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Friday, October 31, 2008

8 Things to Expect in the Next iPhone Update

By Charlie Sorrel Email

One of the great things about the iPhone is the regular software updates. Free and automatic improvements are piped, hot and steaming, to your pocket computer.

We don't know exactly when the next version of the iPhone operating system (v2.2) will arrive, but the leaks are springing fast, and the new OS looks like a useful update -- full of new toys.

Here's what the rumors say so far.

Google Street View


Screenshots have emerged since the first October rumors that more or less confirm that Google's Street View will be added to the Maps application. The iPhone doesn't have the built-in compass of the T-Mobile G1, so we won't be getting the nifty live detection that lets the Android phone overlay a picture of what's in front of you over what's actually in front of you, but then what's the point of that anyway?

More useful is the addition of public transport information, seen in the picture at the top of the post. We should also be getting walking directions in addition to the driving directions now available.

Direct Podcast Downloads


The screenshot above shows us an option to grab more episodes of a subscribed podcast (which we covered in depth yesterday). This is great news. Apart from charging, the only reason I connect my iPod Touch to my Mac so often is to update podcasts. Couple this with a way to delete the podcasts you've already heard, like you can do with video files, and the iPhone is one step closer to being an independent computing platform.

We also see a new Video icon at bottom right. Does this mean that video podcasts can be watched without using the video player, or that a separate video player has been abolished altogether and simply merged with the iPod?

Rating Applications on Deletion


A report from the iPhone Hellas forum tells us that, upon deleting an application for the iPhone's home screen, we'll be presented with the rating dialog above. This, combined with the App Store's new policy of limiting comments to those people who have actually bought the application, should improve the accuracy of those ratings. It could also be a big pain in the butt if you are constantly testing new apps, like we do.

Line-In Support

The Apple Blog reports that the 2.2 software will support "manipulation of line-ln audio accessories." The iPhone and the 2G iPod Touch already support input through the headphone jack. We're not sure if this new feature applies to signals coming through this jack, or to audio coming in through the dock connector -- currently third-party applications don't get access to that part of the hardware. If the latter is true, it could lead to clip-on mics and speakers like the Griffin iTalk, and it could also explain why Griffin has released a recording application to the App Store.

Emoji Emoticons


Do we really need this?

Location Sharing


The post at the iPhone Hellas forum also gives us this screenshot. You will be able to share your location details via e-mail, and when another iPhone owner clicks on a link in that mail, they'll see a map of your location in the Maps application. Sounds kind of basic, but it could be a killer feature when your friends want to know just which dark, seedy bar you're drinking in, and you can't muster the strength to stand up and take a look outside.

Safari Tweaks


Way back in September, we pointed to this shot of a redesigned Safari interface, a slightly cleaner layout where Google gets its own spot in the search bar, the loss of the search icon and the relocation of the reload arrow to inside the URL bar. Expect more interface tweaks across the whole OS.

Copy and Paste

Kidding! You didn't fall for that one, did you?