One of the hottest and most persistent rumors for the next generation iPhone is GPS, either built in or via BlueTooth hardware module (the former favored by techies, the latter by battery-lifers). One of the most constant and most rewarding (at least sometimes...) factors of the 2.0 firmware beta is developers raking through the code to find every new string and buried screen setting.
Put them together and what do we get? According to some "private" updates delivered to "select developers" (check out the screen shots), we get Geo Tagging!
For the non-world traveling cameraphiles among us, Geo Tagging involves adding location-specific metadata to your photographs. For example, snap a pic of the Eiffel Tower, and the camera records not only time, date, camera, lens, etc. but the longitude and latitude of precisely where you were standing when you decided to take the 297 billionth shot of that ginormous mechano cliche...
Why's that important? Well, it saves you the effort of manually recording where you were when you took each and every snapshot, it allows social services like Flickr to search and sort images based on location information, and it enables freaky-cool next gen image manipulation and compositing technologies like Microsoft's Photosynth to positively blow our minds.
Now, reports don't actually indicate anything about GPS, only location-based services (like the current gen's Google cell tower mapping and Skyhook Wi-Fi router mapping), but these can sometimes only narrow location down to an area roughly the size of a town -- not always very useful. For real Geo Tagging, GPS (which gets down to under 20 feet) seems a must.
Of course, this also rather nicely dangles the question of what type of camera will the iPhone 3G sport? 2 megapixels like before? 3? 5?
Apple is hiring photo techs, after all...
What do you think?