Well that sure was a mouthful. Sure, there are those minor changes to the iPhone UI that may or may not materialize, but there are also some serious changes in store for the iPhone v2.0.
The iPhone SDK, freely downloadable from Apple, is proving to be an invaluable source of upcoming iPhone features. Remember, the iPhone is revolutionary in the way the OS can be updated and features can be added with a simple firmware update through iTunes. iPhone owners don’t have to endure the lagging development cycles for OS developers to deliver OS updates – new updates mean new features, and with the iPhone, we get new features on a regular basis.
So, what can we expect from Apple’s iPhone v2.0 firmware due out in June (the same firmware that will work with iPhone SDK applications)?
Keep reading to find out…
Mass Email Delete
I don’t know how long I’ve been wanting a mass delete feature for the iPhone’s mail client, but it seems that my nightly prayers have not fallen on deaf ears. The Apple gods will be allowing mass email deletion with the iPhone v2.0. I don’t really get spam in my business email accounts, so mass deletion is not really a problem there. My personal email accounts are an entirely different story. My Gmail inbox is full of ads for mortgages and Viagra – and with push email with Yahoo! Mail for iPhone, I get solicitations to enlarge my penis pushed directly to my iPhone. Talk about annoying.
It’s not clear how this will work, but rest assured, in a matter of months, batch deleting all those spammy emails will be no harder than selecting them and hitting the delete button.
Mac users will understand the awesomeness of Bonjour and what it means for the iPhone. Sure, connecting to a WiFi network is a trivial exercise, but what about connecting to other computers or iPhones on any network (networking in Windows is “fun” to say the least)? Well, Bonjour makes it easy to network devices on a given network. It’s as simple as viewing connected devices and then connecting to them.
Bonjour has been lying dormant in previous iPhone firmwares, and it seems that Bonjour support is coming in June. The iPhone SDK includes Bonjour in the foundation, core foundation and base system components.
Full-Screen Mode on Safari
With the new iPhone SDK, iPhone developers will be able to use a full-screen mode to display webpages/web-apps. In full-screen mode, the web-page/web-app will be displayed without the Safari address bar at the top of the screen or the navigation/bookmark bar at the bottom of the screen. All it will take, apparently, is the addition of a meta tag in the web-app/web-page code. Web-apps with the meta tag will be launched directly in full-screen mode.
Every pixel is a precious piece of real-estate on a mobile phone’s display. And even with the huge screen on the iPhone, it doesn’t hurt to have an extra few lines of usable browser-space.
Scalable Vector Graphics and New CSS Effects
Support for SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) means that images can be highly-compressed, reducing an image file’s size. SVG is an image format that can be compressed to tiny proportions while maintaining the original file’s resolution. That means iPhones will be able to download SVG images more quickly without sacrificing the image’s quality.
The iPhone v2.0 will also support new CSS effects. CSS transforms, transitions, and animations will help take the sting out of the lack of Flash-support. And, some CSS effects will be hardware accelerated to boot!
While making a new PowerPoint presentation might not be in the immediate future for native iPhone features, we’re all going to be able to view those PowerPoint presentations. PowerPoint can be viewed through the iPhone’s mail client, and should add to the iPhone’s enterprise appeal. Microsoft Word and Excel files are already viewable through iPhone Mail, but so the addition of PowerPoint compatibility will truly round out the iPhone’s MS Office compatibility.
Locally Stored Web-Apps
Wait, so what’s the hub-ub with all these natively installable third-party iPhone applications? With locally stored web-apps, any web-developer can code web-applications for the iPhone! No web connection? No problem, just store your web-apps locally and they’re as good as native applications (although slightly limited by AJAX, CSS, HTML, etc.)
The iPhone SDK allows for the creation of web-apps, so it makes sense for the iPhone to include support for offline web-apps. Apple says that the iPhone v2.0 will support client-side database API which will allow “totally functional even with the network disconnected.” Score!
And, last but not least – the iPhone may be getting “Search” functionality. If you search for, uh, “Search on iPhone” you may find that searching for anything on the iPhone just isn’t possible. Sure, with auto-completion, you can just start typing a contact to bring up all matching phone numbers or email addresses, but that’s only a half-hearted workaround. A search function is needed. Without a true search function on the iPhone, it’s hard to find a contact whose name you’ve forgotten, but happen to remember noting the contact entry as, say, “blonde hottie” or something like that.
Well, it seems that the iPhone v2.0 (or is it iPhone v1.2, or is it iPhone v1.1.5?) could be including a search function. The image you see if from the Apple iPhone Software Roadmap event and shows a little magnifying glass (usually associated with search functions) above the alpha-list. Does this indicate that “Search” will be incorporated int o the iPhone v2.0 firmware? Will we be able to search through our contacts for “blonde hottie” or search our emails for “cheap Viagra?”
Here’s to hoping…
Props to blargKABOOM for spotting the search icon!