iPhone firmware 1.1 rumors – my own debunking

So there is list of potential iPhone firmware updates floating around the blogosphere. Most came out around the beginning of July. It seems like an “anonymous tipster” has submitted a laundry list of updates for the next “firmware release” for the iPhone. This list has been posted and re-posted on various tech sites including: CrunchGear, MobilityToday, GearFuse, IntoMobile and others. However, after reading through it, I’m not too convinced on its legitimacy. Listed below is my point-by-point analysis of this list, and while I do think a new firmware is in the works, the list below seems to be more of a wish-list than anything else. But, you make the call! My comments are in red and brackets and the original comments are in italics…

  • There will be a build in file browser like the new finder in leopard for sorting through files [HTD: Can someone tell me what is “build in”? Is that supposed to be “built in”? Reminds me of spammers misspelling things. Also, file browser to me means that they will have to change how the root user is used. From my readings, the iPhone runs as “root” – a bit of a security issue, so they will have to change how the users are set up within the iPhone OS.]
  • There will be a disk mode [HTD: Again, possible security issues. This might be solved through public shares or something. This is feasible since Windows and Mac recognize Photos already.]
  • The reason that there currently isn’t a file browser + way to save files from web is because there isn’t a file browser on the phone, and they wanted to release the same one that’s gonna be in the upcoming leopard OS, complete with coverflow. [HTD: Let’s remember that the OS of the iPhone already uses 700 to 800 MB of space, I believe. I don’t have the specifics nor do I know how much is allocated to “free space” for future updates. Also, is the “feature” here the ability to save files from the web? That makes sense. I don’t think that it will be as robust as Leopard’s Coverflow though. And what’s with the language…”gonna”?]
  • There will even be a special version of “iWork” so you can show your keynote presentations [HTD: Keynote only? I would think that MORE effort would be on getting the ability to read Word/RTF/TXT docs better. Why would the focus on just Keynote? Pages would be better. Aren’t all versions of the applications on the iPhone, “special versions”?]
  • So anyway a FULL file browser is coming so you can browse just like windows mobile explorer only in the cool way leopard’s file browser is [HTD: HUH??? Didn’t they just mention this at the top? What is a “full” file browser? Again, I don’t think they would put ALL of the bells & whistles on the iPhone. Space is precious, as is memory.]
  • Full spotlight like search is coming too [HTD: this would actually be nice, however again let’s think about this. In order for Spotlight to work, you need space to store an index of all text. While there probably isn’t that much text to index – contacts, events, bookmarks, notes and maybe music – as soon as more applications are added, the possibility for the size of the search index to grow compounds. There is a finite amount of storage space and unless they are going to eat into the space reserved for iTunes, I don’t really see this being that robust, or maybe it will be limited to only certain types of files.]
  • Widescreen keyboard support will be coming in every app, not just safari [HTD: Ok, THIS I do see happening. It makes sense and is a real winner! I don’t think that it would be that difficult to pull off since it already works in Safari.]
  • Copy & Paste, Select Text is coming too (clipboard) [HTD: Another thing that I think is feasible. This would be a great thing to be able to do, especially to help those people who may have other characters in their names (like accents). Potentially there could be a webpage where the characters can just be copied from, until the keyboard allows for more “internationalization.”]
  • Also mail will see an upgrade so you can add accounts without doing so through itunes. [HTD: HUH??? You can do this already! Just go to Settings > Mail > Add Account… I don’t sync my email accounts so this works just fine for me. I’m at 8 email accounts and counting. Try doing that on Windows Mobile (grin).]
  • Most of the delays in this is because iTunes is the App Windows & Mac users are familar with for iTunes, so Apple didn’t want to do a bad interface that had a file browser hacked into iTunes. [HTD: “familar”? Come on, if you are going to submit rumors, at least spell check your stuff! But I really don’t understand this one. Are we back to the file browser? Why not just have the iPhone mount as a device just like any USB storage device would and how an iPod does…I don’t understand this one.]
  • When Leopard FINAL release comes out, plugging in the iPhone will pop open a special window in the finder that has areas for dragging all your files like a file explorer only more advanced and designed specifically for the iPhone, it will make sure that it works so iTunes knows how much space is for data, and how much is for “iTunes” stuff. [HTD: Uh ok…kind of what I said in my previous comment. What kind of a special windows? What does this have to do with the firmware release? Since so many of these rumors seem to be tied with Leopard, it makes me think that this wouldn’t come out until after Leopard comes out. But, if this is done like any other iPod, then who needs Leopard? What is the “more advanced” stuff all about? I think the tipster is reaching a bit here.]
  • Apple will be putting iChat on the phone, very, very soon, before Leopard. [HTD: I sure hope they do! And I hope that it is not tied to SMS, but rather using WiFi and Edge for delivery. Too bad for all of those great Web-Apps that are out there like JiveTalk. Probably will be similar to the SMS messenger in terms of UI, I hope.]
  • Real Applications are coming to the phone shortly. [HTD: Uh huh…sure. I think this is true but what a blanket statement. And what is a “real application” anyway. I see ALL applications on the iPhone as being mini-versions of the ones on a Mac. My view is that you might be able to purchase these (like Games!) from iTunes and they would sync to your iPhone after purchase. Only time will tell.]
  • These are all updates that will be software based for the iPhone you already have, so give it a little bit of time. In the meantime enjoy the features it already has. [HTD: WTF? As opposed to me having to throw out my pricey iPhone to get one that can USE these updates? C’mon! Ok…I guess I will enjoy these features that I already had…you have convinced me…]
  • Oh and also there will be Photo Sharing, just like in iPhoto how you can check an option to let other people on the network view your photos. [HTD: “Oh…and one more thing…” Nice Steve Jobs-speak here. Not really sure about this one. I think it would bring up some security concerns. “Oops, forgot to unshare all of those personal pix that I took last night…DAMN!]
  • He said .Mac account would eventually sync your accounts to the .Mac server as well from the phone, and so forth. [HTD: that actually makes a tiny bit sense to me, somewhat. But, what would sync? Your email accounts? I’m sure that an Over-the-Air backup or something like that with a .Mac account would make sense…basically something to convince you to sign up for a .Mac account…perhaps tied with Leopard. And who is “He”? The guy from Apple? The guy from Apple’s buddy? The guy from Apple’s buddy’s kid’s babysitter’s brother’s cousin’s friend’s neighbor’s postman’s dog’s veterinarian’s mother’s sister’s son? You get my drift…]
  • Simplified File sharing when on WIFI networks through bonjour (auto ip discovery) is coming, so once the file system software is up, your buddy in the same room will be able to navigate to his file browser > Network, and grab a file off your phone that you are sharing. [HTD: sounds nice…but again, I would think there would be security issues here. Also, bonjour on the iPhone? Wonder how much bloat that would be on the device. Hope I eat my words though…]
  • Ringtones will be coming very, very soon. [HTD: I think this is a given…once Apple figures out how to make money off it of – grin – ]
  • The Camera Software will get upgraded soon to have stabilization (software based) [HTD: And how about fixing the cameras that have that greenish tint to them – mine has that. Stabilization would be nice but I wonder how complex the algorithm is…again, what about the bloat factor?]
  • Flash is coming eventually, it’s just a matter of handling it in a way so when i page has dozens of flash apps running at the same time the page doesn’t slow to a crawl, so they have to take the Adobe flash and make some customizations, including for security. [HTD: Yeah, some kind of Flash support is coming, I’m sure. I think it was going to be included in the launch but they were still working out the security issues and performance. This comment makes some sense to me.]
  • Anyway, enjoy the great mobile phone for now, and look forward to all the great stuff coming really, really soon. I can’t WAIT for the new file browser so I can store stuff on this device!! [HTD: Boy, another push for me to enjoy my phone. I have been just NOT enjoying it for so long but since this tipster is now telling me to enjoy it repeatedly, I guess I will change my attitude. And “really, really soon” means seconds? minutes? days? weeks? months? years? Completely subjective and arbitrary if you ask me.]

    Just remember Windows Mobile has been out or a long time, even everytime a new WM phone comes out all the apps that are supposed to work, have to be tweaked or don’t fit on the screen or some bullcrap, so realize this is just Apple’s very first OS release for mobile Phone. Apple has lots of treats instore for all of you
    Dont worry about posting this also..
    [HTD: HUH? Grammar patrol! What a “spamm-y” comment.]

There you have it. HighTechDad’s personal debunking of a “tipster’s” info that is now making its rounds. Sound off on this one. Would love to have other people’s read on this!

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Michael Sheehan (“HighTechDad”) is an avid technologist, writer, journalist, content marketer, blogger, tech influencer, social media pundit, loving husband and father of 3 beautiful girls living in the San Francisco Bay Area. This site covers technology, consumer electronics, Parent Tech, SmartHomes, cloud computing, gadgets, software, hardware, parenting “hacks,” and other tips & tricks.

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