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Summary:

The latest version of the iPhone Firmware — version 2.2 — has been seeded to developers. It offers a few features which users have been desperate for, along with smaller additions which could lead to interesting new applications in the future. Whether you’ve been clamoring for […]

The latest version of the iPhone Firmware — version 2.2 — has been seeded to developers. It offers a few features which users have been desperate for, along with smaller additions which could lead to interesting new applications in the future. Whether you’ve been clamoring for Street View or would one day like to see a version of GarageBand for iPhone, you may be in luck. Some of the new features are detailed below, and a large selection of screenshots have also been posted online.

Street View

iPhone Maps Street View

After the excellent implementation of Street View in Google’s Android OS (see about halfway through the video demonstration), pressure was on for Apple to create similar functionality in the iPhone. This should be the case, with full support for street view and the potential of the ‘compass’ feature, which rotates the display of street view as you rotate the iPhone.

Public Transit / Transport Support

Public Transport in iPhone Maps

The iPhone now has the ability to provide directions through public transport (bus, train & walking). This is a great feature of Google Maps which will be welcomed on a mobile device. Hopefully, public transit directions will be provided on an international basis and not just for major cities in the U.S.

Location Sharing

The iPhone will also provide the ability to share your location with others. When clicking Share Location, it drafts an email with an http link filled out which, when clicked on another iPhone, will launch Maps & go to that exact location. While this has been achieved through other applications previously, it is now built into the Google Maps application.

Support for Line-In

Another release note mentioned that the new SDK supports the manipulation of line-ln audio accessories. This will give developers the ability to utilize higher quality audio inputs and create more innovative audio applications. The ability to record a real instrument at high quality into the iPhone could give way to a new surge in GarageBand style applications.

Still Waiting For…

While this release covers a range of highly anticipated features, there are still several missing. One maps feature which seems vital is the addition of turn-by-turn GPS. Why this wasn’t included with the initial release of the GPS enabled iPhone is beyond me, and I strongly hope that Apple finds a way to include software to provide this functionality in a future release.

Are there any other software features which you’d like to see in this release? Let us know in the comments.

  1. No background application support? I’m still waiting for that to make its triumphant return.

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  2. Google calendar and push Gmail…come Google.

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  3. What’s the difference between the new line-in support and the existing? I’ve seen a bunch of apps that will let you record audio, at pretty high quality; I’d be interested to see what the difference is.

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  4. Push G-mail would be fun, absolutely. Also support for a bluetooth keyboard.

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  5. Background application support will likely never be implemented for a variety of reason documented by Apple and others. Maybe in a few years, but not likely.

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  6. The transit directions are almost certainly derived from Google Transit. Complete list of participating agencies here:

    http://www.google.com/transit

    It’s very heavy on the US as of right now.

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  7. @Brian Hogg: The difference is that instead of only being able to use the microphones that are built in (headphones & bottom) the SDK can access the dock connector for audio-input devices.

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  8. [...] closely on the heels of the news that the iPhone 2.2 firmware beta does indeed contain support for street view in Google Maps, [...]

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  9. What about Bluetooth access and connectivity with other devices such as keyboards,remotes,phones etc? I think it is the most unexplored area of the iPhone at the moment.

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  10. A2DP support as well, Wasif. And this is a big stretch, but I would love a ported version of the Dictionary widget that comes with Leopard.

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