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Summary:

There will indeed be an Apple event in March, but it (obviously) won’t be the rumored desktop event. Instead, next week press have been invited to attend Apple’s iPhone 3.0 special event next Tuesday, March 17. Rumors about what the iPhone 3.0 firmware would bring have […]

iphone3eventThere will indeed be an Apple event in March, but it (obviously) won’t be the rumored desktop event. Instead, next week press have been invited to attend Apple’s iPhone 3.0 special event next Tuesday, March 17. Rumors about what the iPhone 3.0 firmware would bring have been circulating, but no firm details have yet emerged, and Apple’s invite betrays no additional information.

The event next week will mark a little over a year since the reveal of the original iPhone SDK, and the timing is probably not coincidental, since part of the 3.0 announcement will include the revelation of a new SDK for developers to work with. And considering the wording of the invitation, 3.0 will likely mirror 2.0 in that the firmware won’t be immediately available. “Get an advance preview of what we’re building” definitely suggests that Apple isn’t ready for a public release just yet. We might see a timeline similar to last year, with the actual release being timed to coincide with the introduction of new iPhone hardware in June.

A key feature promised early but still missing from the iPhone firmware is support for third party background notification. Recent rumors speculated that Apple might be opting to instead allow one or two applications to actually run in the background, which would probably tax the existing iPhone’s processor. Likely we’ll find out which solution Apple is going to choose at next week’s event.

Turn-by-turn navigation was another feature floated early that has yet to appear, and there’s a long laundry list of user complaints that Apple still hasn’t addressed, like the lack of copy and paste, and MMS. We’ll see Tuesday just how deaf they really are to customer feedback.

  1. With a major revision to 3.0, I sincerely hope that Apple rectifies the greatest weaknesses in the iPhone. Namely: copy/paste, image messages, and Note/Task sync. If they cover those three concerns, I will forever lay down my ax as an iPhone/iPod Touch hater because it will do everything that I want it to. (I refuse to stop grinding the Stanza ax, though. There is simply too much potential in that little app to let them off the hook.)

    Might we see a Mobile version of iChat? Or even better, integration with the new Google Voice (which, BTW, is awesome. I thought GrandCentral was cool, but Google Voice is so much better!). Ooh, or perhaps true over the air sync of Podcasts, that correctly updates to iTunes? Any of those would just be icing on the cake! And it’s a major revision 3.0.0, so anything is possible! Well done Apple, it’s been a very long time since I’ve been excited for one of your little events.

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  2. I only rarely find myself needing copy/paste on the phone, as the tasks I tend to do with it don’t seen to require it. I also wonder how one will be able to select the text; what gestures would work, considering swiping and pinching are already utilized for more core features? It may actually be the technical hurdle that Apple claims it is.

    I agree with the Note/Task sync issues, as that seems like a strange oversight.

    I’ve long been confused by the hue and cry for MMS; it’s a phone that lets you e-mail your photos, right? Maybe my usage is well out of the mainstream, but if I want to send a person a photo, I just e-mail it to them, and it makes it to them. Now, as I say, I may be atypical, as the person I send photos to most is my wife, who has a Pearl, and can easily receive e-mail with pictures in it.

    I think the ability to properly push or select apps to run in the background would be up there in the list of important additions to the platform, although I would LOVE it if they’d let me tether one of their own Bluetooth keyboards to the phone.

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  3. I wonder if RIM, Samsung, LG and all the other johnny-come-latelys will be in the front row with notebooks in hand? I have to laugh at the number of commercials out in the last month for touch screen phones — whereas a few years ago they were mocking the iphone.

    And I agree with the “copy/paste” thing — why the heck is this so important? That’s all I read from people but i’ve never run into any instance where i needed it.

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  4. Some of us actually do need copy and paste, Chris. I have been living in Japan for the past 6 years, and when I get emails in Japanese from my friends, I would love to be able to copy and paste particular kanji (the funny characters) they have written to me into the free app dictionary to get the translation. My previous Japanese phone had exactly that function between English and Japanese.
    Now, having “upgraded” to an iphone, I have to (a) enlarge the text on the received email, (b) count the kanji strokes (c) use the Chinese IME keyboard to draw/write the kanji as best I remember it (because I don’t yet know how to pronounce it) in the dictionary input field (d) go back to the email app again if I make a mistake in remembering the stroke order of the kanji (e) finally get a list of candidate readings and then (f) if I am lucky, find the correct kanji and its translation.
    Have you ever tried doing that, Chris, for a whole SENTENCE, which might consist of 10 or more unknown kanji?
    As an aside, the same kanji struggles go on for entering data into, and/or reading data from, web pages, navi and other apps.
    Imagine a full address, all in Japanese, sent to you by email by your friend, and you have to enter 15 or more kanji into the navi input field – looking up each one as you go.
    I am sure other people lliving in foreign countries experience similar things.
    Chris, I appreciate you might not need copy and paste in your lifestyle, but don’t presume all the world works like you. Just let us continue on with our copy and paste requests to Apple, and if you don’t need it, fine.

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  5. Great…more firmware and its going to be large!
    How exciting…not actually…

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  6. PLEASE let us change the colors of the calendars! Or at least make them automatically match the color of the calendars in iCal! This is extremely annoying, and has been a problem since 2.0, when they introduced the ideas of having separate calendars on the phone.

    Also, I seem to be accumulating apps that sync data via wifi, but each one has to be synced separately (through a process of opening the apps on both iPhone and Mac, then syncing). It would sure be nice if there were some unified app sync framework that could be built into iTunes so that all app data could be synced at once, over USB. I don’t expect this to happen next week, or maybe ever, but it sure would make the system more usable for me.

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  7. robertsoakes Friday, March 13, 2009

    I heartily second the requests for a unified sync framework, over USB. It’s amazing, but Palm originally set the standard with their HotSync conduits some 10 years ago and no one has created anything better. ActiveSync for Windows Mobile is terrible (freezes/hangs) and I’ve had weird bugs with my iPod touch and iTunes library (like re-copying every audio books every time I plug in the iPod. Very annoying). A unified USB/wi-fi sync framework would be simply awesome.

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  8. [...] thing that those with jailbroken devices might have problems using is the latest iPhone firmware. Version 3.0 of the iPhone OS is due to drop next Tuesday, March 17, at a special Apple [...]

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  9. [...] The event next week will mark a little over a year since the reveal of the original iPhone SDK, and the timing is probably not coincidental, since part of the 3.0 announcement will include the revelation of a new SDK for developers to work with. And considering the wording of the invitation, 3.0 will likely mirror 2.0 in that the firmware won’t be immediately available. “Get an advance preview of what we’re building” definitely suggests that Apple isn’t ready for a public release just yet. We might see a timeline similar to last year, with the actual release being timed to coincide with the introduction of new iPhone hardware in June. Read the rest of this article » [...]

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  10. I really would like to see these things:
    – background processes/push-notification
    – better notification system
    – Copy&paste
    – better sms and mail or integrated messaging system like the Pre
    – Landscape interface

    When these things are covered I’m keeping my iPhone. Otherwise: anybody interested in a legaly unlocked iPhone 3G 16GB from Belgium? :-)

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