Apple has begun to give developers access to the next version of the iPhone 3G system software. This will reportedly make this smartphone more useful as a navigation tool.
Although the iPhone 3G has a built-in GPS receiver, as it stands now this lacks the ability to tell which direction the deice is facing, and what speed it is traveling at. Both of these are an important part of providing turn-by-turn directions.
The beta of iPhone 2.1 that some developers are receiving now has these GPS functions.
This software update beta also has an early version of Apple’s push notification system. This was created to give the effect of multitasking without the disadvantages.
On the iPhone, third-party software can’t operate simultaneously. This prevents the device from bogging down when too many applications are fighting over too few resources, but precludes the possibility of applications running in the background. As an example, this would make instant messaging applications less useful, as the user wouldn’t be notified when a new message comes in unless the IM app is active.
As a workaround for this, Apple came up with its push notification system. This will allow applications that aren’t running to receive a notification that an event has happened, like an IM message s waiting.
These notifications will be routed through Apple.
At this point, it is not known then the iPhone 2.1 update will be released.
Before this happens, though, Apple is expected to release iPhone 2.0.1, with a number of bug fixes.