Apple will introduce version 3.0 of its iPhone OS, and new development tools on Tuesday, fueling rumors that the launch of a new phone will come within months.
The last major OS upgrade, version 2.0, was released in July 2008 alongside the iPhone 3G. Since then two interim OS releases have been developed. In November, version 2.2 added Google Street Views support, a few changes to the interface and improvements to the e-mail among other things.Above: an artist's impression of what a super-sized iPhone tablet might look like.
Ideally Apple would take this opportunity to offer additional features such as a search capability which would allow users to simply locate e-mails, documents and contacts, much like the feature the Palm Pre is boasting. Such a feature has been conspicuously absent in the iPhone, considering Apple offers such a feature, called "Spotlight", on full-sized Macs.
Multimedia messaging is something all users have begged for, along with push e-mail notifications, and turn-by-turn navigation directions.
Allowing a “tethering” option would also be great so that users could connect their laptop via USB cable or Bluetooth so that the phone could be utilized as a modem.
Users are also keen to see the ability to run more than one application simultaneously, so that instant messaging apps could be left open in the background, and the ability to switch between apps quickly -- for example, to read an SMS while watching a video, without having to open and close each app separately.
Email also needs improvement, as the current mail client is slower to open emails than on competing devices such as the Blackberry Bold, and there's no way to mark one or many emails as read without opening each email individually.
At present the iPhone is lacking in features which attract enterprise users such as on-device encryption, lengthier passwords and cut and paste.
As much as the iPhone has been a sales success, the list of "wants" from users is lengthy. Hopefully the third release of the iPhone will really step it up and deliver on the needs of users.
What do you want to see in the iPhone 3.0 software? Post your comments below.