United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) just released a large document detailing "Touch Screen Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Determining Commands by Applying Heuristics". There are lots and lots of information in this patent (#20080174570) but only one particular section that really caught my eye. It has to do with one feature many of us have been wishing for on the iPhone --- support for Flash content.
The content from this patent doesn't say whether Apple will add support for Flash to future versions of iPhone OS 2.0, but it does tell us that Apple has most definitely considered it. And as an added bonus, we may even see native support for Windows Media content.
FIGS. 40A-40F illustrate exemplary user interfaces for playing an item of inline multimedia content in accordance with some embodiments.
In some embodiments, user interfaces 4000A-4000F include the following elements, or a subset or superset thereof: 402, 404, 406, 3902, 3906, 3910, 3912, 3918, 3920, 3922, as described above; inline multimedia content 4002, such as QuickTime content (4002-1), Windows Media content (4002-2), or Flash content (4002-3);
Some curious developer found the following within the English-language 'Localizable.strings' file located in 'System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/WebKit.framework':
Therefore, it's unclear whether those references represent the groundwork for upcoming iPhone features or simply exists as carryovers from the WebKit frameworks used to develop applications for the Mac and Windows PCs.
Apple is already providing developers with a new iPhone firmware beta with enhanced location-finding that could lead to true navigation as well as the roots for background push services.
The one of new features is update to core Location - it can now recognize the cardinal direction of an iPhone with GPS as well as its velocity, both of which are ingredients necessary to providing turn-by-turn directions. The additions confirm statements recently by Apple's Greg Joswiak, who rejected earlier claims that iPhone 3G's GPS antenna wasn't powerful enough to handle navigation and in turn explained that "complicated issues" are holding the device back from serving as a true navigation unit.
Apple is also implementing a rough version of its background push notification service in the 2.1 firmware. Announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference, the feature lets third-party native programs receive data such as alerts or new messages without actively running. The measure saves processing power without interrupting some apps that depend on constant access to the Internet.
The inclusion of this early version of the code alludes to the 2.1 update becoming public at the same time as the push notification service itself, which is tentatively due for September. In the meantime, Apple and its US partner AT&T are known to be testing iPhone 2.0.1, a maintenance release that likely fixes some of the outstanding bugs with the initial 2.0 release.
Investment bank Piper Jaffray said Tuesday it believes Apple is readying new iPod and notebook products that will apply downward pressure to profit margins because they'll be priced more affordably, such as 13-inch MacBook that will fetch less than $1000.
"We believe there is an 80% chance Apple will introduce redesigned MacBooks and possibly new MacBook Pros at lower price points," he wrote. "Specifically, Apple may re-enter the $999 price point (currently $1099) with the MacBook, or test the $1,799 price point with the MacBook Pro (currently $1999)."
The Piper Jaffray analyst reiterated his Buy rating and $250 price target on shares of Apple.
AT&T has developed a software trick that will recognize voice commands without the need for specialized voice recognition software. It is based on a new version of AT&T's WATSON speech recognition engine.
In a prototype mobile version of the YellowPages website, AT&T in a research video shows an iPhone user entering the business name and location into text fields on the page just by speaking them at the appropriate times. While typing would work in such a case, the company claims that voicing the information is faster and more convenient.
Cupertine California—July 21, 2008—Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2008 third quarter ended June 28, 2008.
Apple shipped 2,496,000 Macintosh computers during the quarter, representing 41% unit growth and 43% revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 11,011,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 12% unit growth and 7% revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone units sold were 717,000 compared to 270,000 in the year-ago-quarter.
The Company posted revenue of $7.46 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.07 billion, or $1.19 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $5.41 billion and net quarterly profit of $818 million, or $.92 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 34.8%, down from 36.9% in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 42% of the quarter’s revenue.
Russian newspaper Vedomosti investigated how much the new IPhone 3G costs in Russia, country where users cannot buy IPhone officially. The results are impressive.
Several russian web sites offer IPhone 3G 8Gb for $1200. Rumors say that In Moscow it is possible to find one foe $775, but it is not easy. However $1200 is not the limit at all. In some big shopping center in Moscow one can buy IPhone 3G for $3449.
Some analysts report, that there are about 400,000 IPhones in Russia. Every month this number increases by approximately 33,000.
With the iPhone 3G not even ten days old, virtually all of the Apple retail store stores open within the United States are without any examples of the device to sell on July 21st.
The shortage is severe enough in the 38 states that claim Apple stores that it's easier to count the locations that do have iPhone 3G units than those that don't.
In California, the only Apple store with any iPhones is the Pleasanton store with only 16GB black examples, while New York City's Fifth Avenue store is the only one in all of New York state known to have any examples left, with just 16GB white models in stock.
Only a single Honolulu store and the Salem, New Hampshire store can also claim to have any units available, and each only lists one model as ready for Monday.
Apple has been continually resupplying its stores with new iPhones - in many cases on a daily basis - but has seen fewer and fewer of its stores touting next-day availability in the several days since the July 11th debut of the handset upgrade.
Whether or not Apple's supply will meet demand in time to prevent a repeat of May's complete stockout is also far from certain. When grilled on an unprecedented spike in preorders, Britain's iPhone carrier O2 said it might take "some weeks" before it could satisfy enough of its customers on a regular basis.
The battery life on Apple's new 3G iPhone isn't great, but it beats that of other 3G smartphones we've seen, say testers at PC World's Test Center. In the study's standard talk-time battery life test, an iPhone, on average, ran 5 hours and 38 minutes, a performance PC World deems "fair."
The original iPhone, which ran on AT&T's slower EDGE network, lasted 10 hours of our test. But the 3G iPhone beat out the rest of the current 3G smartphone pack, most of which fell shy of the five-hour mark that's the cutoff between a word score of fair and poor in PC World's performance ratings.
The iPhone 3G also beat out competitors on Sprint and Verizon's EVDO mobile broadband networks, including the Palm Centro (4:19) and the Samsung Instinct (5:33), PC World says.
During an interview to AppScout Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president, described that there is a priority list for IPhone's functionality. And the copy/paste is there. It will be developed, it's just a matter of time.
Some news about GPS. For now there is no such functionality to receive instructions where to go in real time. David Poga from New York Times thinks this is because of a small GPS receiver antenna inside IPhone. Joswiak doesn't agree with that. He assumes that GPS module is quite competitive and is just like GPS modules in many other phones. This technical problem will be fixed quite soon, probably by some software from other company.
Firmware 2.0 is just released and we are all waiting for 2.1