Apple prepping iPhone 3.1 software update

Only two weeks after launching the 3.0 software update for iPhone and iPod Touch, Apple is now working hard on delivering an update to the iPhone OS.

Only two weeks after launching the 3.0 software update for iPhone and iPod Touch, Apple is now working hard on delivering an update to the iPhone OS. The iPhone SDK 3.1 beta has been pushed out to developers last night, which already reported a few new features and refinements.

Apple has not mentioned specifically the improvements in the iPhone 3.1 beta update, but numerous developers have downloaded the software and reported on forums and blogs some of the new things they discovered within the update.

At a first glance, reports say that the iPhone 3.1 improves Voice Control functionality (introduced with the iPhone 3GS), which now works over Bluetooth as well. Video editing on the iPhone 3GS is going to be improved also, as users will be able to save a copy of the original video before they start trimming.

Other visible user interface improvements reported include tactile feedback (vibration) when moving applications icons on the screen and paste capabilities in the dialer application. The dialer app will also convert alphanumeric numbers (such as 1-800-MY-APPLE) into regular phone numbers when pasted in.

Developers also found a few under-the-hood changes in the iPhone 3.1 software beta to the OpenGL and Quartz engines and an Video Editor Controller API, which allows third-party applications to call up the video editing interface.

The MMS functionality is enabled by default say developers, but it still doesn't work for AT&T users (although the AT&T profile was updated to 4.2). It is yet unclear whether this change signals that AT&T will enable MMS messaging as soon as the iPhone 3.1 software update is widely available to the public.

Apple has not said when a final version of the 3.1 software will be released to all iPhone users or whether this update addresses the latest iPhone 3GS overheating reports.

Already looking forward to the iPhone 4.0 software release? So are we! Check out our iPhone 4.0 OS wishlist and let us know which other features you would like to see. Meanwhile, make sure you have a look at the 10 Hidden Features in the 3.0 Software Update.

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Tags AppleiPhoneiphone 3.0iPhone 3GS

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Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
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