Why the Next iPhone Must Have LTE

Author: Sven Rafferty
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The next iPhone must have LTE. Not to compete against the other first-generation “4G” phones from Android but to bring back the Apple synergy of its hardware and software. As it stands today, if you have an AT&T (GSM) iPhone 3G or higher, your current iOS version is 4.3.3. Verizon users are still stuck at 4.2.8 absent of many of the GSM users features such as AirPlay. While Apple did not comment if iOS 5 would be pushed to both GSM and CDMA handsets at WWDC, the reality is, subsequent updates will most likely be forked like today’s iOS 4 revisions.

Being behind the GSM folks is no fun, especially if some prime features are not making it to your phone. Couple that with the fact that CDMA can not perform simultaneous voice and data tasks like the GSM 3G iPhones do and now you even more separation. Also certain features, such as disabling Caller ID and Three-way Calling are not supported by CDMA iPhones.

While I despise AT&T and it’s horrible signal, dropped calls, slow data rates, and other issues, at least I have the most current iOS, full-feature set, and when not in an EDGE network – Hey Ha Bell, others are working on “4G” and you still don’t have a full 3G network! – I can chat while checking email or surf the web. These are all important to me and are enough to weigh the scales into the Death Stars favor, just by a tad, for me to carry on another year with it before going to Verizon.

Lastly, even leaving the Evil GSM carrier a year early with its termination fee would be cheaper than purchasing a new LTE iPhone with Verizon since it does not subsidize the iPhone year after year like AT&T.

I guess what it comes down to is over all, Verizon is inferior. Ouch, I don’t like saying that, but it’s the truth as it stands today. However, if Apple surprises us with the next generation iPhone supporting LTE, then heck, it’s good-bye AT&T.



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Apple Dock Patent USB 3 and Thunderbolt

AppleInsider has revealed Apple’s latest patent filing which details a new dock connector for the popular iOS devices from the Cupertino manufacturer. Most noticeable about the filing is the verbiage associated with the diagrams which read, in part, “Some embodiments of the present invention can provide support for one or more new high-speed communication standards.” These high-speed standards would be, as the filing listed, USB 3.0 and DisplayPort. The later, re-branded Thunderbolt by Apple and Intel recently, is the duos run against USB 3.0 which they have not released any hardware support for in any of its products.

Apple’s inclusion of the USB 3.0 protocol in the dock connector is most likely for support for many PCs that have been shipping with newest USB port for nearly a year while Thunderbolt will be an Apple exclusive of sorts for the rest of this year. Users of older Apple hardware, essentially anyone not owning the newest MacBook Pro, will have to opt for a USB 3.0 card for Mac Pros or upgrade to a newer Mac with the Thunderbolt port when available.

With support of the faster connectors, this could mean sync times will be reduced by half if not more in upcoming iPhones, iPods, and iPads. It is also possible that current iDevices will support the new high-speed traffic with a simple purchase of a new cable.



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Whiteboard HD Update Makes iPad Brainstorming Easier

Avici Software, LLC has just updated their widely popular productivity app, Whiteboard HD. The powerful visualization, collaboration and learning tool for the iPad now has even more far-reaching functionality, useful new tools and additional capabilities. As a full-featured, interactive whiteboard, the application has already proven itself to be both effective and productive for corporate board rooms and work groups, educational institutions, sports organizations, broadcasting studios and more!

“We received a lot of great feedback from Whiteboard HD users and we’ve added a substantial number of features,” says CEO of Avici Software, Cory Powers. “New tools like an integrated laser pointer for presentations on external displays, and features like grouping elements for edits are fantastic evolutions for Whiteboard HD in terms of maximizing utility.”

The update now supports a new sharable file type that enables users to send fully editable boards to other Whiteboard users. In addition, images can now be imported or exported to the native Photo Library, Dropbox or Box.net accounts as PDFs or photos. Issues regarding VGA output to external displays have also been completely resolved.

“There really is a lot more to see now,” says Cory Powers, CEO of Avici Software, “so we’ve added a lot of support options for different functions as well as a Help screen to aid users in navigating through everything that’s now possible using Whiteboard HD.”

Whiteboard HD is available for $6.99 from the iTunes App Store on iPad or at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/whiteboard-hd/id383779666?mt=8



Monday, August 9, 2010
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I had an opportunity to look at a new way to view Facebook last week prior to the official release of some software that I think is going to change how people use the worlds number one website. Wowd, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, has put its real-time web tool engine into the heart of its new release, the Social Discovery Client for Facebook. Unlike other applications that use either Adobe AIR or are made for the operating system itself, Wowd created its tool in Java and runs a mini-web server on your Linux, Windows, or Mac system. You access the Social Discovery client the same way you would Facebook, through your browser. Instead of the crowded and static filled blue-themed web page your use to seeing, Wowd puts up a simple and easy on the eyes version of Facebook before you. Orange-themed.

“Wowd makes it easy to search for and find information that matters most to you in Facebook,” said Mark Drummond, CEO, Wowd Inc. who was Director of Mission Technology at NASA (JPL & Ames) working on mission technology for Mars surface operations before coming to Wowd. (Trust me, this guy is way smart having a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Calgary, and a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh.) “The average Facebook user has about 130 friends and sees hundreds of status updates per day.  Our new Social Discovery Client makes it easy for people to filter and find the best of what’s posted and shared within their Facebook social graph so they can get back to enjoying social interactions and not get distracted by unwanted noise.”

Susan Doherty, Chief Marketing Officer of Wowd, told me on a phone conference call last Friday that Wowd surveyed 1,000 Facebook users when putting the Social Discovery client together and the number one complaint from users was game spam. You know, Jim needs you to help get gems, or Tammy’s farm is dying, and Mark’s just slain someone as a Mafia thug for something that you really don’t care about. While Facebook allows you to quiet the spam, it only allows you to do so one by one of your friends and as new games enter the social network realm, you have to continue your diligence and silence the new noise. Wowd with one click takes care of all of it. One click! Actually, I take that back, no click. By default after install, game spam is blocked. Thank you, Wowd!

Another high score in the survey results was losing touch with infrequent posters in a sea of chatter happy friends. I have over 450 friends and I know it’s common for me not see someone post to the point that I wonder if they even dropped me as a friend. Wowd took care of that by adding an easy link that you can click to keep up with all those infrequent posters. In my early pre-release version Wowd furnished me, I was able to easily “catch-up” with all those that post once in a while easily and quickly. I had to chuckle when I saw on the right column five names under the title “Most Active”. I guess even infrequent posters can still out post others. :)

Search is another frustrating topic with Facebook users. As it works, or really doesn’t work, Facebook search really doesn’t give much relevance in most users searches. Facebook is a social network and the power of that is the friends that build the network. With more and more looking to trusted source for advice, Google saw for the first time in – like ever – a drop in searches last month. People are tired of SEO-tainted search results. People know they can have confidence in advice from their friends and the ability to search Facebook easily for information as opposed to just having Friends and Pages results gives Wowd’s Social Discovery client a major plus over Facebook. You can effortlessly search for opinions on the latest movie, iPhone 4 advice, or even what’s good for dinner with Wowd’s Social Discovery Client for Facebook. Enter a search term and up comes all your friends that posted on their wall with that term, highlighted, along with even a tag cloud with related topics for further drill-down. Ya, I was Wowd when I saw how effective and straightforward it was to search within the browser interface.

But hold on, there’s more. You can create custom feeds such as “groups” of friends. If you’re like me, you probably have a batch of friends from high school, a collection from one job while another batch from that other job you took later. You can now put these people into “High School”, “Job 1″, and “Job 2″ custom feeds by name to see quickly see what the Class of 1989 did today. Um, that’s not my high school graduation year. Really. I’m not that old. Really. Custom feeds can also be created using keywords as well, much like search terms. In fact, when you perform a search you can save it as a custom feed to continue monitoring that topic. So nice, so easy.

Like the much ignored official Facebook app for the iPhone, you can also have a Favorite Friends section. These would be those that you want to be on the top of your radar. Hand select those that are closest, or maybe the farthest, in your life that you just have to know what’s going on with a quick click.

What else is there? Summaries. Here’s a place to see “What’s Happening Now”, much like a trending topic section. Active friends can be found here as well as a really cool graphical view of your wall that has a cork board background with push pins holding up quick wall posts, pictures, and other tid-bits. Visually, you take it in very quickly and very effectively.

In short, Wowd has put together a really exciting application that will definitely be my stop for my Facebook check-ins. Of course, without too much time even on it, I can see how valuable the free download is and I’m already itching for an iPhone version. Doherty assured me that it and Android app will be coming later. Phewf! My only disappointment is with the pop-up notifications that occur in the bottom right-hand of the screen. While nice, they are not clickable and thus offer little value other than to let you know something new has occurred.

Do realize one thing, reader, this is not a Facebook replacement as the application is far from being mature and is missing features that have become second nature to many users in using without even thinking about what they are doing. For example, clicking a friends name will not bring you to their page but rather to all of their posts. You can not dig deeper into their photos and other boxes here. You will still need to hop over to Facebooks page for full functionality.

The 25 MB package is free to install and Wowd will soon integrate text-based ads similar to Google Ads. Don’t worry, Doherty was pretty certain that image banner advertisement would not be dawning the orange-themed client and only relevant items would be displayed.

Visit Wowd for your download link now. I really think this will the be the new way to access Facebook, period. Oh, if you’re wondering how it compares to the Better Facebook plug-in for Firefox and Safari, remember what I said about the simply and static free lay out of Wowd? Ya, you won’t go wrong with the Social Discovery client. You will be Wowd.



Camera Plus Pro

Hailed by the New York Times as “the best of the bunch” among camera/photography iPhone apps, the immensely popular Camera Plus Pro now has compatibility for the iPhone 4′s newest features. Alongside a limited-time sale to $0.99, Global Delight has announced its latest update to version 2.5 includes an elegant new Wi-fi sharing feature, Bing image search, and full integration with the iPhone 4′s LED flash and front facing camera. Camera Plus Pro is also the first iPhone 4 compatible app that has both photo and video functionality. Already popular for bringing video recording to 2G and 3G iPhones, Global Delight has proven that they are as forward looking as they are backward compatible.

Capturing and enhancing high quality images on the iPhone 4 is easy with Camera Plus Pro. Users can view real-time previews for photo edits like brightness and contrast, easily switch between the front and rear camera, and even adjust images pulled from the web with the integrated Bing image search. Macworld has said that Camera Plus Pro is an “all-in-one app [that] delivers an impressive set of features”, and this latest update delivers even more for the iPhone 4.

Sharing and managing images or videos is also full featured and intuitive with Camera Plus Pro. Users can add searchable titles, geo-tags, and captions to their media, and email or upload it to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Multiple photos can be emailed or uploaded to Picasa, Facebook, or Flickr, and the update now gives users the ability to use a web browser to view and download photos broadcast wirelessly over any wifi network. To date, the free and paid versions of Camera Plus Pro have been downloaded over 10 million times!

“We feel that the best camera is the one you have with you, and now the iPhone 4 camera rivals some consumer point-and-shoots” says Guruprasad Kamath, Marketing Manager of Global Delight. “We’re excited to be adding such powerful features for such powerful hardware and we’re celebrating with our 10 Days of Summer giveaway. Steve Jobs referred to the iPhone 4 as being like a “beautiful old Leica Camera”, so we decided that we should have a $1,000 Leica Camera as the grand prize!”

Get the most from your iPhone camera with Camera Plus Pro!

What’s New with version 2.5:
- Fully iPhone 4 compatible with LED flash on/off/auto options and ability to switch between Front/Rear camera
- Real-Time Preview for Photo editing (adjusting photo properties such as Brightness, Saturation, Hue, Contrast, Sharpness, Temperature, Tint)
- Video exposure and white balance control in real-time
- Bing image search
- Live Share feature broadcasts images over wifi for easy viewing and sharing of the iPhone media library from any web browser
- Improved video recording capabilities with real-time zoom and video filters
- Use real-time zoom while using front or rear camera on an iPhone 4

For a limited time, Camera Plus Pro for iPhone is available for a sale price of $0.99 from the App Store on the iPhone or at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id345752934?mt=8.



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NAVIGON AG, a leading provider of mobile phone on-board navigation, today announced a significant update for MobileNavigator, the most feature-rich navigation app available on the iPhone platform. In addition to the iOS 4 integration, update 1.6.0 delivers the following new features: Live Weather, Clever Parking, updated NAVTEQ maps, Destination Information Display, Pedestrian Mode Voice Guidance and Enhanced Reality View™ Pro. The new release also brings NAVIGON MyRegion, the regional version of MobileNavigator, to the same feature level as MobileNavigator North America. Available now in iTunes, NAVIGON offers a special update 1.6.0 launch promotion for the first 12 days from launch date: MobileNavigator for $49.99, regular $79.99.

“MobileNavigator 1.6.0 delivers an efficient and informative navigation experience, helping drivers arrive stress-free and on time,” said Gerhard Mayr, vice-president worldwide mobile phones & new markets, NAVIGON. “Today MobileNavigator is the most feature-rich iPhone navigation app available. In the latest update, we not only added new driving related features such as Weather Live and Clever Parking but also improved the way information is presented in our new Destination Information Display.”

Live Weather updates and reports current weather conditions along the route and at the destination in real-time. Ensuring no unpleasant surprises, temperature and weather condition icons appear in the route overview screen before and during navigation. With only a tap a detailed three-day forecast is available. NAVIGON MobileNavigator is the first iPhone navigation app to include a Clever Parking feature, giving drivers the advantage of knowing where and what the best parking options are available around the upcoming location. When approaching the destination, a “P” icon appears in the map view. In one tap an easy to scroll list of all available parking options are available, including distance from location for easy decision-making. The Destination Information Display provides an at-a-glance overview and summary of information pertaining to the destination. Users can customize what is shown in settings/options, such as parking locations, weather information and specific POI’s such as all the restaurants at around the upcoming destination. This delivers an overview of everything important ahead of time, so they know what to expect and where to go when arriving.

Compatible with iOS 4, update 1.6.0 includes the much anticipated multitasking* compatibility, which provides continuous navigation and turn-by-turn directions while running other applications simultaneously. Users can, take a call without sacrificing navigation. While on the go, and receiving a call, the voice guided turn-by-turn directions automatically turn down, heard only by the driver and one tap lets the screen continue routing and navigation information in the map mode. MobileNavigator runs in the background when accessing other apps and functionalities of the iPhone, so the app can continue to automatically calculate and update routing information and provide voice guided turn-by-turn directions. When switching back to MobileNavigator, the user picks up exactly the place where left. The update also includes enhanced Retina display buttons and icons for the iPhone 4.

For those who use MobileNavigator when not behind the wheel, Pedestrian Mode Voice Guidance delivers voice directions as well as voiceover menu guidance. In pedestrian mode users get the same “turn-by-turn” directions as if they were behind the wheel, and can set the voice support to handle navigating within the applications menu options for a more hands free experience. Reality View 3D has also been enhanced, with a new look. Updated and refined graphics make the views of the road even more at-a glance friendly.

Version 1.6.0 Feature Highlights:
Live Weather
Clever Parking
Destination Information Display
iOS 4 integration
Enhanced Retina display buttons and icons for the iPhone 4
Latest NAVTEQ Maps
Pedestrian Mode Voice Guidance
Enhanced Reality View™ Pro and display of street names in the map view

*Note: NAVIGON MyRegion, the regional version of NAVIGON’s iPhone navigation app, has been renamed to MobileNavigator US MyRegion East, Central and West. This takes into account the fact that NAVIGON has updated the MyRegion app to the exact same feature set as MobileNavigator North America, including the In App Purchase Panorama View 3D. The regional version will receive the same updates as MobileNavigator North America in the future; the only difference is the price and the map coverage. NAVIGON MobileNavigator US MyRegion can easily be upgraded to additional regions or a full US map on the go via In App Purchase.

Pricing and Availability:
MobileNavigator is available for $79.99 in the Apple App Store and is equipped with maps of North America from NAVTEQ®. NAVIGON offers a special update 1.6.0 launch promotion for the first 12 days from launch date: MobileNavigator for $49.99. NAVIGON MobileNavigator US MyRegion is available for $17.99 (regular $29.99). Each additional regional map can be accessed as an In App Purchase for $12.99 (regular $14.99).

MobileNavigator 1.6.0 is compatible with iPhone 4, 3GS and 3G. The app also runs on first generation iPhone and iPod Touch, but third party accessories for GPS reception are required for these devices. *iOS4 multitasking is supported by the iPhone 4 and 3GS only.



Monday, May 17, 2010
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Sonos®, Inc., the leading developer of wireless multi-room music systems for the home, today released Sonos System Software v3.2, a one-button free software update for Sonos customers that features free content and new audio features.
Key features of Sonos v3.2 include:

· iheartradio on Sonos – Sonos customers in the U.S. can now enjoy the iheartradio service for free, providing instant, computer-free access to more than 750 of America’s favorite local radio stations as well as exclusive digital stations like Christina Aguilera Radio, CBGB Radio, Radio Weezer, AT40 with Ryan Seacrest, Jim Rome, Dr. Laura and much, much more.
· Crossfading – Customers can create smooth transitions between songs just like the DJs do. You can select the crossfading playback mode from the Now Playing screen for any tracks in your music library, plus select music services including Last.fm, Napster, Pandora, and Rhapsody.
· S5 Stereo Pair setting – This innovative audio feature allows customers to use two Sonos S5s in the same room with one S5 serving as the left channel and the other as the right channel.
· Japanese and Simplified Chinese language support – Customers using the Sonos Controller for iPhone, the Sonos Controller 200 and the Sonos Controller for Mac or PC can now control Sonos in 9 languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Swedish.
· New alarm settings – Sonos customers can now customize alarms for different days of the week. Wake up to your favorite radio station on one day and a Pandora station or playlist on another. Set the room, the time and the music for any or every day of the week.
“Sonos v3.2 continues the Sonos tradition of improving your Sonos experience long after you purchase it,” said Phil Abram, President, Sonos, Inc. “The additions of crossfading and Stereo Pair demonstrate how we’re using software to redefine and reshape the home audio experience.”



Friday, April 23, 2010
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Quicken Essentials for Mac just got better. Hearing users’ feedback, the Quicken team today lowered the price for the Essentials product, and announced a series of free product enhancements to be introduced between now and the end of the year.

“Quicken Essentials is our first Mac-native Quicken product, and demonstrates our new commitment to the Mac platform,” said Aaron Patzer, vice president and general manager of Intuit’s Personal Finance Group. “We’re glad customers took it seriously when we asked for their feedback. These are the first in a series of changes we’re planning to ensure Quicken Essentials users have the tools they need to manage their money easily and affordably.”

New Features
The first enhancements to Quicken Essentials for Mac, available from Intuit Inc. will be available by the end of the month and will let customers:
· Protect files with passwords.
· Export transaction data to spreadsheets for further analysis.
Additional enhancements are expected throughout the year, enabling customers to:
· Obtain a complete picture of current net worth by entering investment holdings from brokerages that do not download to Quicken.
· Compare spending between time periods to better understand expenses.
· Export tax-deductible expenses to tax filing programs, such as TurboTax.
· Track budgets across several months
Existing Quicken Essentials for Mac users will get these updates automatically as they become available.

Lower Price; Customer Refund Available
In addition, Quicken lowered the retail price for Essentials from $69.99 to $49.99. The product can be purchased directly from Intuit at www.quicken.com and at retail stores.

Customers who purchased the product before April 19, 2010 can obtain a $20 refund. The offer is good through May 31, and further details are available at http://www.quicken.com/macrefund .

“Customer feedback will help us continue improving Quicken Essentials,” said Patzer. “Our goal is to provide an intuitive product that helps consumers save and do more with their money, and our customers help drive the direction of the product. We expect to fulfill additional customer demands in future Mac products, bringing more parity with the Quicken Windows product. We’re developing more robust investment tracking http://quicken.intuit.com/personal-finance-software/premier-investment-management.jsp and other features while still retaining the ease of use and great customer experience that Mac users expect.”

Mac users can provide product feedback directly to the Quicken team at http://quicken.intuit.com/support/feedback/mac-essentials/.



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NAVIGON AG, a leading provider of mobile phone on-board navigation, today announced the availability of update 1.5.0 for MobileNavigator, the most feature-rich navigation app available on the iPhone platform. The new update delivers three innovative features: Connection to Facebook and Twitter, Panorama View 3D with 3D terrain views derived from NASA data, and personalized route recommendations via NAVIGON MyRoutes.

“With the our latest iPhone app update NAVIGON continues to expand the navigation functionalities of MobileNavigator, making sure our users have access to the latest NAVIGON innovations ,” said Gerhard Mayr, vice-president worldwide mobile phones & new markets, NAVIGON. “Update 1.5.0 not only redefines routing capabilities on the iPhone platform but also integrates outstanding, reliable 3D environment views and social media connectivity, an industry first feature for on-board iPhone navigation.”

MobileNavigator update 1.5.0 gives users an easy way to broadcast current position, destination and ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) to favorite social media outlets, Twitter and Facebook, without navigation interruption. The in-app Facebook or Twitter icons seamlessly launch during navigation and Twitter will automatically limit character input to its required maximum 140 characters.

Complementing the elegant iPhone UI, Panorama View 3D is three-dimensional digitized cartography generated from NASA’s height and terrain data. The 3D maps deliver an accurate depiction of surrounding environment, and what lies ahead with landscapes that include elevations, shadows, and geographic images. Panorama View 3D is integrated in-map, independent from the phone’s data connection.

NAVIGON MyRoutes analyzes driving habits, patterns, location, time and day to provide up to three routes clearly displayed in-map with ETA, distance and driving times for each.

Up to three recommendations can be suggested, one primary, and up to two alternatives provide the user with options to choose the preferred course.

MobileNavigator transforms the iPhone into an inclusive navigation device that relies on the GPS receiver, independent from a cell or wireless signal, to provide the most feature rich on-board navigation application. MobileNavigator offers a familiar, yet streamlined user interface that offers intuitive visual feedback and readily accessible connected features, which takes the efficiency of mobile navigation to new heights. It is the only on-board iPhone navigation app available that includes Google Local Search, Reality View™ Pro, branded in-route POI’s, seamless in-app iPod controls, enhanced pedestrian mode, Traffic Live, and now Connection to Facebook and Twitter in one application.

NAVIGON recently announced the availability of MyRegion, a customizable version of MobileNavigator. MyRegion lets users choose which part of the country they use at a price built for all budgets. Available with flexible map choices for the Eastern, Central or Western U.S, the total U.S. map is downloaded upon purchase of the first “MyRegion,” and activation of additional content is accessed via a seamless In App Purchase on the go. NAVIGON MyRegion delivers the same premium feature set as the full North American version, and each region receives the same updates. NAVIGON MyRegion already includes the MyRoutes feature and Connection to Facebook and Twitter as well as Panorama View 3D will become available soon.

Pricing and Availability:

MobileNavigator update 1.5.0 is available for free to all current users. Panorama View 3D is an In App Purchase for $9.99. MobileNavigator with total map access of North America sells for $79.99 in the App Store with no hidden charges or additional monthly fees. NAVIGON MyRegion (Eastern, Central or Western) is available now in iTunes at an introductory price of $24.99 (normally $29.99) until April 12th. Each additional regional map can be accessed as an In App Purchase for an introductory $12.99 (normally $14.99).



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With much anticipation, Apple took off the covers of its latest version of the iPhone OS today from its Cupertino headquarters. As believed, Cut and Paste, MMS, and tethering support was announced. Actually, tethering was brought up during the Q&A and was confirmed by Scott Forstall, Senior Vice President of iPhone Software at Apple, telling the audience, “We’re supporting tethering in the client side, we’re building that support in. We’re working with our carriers around the world.” Dozens of other features, mostly for developers, where announce as well such as support for Google Maps so applications will no longer have to send a user to the Google Maps application but rather integrate it directly into its application. This also means turn-by-turn directions will be supported though it will be “bring your own maps” for licensing reasons. TomTom has a chance!

Forstall early on admitted blowing it on a feature that should have been out last year saying, “Next, Push. You know, we’re late on this one.” Working with developers and listening to their suggestions lead to a re-tooling of Push and now Apple believes the version that is in 3.0 is much better than what it once had. Examples of push, such as IM, were shown to work very nicely much like SMS or reminders in the current version of the iPhone.

Subscriptions will also now be available for software making way to purchase multiple levels of a game or more months for a sports service, for example. Peer to Peer connectivity is also added allowing for easier connection between two or more iPhones for multi-player games or for address card exchange, though the latter was not mentioned.

Hardware vendors will also have use of the iPhone via the dock connector, finally. Examples shown were the iPhone docked in a speaker system in which you could control the tone with an onscreen EQ. SvenOnTech is aware of Altec Lansing showing off alpha hardware to Apple in January and suspects that this very hardware was shown in the slide show, today. Other items shown were a blood pressure cuff and a blood tester for diabetes. With this access, it’s quite conceivable third-party vendors can finally tap into the phone and possibly tie it into car stereos or home dock systems. The ultimate speaker phone.

Copy and Paste looks fantastic. When asked what the hold up was all about the answer given was “security” without any further explanation. I find this a very interesting response since nearly every device on the market has this feature and these manufactures, such as Microsoft and RIM, seem to have not been worried about “security”. It’s hard to say if it was a cover-up excuse or something deeper RIM and MS haven’t considered.

Other goodies include landscape support for SMS, Mail, and Notes. Speaking of Notes, you’ll finally be able to sync those scribbles in your iPhone with 3.0. Voice notes was also shown off which looks to be quite nice. Steaming video was demonstrated by ESPN which looked incredible. YouTube will now allow you to enter your account information keeping favorites and subscriptions synced between phone and desktop. Multiple pictures can now be sent in Mail as well as direct access to the mail application for other apps. Safari users will also be happy to know Auto-fill has made its to the upcoming summer release of 3.0 as well.

So, what about that MMS and A2DP (stereo Bluetooth support) caveat? You know, how Apple just kinda breezed over the fact that you’ll need to have a 3G iPhone to get that working? Mmm, kinda fishy, we think. While it’s solely possible that the lack of support for stereo Bluetooth may be so on the older hardware, we’re at a loss why MMS cannot be supported. Let’s see, you can take a picture in the Facebook app and send it to your profile, today. Same with Twittelator Pro to post pics and embed the link in your Twitter posts, but Apple can’t open the camera in SMS and grab a shot to send because of hardware? Doesn’t make sense to us. Other 2G devices do MMS just fine, so why not Apple’s? We believe it’s a way for Apple to force users to purchase new hardware though we could be wrong on this. Still, can’t see how hardware other applications use without issue for photos can’t be used by Apple.

All-in-all a great announcement for developers at the iPhone OS 3.0 preview announcement. If they use the tools given to them today, this free update for all iPhone users, $9.99 for iPod touch, could be a mean and exciting update for sure. Guess that puts egg on our face for last nights post, huh? :)