To many people, yesterdays announcement from Apple will mean that Cut & Paste, MMS and Turn by Turn GPS is finally making it to the iPhone. Many other improvements are coming too (forward a text message anyone?), but perhaps the most interesting stuff points towards an even bigger role for the iPhone and iPod Touch in the Smart Home.
On top of that, Push Notifications (previously promised for September ’08) will finally be available when the OS ships this summer as well as the ability to stream audio and video.
It’s not hard to envisage systems using these calls that could play a huge part in home automation. Your location, plus bluetooth comms, plus wifi, plus touchscreen, plus push, all add up to one heck of a “swiss army knife” of a platform.
It’s not all good news though. Although push notification is coming, you still aren’t allowed to run 3rd party applications in the background. You can run applications in the background on a jailbroken device and although it does have an effect on battery life, we think the user should be allowed to make the decision on whether or not to run them.
Here’s a nice video of an Android phone app that can manage your device profile based on your location – and this is a good example of what still won’t be possible on the iPhone simply because it needs to be constantly running in the background to work.
All in all though v3.0 is a significant update and more than we were expecting. Perhaps the third generation hardware that must be coming this summer too, will have the battery life, RAM and CPU to run proper background tasks satisfactorily.