked and burned through all of my juice. This really is a device designed to be taken out of your pocket, used for something for a short while and then put back. It's not a web server or desktop replacement. Go get an SCC/Netbook(R)/whatever.
The only thing more crazy than Apple fanbois is people who seem to get so burned up about some Apple product not exactly suiting them and thus Steve Jobs being an asshole.
@It's Us v Them Over and Over Again
But the "The iPhone is rubbish." arguement is fading away somewhat compared with a year ago where fanboi's were continually being dumped on from a great hight.
When the iPhone software v3 comes out soon and the 3rd version of the actual iPhone comes out in the summer with cut and paste, SMS forwarding, MMS, a better camera, video camera, twice as long lasting battery, 32gb memory, tethering, concurrent apps running and whatever else they have up their sleeve, and I bet they do have something great firmly embedded up their sleeve then I assume the iPhone haters will be happy and have no complaints.
Somehow I think they'll hate the darn thing even more.
Dan, I’m a bit surprised you are touting Shazam on the iPhone as a “killer feature” as any phone will do it, just through a dedicated audio channel rather than a web based app. To be fair to you, I’ve also done a similar search for a song I hear on the television and did it through web search which oft-times finds a web site listing things like music played in a particular show and so forth.
As for the iPhone itself… meh. Played with one for a while, but since I use a phone to call, text and listen to music on I went for a smaller, lighter phone with a far better battery life and equivalent music abilities, especially as I am no fan of iTunes and refuse to have it on any of my machines. For email, web surfing and so on, I have laptops for that stuff, and if something is that important then the other person should realise that phone calls will get my attention much better than a one way message medium like email or SMS.