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Apple’s iPhone 3.0 Designed to Defend Against Palm Pre

iphoneWith trademark confidence, Kevin Rose was pretty vocal about what we could expect to see from the new iPhone 3.0 software this Tuesday, and he claims to have it on good authority from a source who’s “been right before.” The basic purpose of the update, according to Rose, is to anticipate and match features that the Palm Pre is advertising that the iPhone does not yet have. Chief among these features is that mythical beast of iPhone legend, copy and paste.

Rose described the upcoming feature, which he claims is definitely in iPhone 3.0, in his Diggnation podcast this past Sunday. The implementation sounds similar to the copy and paste we’ve already seen from MagicPad, which, you may recall, was the first individual, official app to bring copy and paste to the iPhone, though it was not platform-wide. Cutting, copying, and pasting will occur when you double-tap an insertion or selection point in text, which will bring up a magnified area. From there, you can drag to select an area to copy or cut, and choose from three buttons (Cut, Copy, Paste) to perform each action.

While Rose doesn’t go into detail about what other features will be included, a quick glance at the Pre’s specs can give us some clues. Looking at Gizmodo’s comparison, I find it hard to see what else Rose could be referring to with regards to other features Apple can introduce to bring the two devices more in line. Maybe tethering and stereo Bluetooth support, both of which would also be long overdue, and built-in multi-network instant messaging support?

What I’m more concerned with are the features he claims will be left out this time around. Aside from copy and paste, the three things he mentions as not being made available in iPhone 3.0 are arguably three of the most desired functions on anyone’s list. First, no background apps, which obviously doesn’t fit with the overall goal of beefing up the iPhone’s software to match the Pre, since this is one of the Pre’s biggest advantages. Also getting a miss this time around, according to Rose, are video recording and MMS. The latter is supported by the Palm Pre, though whether or not the forthcoming device will be able to handle video is not yet known.

I was very much looking forward to tomorrow, and I’m still interested, but Rose’s claims have taken the edge off of my excitement. If Apple shows up tomorrow with little else in hand besides copy and paste, which it should have included at the iPhone’s launch, then Palm’s upcoming device is going to look that much more fetching.

17 Responses to “Apple’s iPhone 3.0 Designed to Defend Against Palm Pre”

  1. William said: “3) Turn by turn GPS – probably held up by lack of multitasking – I know some companies have implemented this but Apple is against – possibly safety concerns about what happens when a call comes in and switches off the GPS app and then you fiddle with your phone while driving to get it back.”

    This is so funny. OMG, what happens when the iphone tries to do two things at once? It can’t and people crash cars!

    Watch some of the web videos of the Pre doing multiple things at once and how it alerts you to incoming calls, texts, etc while doing other things. It’s UI and alert system is brilliant. While I think the iphone is a decent piece of hardware and I’m by no means saying the Pre will “kill” it, the Pre really has it beat in more ways than one.

  2. I don’t think Olternaut is correct that the preview will be light on features, I think we’ll see a fairly substantial upgrade.

    I do agree though, that it is very likely that to get acceptable performance out of any multitasking will require a hardware upgrade, if for no other reason than more onboard RAM being required.

    I also put the likelihood of announcing SDK support for a second screen resolution (640×960 tablet) at about 40%.

    We’ll see shortly, of course.

  3. william

    Lots of complaining about cut and paste and MMS but I don’t think most users actually care about those. Remember all the complaining about how the iPod doesn’t come with a radio? Right, hardly anybody cares. Here’s what I think is logically coming:

    1) Probably cut and paste, squeaky wheels get some grease. But who really cares?
    2) Multitasking and push notification, but probably only on the new phone – the new phone gets more RAM (as opposed to storage) and faster CPU
    3) Turn by turn GPS – probably held up by lack of multitasking – I know some companies have implemented this but Apple is against – possibly safety concerns about what happens when a call comes in and switches off the GPS app and then you fiddle with your phone while driving to get it back.
    4) New interface – remains familiar but gets updated and cooler looking
    5) No video or better camera, no keyboard, no stereo bluetooth profile, no bluetooth tethering, only by cable (battery issues)

    Apple Tablet won’t run iPhone OS because then apps would get developed that wont run on the phones. I think a tablet will run straight OS X but will have some special apps developed for its special hardware. Your standard Mac apps will run on it.

  4. @10: MMS is necessary for those times you received an MMS from someone who doesn’t have mobile e-mail. The whole “let me find a pen and paper, write these two passwords down, and enter them on a special webpage” is a pain.

  5. Can someone please explain WHY you WANT MMS when email is available? Does it have something to do with the cost? I used to use MMS… but only when I DIDN’T HAVE EMAIL.

  6. @Tom. I don’t think the Palm Pre has much to fear. The Pre already implements all of the iPhone’s best features and includes many innovative features in its own right (Synergy, or whatever Palm is calling the integrated calendars/addressbook is awesome and iPhone doesn’t have anything like it!). Further, the iPhone limited by the hardware and software. I don’t think that we are going to see multiple apps like the Pre is capable of doing because the hardware can’t really handle it. I’ve been tremendously disappointed in the performance of my iPod touch lately. If I try and listen to music while downloading e-mail, it will often choke. Twice in the last two days, I’ve had to soft reset the device to make it behave correctly. And let’s not forget that the iPhone can be slightly less than stable. It’s still too early to tell, but if Pre can deliver a stable, fast and integrated experience … it will give iPhone a serious run for it’s money. I hope it does. It took competition for Apple to finally deliver copy/paste. Here’s to hoping that they deliver task/note sync as well!

  7. The four primary complaints I hear from us iPhone users is:

    1. MMS
    2. Ability to view flash files
    3. Multiple apps running at same time
    4. Cut and Paste

    What concerns me is the mounting frustration iPhone users have with what appears to be simple requests such as MMS and cut and paste. Unless I’m not understanding the process in which these two functions operate, it ought to be pretty easy to accomodate; it’s not like iPhone is trying to become the first to develop said functions like they were the first to develop the touch phone.

    In any event, if we iPhone users are forced to upgrade our phone, and thus our service plan, just to receive a newer version that will allow to use said functions, I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one to complain.

  8. It should be a crime that iPhone users have to use that god awful AT&T site to receive MMS messages. If Apple doesn’t add support for that pretty soon it will be very very disappointing.

  9. While the Palm Pre is awesome and sexy and whatever else, there’s no way in the depths of unholy hades that it can compete with the 15,000 and counting third-party apps for the iPhone.

    I’m pissed about the lack of MMS action, but it’s a small price to pay for the glory that is the entire iPhone package. Small indeed.

    Good luck ever tempting a user away from the iPhone with it’s full list of capabilities.

  10. Olternaut

    No you all do not understand.

    The preview tomorrow is going to be very light concerning features. Multi-tasking and video will come but not as a software update. You all will HAVE TO buy the iphone 3.0 with its new processors if you want true multi-tasking and video and other great stuff.

    This is so freaking obvious that I do not understand why nobody is getting this.

  11. Do you really think that Apple would change the version number to 3.0 just for copy and paste, and if so, why a “preview”? Give me a break.

    This will almost certainly be a major release with a significant interface overhaul.

    Big change I think we’ll see: Spaces, which will allow probably four but maybe more different app spaces to be open at once and running in the background.