Apple has made two important iPhone announcements in the past week, but both of them have gone rather unnoticed. The first is the complete revocation of the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) by which iPhone developers were previously bound. Though there are still some limits on exactly what developers can disclose, Apple appears to have responded to the general hullabaloo that surrounded the original terms of the NDA.
The other big announcement is the seeding of a new build of the iPhone 2.2 software to developers. Aside from a few previously-disclosed updates, such as a reworked Safari interface, the only major functional improvements seem to be in the Maps application. Highlights include:
- Street View: Now you can see what the street you are driving/walking down will look like. As more cities get Google street view, this will be an amazing feature—knowing what a building looks like makes it much easier to find in rush hour traffic.
- Alternate Transit Directions: This includes Maps overlay data for bus, subway, and walking directions in major metropolitan areas. Useful as gas prices go higher or for those who travel frequently.
- Location Sharing: Ever tried shouting directions into your phone for that one friend who is hopelessly lost, and can’t hear you because the background noise at the concert/restaurant/wherever is so loud? What if you could send that friend directions to your location? No word on how you actually send these (IM/email, etc.), but it looks like “Current Location” is no longer limited to your phone.
- Movable Map Pins: This is a killer feature in the browser-based version of Google maps. In case you have never done it, you can drag the start and end points of your route in Google Maps—great if you need to make on-the-fly-changes.
The last update to the iPhone software came in September with version 2.1. Looks like there will soon be version 2.2 with more great features!
Read [The Standard]