Possible 2nd Generation iPhone Details

Possible iPhone?This isn’t my scoop. Sadly, I am not that cool to know the people who know things. The fine technology bloggers over at Engadget (They get the photo credit too) are spilling the beans on their source (you know, a guy who knows a guy) that has reportedly handled and used the 2nd generation iPhone that is rumored to come out in a matter of months.

Among other niceties, iPhone 2.0 is reported to:

  • will be about the same size and shape as the first gen.
  • have 3G. And proper GPS!
  • be glossy black, from top to bottom. The volume buttons are now chrome.
  • have a headphone jack that will finally be flush with the body.

Some of the Engadget specifications are not surprising as they have been rumored for a while, others like the GPS and fixed headphone port are just what I am looking for.

Many of the rumors are stating that the $$$$ will be consistent with the current generation models. I sure hope so because I want a new phone and I am all but broke and cannot afford to break the bank on a new one.

Now, I know that Engadget is only spewing rumors, but a June/July release does appear certain. After all, some people are reporting that iPhones, in their current model, have sold out and will not be restocked. Apple, of course, is staying tight lipped and enjoying all of the hub-bub-aloo.

Give us a hint Steve Jobs – anything!

The State of iPhone Unlocking

Here is a quote for you:

“They seemed absolutely blithe about making the 10 million number, and I get the funny sense that ultimately the whole idea of locked iPhones and the revenue almost doesn’t interest them.”

This is a quote from Ezra Gottheil, an analyst for Technology Business Research Inc. He was speaking about the second quarter earnings conference call with Apple Executives that took place yesterday. If he is right, then what does that mean for the ongoing war between Apple and the iPhone unlockers and hackers?

Early estimates regarding just how many iPhones go unlocked were reported, by Apple, as approximately one in six.  During the conference call however, their number changed simply to “significant.”  The Apple execs simply would not be pinned into a number – they don’t seem to care.

You see, at this point, Apple seems more interested with market penetration rather than the carrier specific kick-backs that they receive.  They are hell-bent on selling their 10 million iPhones.  They don’t care who registers them, hacks them, or uses them on a non-authorized carrier.

Does this spell doom for the type of relationship that Apple has had with companies like AT&T?  After all, AT&T is reporting a double digit growth in earnings, thanks largely to the iPhone.  Will AT&T be able to muscle Apple around, or is Apple calling all the shots.  If Apple is in the driver’s seat, then the next generation iPhone may be a non-exclusive.

Web App Wednesday

WidgetboxYou have no doubt been to Apple’s Web App Repository right?  I bet you had to visit it on your desktop machine though.  By some strange oversight or cruel sense of irony, Apple’s Web App site is not functional on the iPhone itself.  It is odd; I know.

This week’s web app review isn’t so much a web app itself, but a web app collection site that rivals Apple’s, but you can actually visit it on your iPhone.  I cannot conceive why this hasn’t been done by Apple, but at least some one has.  The site I am talking about is Widgetbox.

Widgetbox is both an iPhone Web App Repository, but it also give simple instructions for integrating the web apps as web clips on your iPhone Home Screen. Widgetbox also has the information necessary for  you to create web app widgets for ANY website on the web.  The widget design standards are very easy to follow, and are pretty informational, but if you can’t follow them, there is a widget making tool.

To check out Widgetbox, point your iPhone Safari browser to iPhone.widgetbox.com.  The preset ones are there available for all to check out.  If you want to check out the design specs or the design wizard, visit here.

iTunes $.99 Movie of the Week

A movie for a buck, now that is a great deal, and I don’t even have to waste the gas on a trip to Wal*Mart or McDonalds for a Red Box. Apple never outlined just how long these sale movies would last, but they have yet to let us down. Now, I know that movies have been hit and miss, but this week’s movie is a keeper.

This week’s $.99 movie is Ronan (Warning: iTunes Link). I have seen it, and it is definitely worth a buck to re-watch. Here is the official scoop:

In a world where loyalties are easily abandoned and allegiances can be bought, a new and deadlier terrorist threat has emergedfree agent killers! Featuring “high-octane action” (Gene Shalit, “Today”), a “first-rate cast” (L.A. Daily News) and exhilarating car chases that “are nothing short of sensational” (The New York Times), Ronin is “the real deal in action fireworks” (Rolling Stone) directed by “a master of intelligent thrillers” (Roger Ebert). The Cold War may be over, but a new world order keeps a group of covert mercenaries employed by the highest bidder. These operatives, known as “Ronin,” are assembled in France by a mysterious client for a seemingly routine mission: steal a top-secret briefcase. But the simple task soon proves explosive as ther underworld organizations vie for the same prize…and to get the job done, the members of Ronin must do something they’ve never done before trust each other!

So, if you are looking for a good time, call rent Ronin.  You might need to hurry, this R rated action flick is on sale from  April 22 – April 29.

Do We Get 2nd Generation, 3G iPhone(s)!?!?

Now, I know rumors are just that, they are rumors. However, in many rumors, there is often a kernel of truth. If that’s the case, I wonder what the origin of the following rumor is.

There is a rumor circulating the internet regarding the next iPhone, or rather iPhones. That’s right, according to an article in The Times Online, there might very well be 3 versions of the iPhone come June.

“not only will the 3G iPhone look “radically” different to the current handset, but there could be more than one model to choose from. The Times predicts a flip phone and a QWERTY slider to join the tablet form factor. Looks like we might have to expect the unexpected this June.”

It would seem that Apple might (and I stress the mightness of this rumor) be designing an iPhone that would capitalize on the various aspects of the iPhone. In other words, there would be a media focused iPhone, a text-entry focused model, and possibly a flip-style.

When it comes to Apple, all bets are off.  We will certainly not know anything until WWDC and June are right on top of us.

New iPhone Firmware Features

iPhone imagesFeature reports are trickling in regarding the new features of the soon-to-be-released iPhone firmware 2.o.  I have already share reports that the new firmware will likely feature contact searching (which is sorely needed), but it also appears that the new firmware will allow you to save images from the web in Safari.

I am talking about the very typical “save image” contextual menu that nearly ALL modern internet browsers have. This feature will make a welcome addition to the iPhone browsing experience.  According to this screenshot from Gizmondo.com, you will be able to save a photo in Safari.

Logically, this feature hints at a much deeper interaction with the iPhone and the OS itself.  If I am allowed to save a file, then I will need to be able to delete a file.  That implies some sort of file access and storage capabilities.  That is great!  It seems that Apple is serious about taking the iPhone from being a great smartphone to being a fantastic UMPC or laptop replacement.

I can’t wait to see more in June!

Web App Wednesday

TV GuideDid you know there was some exciting news happening on TV in the next few weeks?  ABC’s Lost is coming back from its mid season hiatus, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are roaring towards a finale, and Battlestar Galactica is back on for its final season?  Did you miss some of this news, or do you want to know more about when these little pieces of heaven might show up on your TV Screen?

If so, then this week’s Web App is for you.  The folks over at Comoki have developed a fantastic TV Guide application.  This application features a iPhone formated, thorough guide to what’s on the screen tonight.  With Comoki’s TV Guide, you can:

  • Browse national TV listings for the United States by time, day, channel, or any combonation.
  • Browse with an  iPhone and iPod Touch optimized interface with collapsible categories.
  • View Detailed program information including IMDb integration for movies
  • Localize your guide per your iPhone’s location.

This surprisingly robust Web App is well designed and delivers on what it promises. The TV Guide is just one of many great apps from Comoki.  Make sure to check out both the Mahjong and Unit Converter.  I have used those quite a bit lately as well.

iTunes $.99 Movie of the Week

I am very wary of a movie called A Guy Thing (Warning iTunes Link). Now, I am not an expert, but if a movie goes out of its way to call itself “A Guy Thing”, it is probably not a guy thing. In fact, it is probably the exact opposite of a guy thing. A movie about guy things would have the word Alien, Kung-Fu, Death, Explosion, or Jet in its title.

None the less, “A Guy Thing” is this week’s $.99 sale movie rental. Here is the description:

Jason Lee, Julia Stiles and Selma Blair star in this hysterically funny romance bursting with “surprising comedy, likable characters, memorable gags and running jokes that are funny every time” (Knight Ridder)! Paul is engaged to Karen (Blair) when he meets the perfect girl, Becky (Stiles) at his bachelor party. And to make matters worse, he’s just discovered that the two are cousins! So in a situation like this, what’s the guy thing to do? Tell white lies and cover things up. But as the wedding date fast approaches, Paul finds himself falling for Becky and is faced with an impossible decision: do the right thing or lose the real thing forever!

Hmmm… I clearly do not sense any guy things in the movie description. Rent it, throw it on your iPhone, and let me know if it is a guy thing. I dare you – no, I triple dog dare you!

BD Touch SDK Promises Great Things

Does any of this sound good to you?

  • Pushing digital copies of movies to an iPhone from the Blu-ray disc menu
  • Automatically cataloguing a viewer’s Blu-ray disc collection and providing movie suggestions
  • Displaying trivia and extra information about a movie in sync with the movie’s playback
  • Turning existing Blu-ray discs into games that use the iPhone as the game controller
  • Viewing fan-created content in sync with the disk

If those features tickle your fancy, then you might be interested in NetBlender’s iPhone / BD Software Development Kit. BD Touch is a feature on many BD-Live enabled Blu-ray players including the Sony PS3. Applications developed using this SDK will allow the iPhone to be an extension of the the Blu-ray player. This is pretty exciting news.

According to the developer, here are the perks:

The key thing is that BD Touch is a two way communication technology, meaning BD Touch allows Blu-Ray discs to send and receive data from an iPhone/iPod Touch. The data can be images, text, audio, video and what we call Player commands like fast forward. This technology is going to be built into our professional Blu-Ray authoring tool so studios can take advantage of it, and we are releasing an SDK so developers can create all kinds of applications for consumer.

Pretty cool. June cannot come fast enough.

Gaming on the iPhone – a Real Possibility

If you haven’t seen this video, it is real, and it is pretty amazing:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/kvci1vTXyUo" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

This video comes from a developer called HermitWorks.  They have (obviously) already ported Quake 3 to the iPhone, and they are currently working on Space Trader as well as an original title called Quest which will be a casual adventure game.

Now, I know that gaming is exactly what some iPhone users are looking for, while others are sure that they will be a waste of time.  Despite the differences of opinion, it is obvious that the iPhone has some serious power under its scratch-resistant, glass hood.

If games like this are possible, then who knows what serious apps are waiting to be revealed.  Also, keep in mind that this demo is being done on current iPhone hardware.  With the revision waiting right around the corner, I think things are going to be getting very interesting in the iPhone computing world.  There are only about 60 days left until WWDC; the suspense is killing me.