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The iPhone's operating system has secured the fourth-largest share of the global smarphone OS market, and has been increasing fourfold annually. While it has won the hearts of many, it has done so despite a prominent lack of certain built-in functions. The "Top 8" of these absent features are: MMS support, Adobe Flash support, video recording, Bluetooth modem tethering, push notifications, SMS forwarding, background applications, and -- an old favorite among the Mac faithful -- cut-and-paste.

While cut-and-paste functionality, and roughly four of the top eight needed functions were indeed added, they were piled under no less than a dozen other new abilities intended to advance videogaming on iPhone.

Background processing, video capture, and Flash support were not listed among the iPhone's newest features. However, the painfully absent support for MMS has at last been added, and message forwarding has been included as well. And push notification has been added, but in a uniquely Apple way. The "Apple Push Notification Service" can retrieve messages from third-party servers without continually running an app in the background.

Cut, Copy, and Paste lets the user double-tap the screen and then slide a selection tool over the desired text to be altered, while a long press of the screen highlights large blocks of text. Somewhat like an Etch-a-Sketch, the user must shake the iPhone to undo selections.

The Maps API has been opened, finally allowing turn-by-turn navigation software; and a universal search feature called "Spotlight" has been added, which lets the user search through mail, contacts, calendar, notes, and iPod data. Though only touched upon momentarily in the presentation, Spotlight updates the iPhone's home screen with an additional panel that bears a strong resemblance to the home screen of the Palm Pre.

Another common complaint about previous iPhone versions was the lack of a standard landscape-mode keyboard for all applications, most notably within Mail. This function has been added too, along with enhancements to Calendar, the Stocks app and the addition of Voice memo. Tethering was not discussed in the presentation, and it was only mentioned in the Q&A afterward, essentially repeating the rumors that the ability is pending. The major improvements in the iPhone 3.0 SDK, it seems, appear to benefit game developers the most.

Furthering the device's image as a video game platform, Apple has included microtransactions within the app store, enabling what it calls "In-app Purchasing." When a user has purchased a game, for example, additional content can then be added with their approval, and their iTunes account will be automatically billed. The iPhone has also received peer-to-peer IP connectivity via Bonjour, which will allow local multiplayer games.



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