New SpringBoard! Cut and Paste! Push Notification! Compass! More iPhone 3.0 Rumors!

Prior to Macworld 2009, Daring Fireball mused openly about how neat it would be for the iPod Shuffle to get voice functionality, and on Wednesday last it did. Now Gruber is reminding us that his "wish-list" for iPhone OS 3.0 includes:

a new home screen app (a.k.a. SpringBoard), designed from the ground up for a system where users have a few dozen or more extra apps installed. Managing dozens of apps on the iPhone today is simply a pain in the ass. Second, maybe an answer to the question of where the background notification API is — you know, the one we were told at WWDC to expect a few months ago, but which we haven’t heard a word about since. And maybe — pretty please, Mr. Forstall, with sugar on top — copy and paste.

But is this really a wish-list, or a (somewhat disingenuous?) way of passing along actual, leaked information on the new OS? MacRumors seems to think the latter, saying they have reason to believe a new SpringBoard, Push Notification (or Background Tasks), and Cut/Copy and Paste will indeed be on the iPhone OS 3.0 feature list. For good measure, they're also tossing in magnetometer support (i.e. compass functionality like the Android G1 enjoys).

Added to yesterday's rumors from Boy Genius about MMS and Tethering, however, and we're afraid things are lining up just a little too much like a 3.0 panacea for iPhone's previous OS "greatest misses". And if that's the case, it might be expectations -- rather than notifications -- that get "pushed" for next Tuesday's iPhone OS 3.0 Sneak Peak. (We're nothing if not fickle audiences, after all).

So, are these really inside information on what we'll be seeing come March 17? Or are these truly more wish-lists than feature-lists?

(And are we waiting on Kevin Rose to add Mobile iChat to the 3.0 mix?)

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

New SpringBoard! Cut and Paste! Push Notification! Compass! More iPhone 3.0 Rumors!


Sounds like a wish list, but you never know. Apple may have our best interests with this 3.0 software/firmware.

I'm just hoping the SDK is perfected so that we can finally get some quality farting applications on the iPhone.

The following are what I consider to be "must-haves" on the iPhone that don't seem to be getting very much attention:
1: The ability to forward SMS text messages.
2: The ability to watch .wmv movies attached to emails
3: The ability to send and view pics via SMS, not email.
Copy/Paste seems to get so much media, but I don't think I would ever use it. Give us something we can ALL use! PLEASE!!!
Thank you!

  1. Just like wouldn't ever use copy/paste, mane others will...and 2. so are there others who wouldn't ever use mms(like myself), and many others would.
    So please bare with everyone's wishes.

Thank you!

Copy/Paste would be huge for users of Twitter & such on their phones. Its definitely a must.
Somewhat off-topic...if Tuesday is a sneak peek, any idea when to expect it will be available? Are we going to have to wait until June? Will it even be available for existing phones?

While all of these things sound great, am I the only one who'd like to have the ability to assign my own ringtones to various alerts? This is such a simple thing that should have been addressed in the first update.

if all these 'wishes' happen, there will almost be no point in jailbreaking. almost.
heres hoping

So how long, after this update is released, will it take some people to begin whining again (for whatever ISN'T included)? :lol:

@Dwayne Lee

  1. Might be a possibility. That's one I can't think of a reason why not.
  2. WMV? iTunes doesn't even play those files. There's no way that the iPhone will. And why would it? It's primarily a Windows format. It's the same reason why Windows Media Player doesn't play AAC out of the box either.
  3. Sending pictures via SMS (also known as MMS) is an archaic technology, and the sooner it dies, the better. I said this on the forum yesterday, but I think it bears repeating: My hope is that with the iPhone refusing to support it, Apple would lead the push away from MMS and towards mobile email, which practically speaking is a much better option. If the iPhone gets MMS, it would be a big step backwards.

My hope for Tuesday basically includes two features: Video recording (unlikely) and limited background tasks (very possible).
Also, I don't think there's any way this gets released until June or July. That's become Apple's refresh cycle, and I can see them sticking to that.

Hello everyone,
I second and third with the long weekend comment. I am proud of my Iphone for what it does already whether it be jailbroken or not. Fact is, for such a revolutionary device, people get bored of certain things too fast and you stop to realize that the closest any phone has gotten to having all the features we currently want right now haven't been the most successful. Either it being the Motorola Q with it's horrible Windows mobile performance or the several blackberry devices that are feature rich but lack in a beautiful user interface. The main key that I think Apple has always stressed since the beginning is quality assurance, though we might wait for so many features to come up from these several updates consider this. That Apple has done away with the days of the phone that had potential but carriers or manufacturers gave up on it after 3 or 4 software updates, and just for "stability issues". So if it's taking time for
some features, note that the Iphone is a modern Marvell and still continues to amaze me without constant crashing or bullcrap restrictions or policies. I'm not a MAC fan or an AT&T fan (at all) but I have to say, I
love my Iphone and I know that the features will be there in an update soon that I would like, but I know that the features that are needed have always been there since day one. I don't think we would have decided on such an investment if we didn't think it had potential. I look forward to MMS, Copy and Paste and Push but only expect copy paste and push.
And now you know, and knowing is half the battle
BTW, i wrote this all on Iphone!
Lt. Joe !!!

I agree. I don't think Apple will provide video, either. My feeling is that rather than Apple having to explain to people why their iPhone video quality sucks on their computers and televisions, and why it's not the iPhone's fault... it's just much easier to leave it unavailable. I could be wrong (and hope I am because I'd certainly use it too), but that's just my hunch. They won't be associated with bad quality.

Am I the only person who wants email search? Finding an email on the iPhone is impossible. And what about a combined inbox?

copy and paste, video recorder.....and all the basic features that are missing would be so nice =)
I hope they steal things from the pre ;) I love the concept of cards and how the pre handles message notification.
A girl can dream.....

@Jason I couldn't agree more. The iPhone will never play wmv because 1) it's a proprietary MS format and 2) no one uses it. I hope MMS doesn't make it to the iPhone as that should accelerate its certain death. I'd like a standalone flash player, but please don't build flash support into Safari. Everything else sounds great.

@SinclairZ I'd love a universal search, like my Treo 650 had years ago. The problem with email search is that everything is IMAP and if the content isn't on my phone it can't search it. Still, searching through available mail and calendar would be a huge win. The combined inbox would be nice too, though I still want the ability to keep my work email separate from all my personal email inboxes.

It's a stupid idea to think that MMS should be killed. With such a diverse range of phones available and being used in the world, how can we expect that every phone will be e-mailed enabled-- AND have the ability to view/hear large(r) media on their phones?
It would be much more logical to give the iPhone MMS and of course keep photo e-mailing support. So if you're the average 20-30-something year old techie wants to send a picture to Mom or Dad while they're out and about, they can open it right up on their non-smart phone from 2003 that they are still using to this day.

@christomapher I think it's far more likely that in 5-10 years every phone will have email than it is that MMS will still be around. In general Apple has been the forward thinking company with their products, they tend to abandon dying technologies earlier than most and adopt coming standards faster than most.

Idk if this is just me or not, but I wouldn't mind having the option to maybe customize the theme of my iPhone. It's not a nessecery feature, but it would be kinda neat. Ya know, like changing the appearence of the dock(ie:like the itouch) homescreen background images and if they're a little daring, maybe even option to customize startup image and add a startup sound. But again, I'm just human, so I'm just dreamin'. But the world will never know. UNTIL TUESDAY!

Search, and flag support in mail app. Backround processing (@ least 1 app). Move the "add all" button in "on the go" playlist (way too close to the done button). Open up calander (gtd-todo apps)

I am with SinclairZ. I would love email search. Why could they not search on the MobileMe server and then let me see the top 40 emails that meet the criterium?
And I would really like to be able to print to my bonjour printer. You can do this now with photos through the HP app and of course I can take a photo of my screen and then print it but the quality for non photos is terrible and I can not select the size of my printout.

I don't know why everyone clings to MMS so much. Everyone I know who is considering getting a new phone in the near future are all talking about smart phones. Even my mom and dad just got BB's from Tmobile and replaced their "regular phones" from 2004. I was amazed my mom was able to setup her email without asking me for help and my dad is slowly learning his BB Pearl flip.
I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years "smart phone" just becamse "phone" as they become what everyone wants now that they are not just for business power users and prices for the devices and plans come down. I think the carriers are in for a rude awaking soon when SMS/MMS money wells start drying up as everyone moves to push email or instant messengers on their data plans. MMS/SMS will die as more and more people get more advanced phones and find there are free alternatives.

@ sting7k
(I hit send before I was finished)
I definitely agree that it would be nice to have everyone using free alternatives for picture sending, but it'll be a long time before we see every phone out there having the capability of taking a picture and e-mailing it.
In a perfect world, all of our moms and dads will know how to use technology properly. Maybe then, we'll only have smart phones (that probably won't even be designated "smart" like you said). But I can also say that too much technology sometimes is a bad thing and I don't mind getting snail mail, and real phone calls instead of e-mail and texts, etc. For those people who are a little more old-fashioned, it'd be nice to still use a basic phone, and allow it to function and communicate seemlessly with smarter phones.

do you think that's why we don't have copy and paste? are they trying to push us away from that dying backward technology too?

How about a feature that would let women know when a guy wants a sandwich?
Or an app that can mute the world around me when I'm trying to watch a game?
Or an app that let's you change the channel on your TV?

I was copying and pasting before Apple or Microsoft even existed (very messy and smelly). So, I'm guessing the digital copy and paste isn't outdated quite yet. ;)

@Ana hahaha, nah I think they've just been searching for an elegant way to get it done. I've been using clippy on my jailbroken phone and it's nice in that it gets the job done, but it's far from elegant. I'm also finding that I rarely need it even though I used it all the time on my Treo. I'm happy to wait as long as what's delivered is solid and easy to use.

@christomapher i don't think email is an "advanced" feature for a phone, a phone doesn't have to be a Smart Phone to have email capability. Most phones have been doing email for years, you just have to set it up.

I would like a nice To Do app, that would also show the 3 or 4 coming todo's on my home screen, which is also need to be changed! I mean c'mon I have 20-30 apps installed its pain to go through all the pages in order to find what I need! Also support for home screen widgets like weather or facebook etc! If not MMS, let me send more than one photo in one email! Give me flash! Let me use Skype over cellular 3G network! Let my apps run in a background and Push Notification Service: im chating in Skype with my friends I got new SMS, why the f... I have to choose what to do next, close Skype and reply, or continue chat and than reply??? What if I have bad memory and keep forgeting bout replying to those SMS's?
Why the heck I cant copy/paste? Why???
To everyone: SMS and MMS would not die soon, stop dreaming! And why would it!? Give me the alternative! Email you all will say!? Bulls... Its not an alternative, its different technology for different needs!
Apple do smth about it! Wiill see on Tuesday, than wait 4 long month, than it all starts all over and over again!
P.S. I want frontal camera! And I want Skype support for that!

I was being sarcastic ;) this lame excuse that APPLE is too advanced for MMS is just as ridiculous IMO!
I use clippy as well and don't get me wrong its OK considering but it's just not cutting it.

I would LOVE to see the iphone capable of sending more than 1 photo through an email at once. Very annoying when you have a few important photos to deliver and you have to send it a few different times. It can't be that hard to implement by a company like apple

I would like to have copy/paste on my iPhone but it isn't a feature I use often. I would prefer having MMS as none of my friend have smartphones and when they send me an MMS I have to wait until I get home because I can't see it in safari on the iPhone. Also, I would like forwarding SMS capabilities, SMS signatures and also more customizing abilities. I had my iPhone jailbroken but it screwed with my visual voicemail so yeah.
I have always been an Apple fan and I do know that Apple releases features generally when they have it more or less perfected. I don't mind waiting for features when they come out virtually flawless. But I do hope Apple makes an exception with MMS as they are the company to dump 'old' technology the fastest. It may be old but it is still widely used.

@ana well consider that Apple was the first mainstream hardware vendor to drop the floppy drive and one of the first to include USB as a standard interface dropping the old serial interface for devices. Both of these moves were ahead of the market and caused the user base some pain, but in the end it was the right thing to do. Apple stays ahead of the curve... most of the time... Honestly, I know no one over 18 who uses MMS, probably because everyone I know has email on their phone. MMS is an old technology that isn't needed anymore, email is ubiquitous.

@ sting7k
I have an iPhone but I don't use email to message people. I use SMS. Why?

  1. Not all phones can do email and the ones that do are either not set up or not part of the persons plan
  2. There is no background service on the iPhone so instant messaging is crap

SMS will not be dying anytime soon. Majority of 'smartphone' users still text!!

definitely not happening anytime soon!
The only e-mail account that syncs with my iphone is my long time personal account. I don't give out my personal e-mail address to everyone on my iphone contact list....especially someone i'm getting to know.
I'm a 21(f) living in Hollywood and I don't know anyone who sends pictures via e-mail to another phone except for iphone users. Even if their smartphone has e-mail capability, if they have access to MMS they use it.

Asking for MMS as a technology to be eradicated is simply ridiculous. Not everyone who wants to receive a photo, especially on a non-smartphone, wants to receive email on their phone.
There are still people on this earth who do not see the point of spending data on emails they can open up at home.

@AnteLOpe, AJ was probably being sarcastic in asking you why people would still SMS since they can theoretically email each other on their phones.
Following your logic that emails would effective render MMS obsolete, emails could also effectively render SMS obsolete.

Guess which company introduced computers without floppy disks? Every one thought it was crazy until they realized how easy it is to just use a cd instead or a USB.
Now guess which company is taking MMS out and replacing it with email? The same company as you guessed above. (Apple).

This may sound ridiculous, but honestly what I want most is the option to eliminate the SMS pop up that interrupts anything I'm doing on the phone!

Tushar: it is two completely different things! Do you ever used MMS? Do you know why its better than email? Because you can put in slides, with music picture a text! And everything is customizable!
Haha floppy disk and mms

@ Rajiv
Isn't that a given that we'll be getting it...?
2G iphones received the new 2.0 OS, it only makes sense that we'd receive 3.0 as well.
And as far as MMS. I want it. I couldn't tell you how many photos I HAVENT gotten since I received my iphone. Its quick and easy, especially since I know all of my friends phone numbers, not all of their email addresses (like 15% maybe).
I liked to have both options of MMS and email. If its a photo I plan on saving, then sure email it to me. But if its a quick snap shot, then I'd rather just have MMS.
For everyone complaining about MMS, just dont use it if it comes out! For the rest of us, we actually want it.

A lot of people want MORE but I also want improvement on the current applications as well. I'm going to try and mention what others have not that I think are more important. Of course I would like Background Process / Push Notification, C+P etc.
Additional Apps
-A Finder.
-3G Toggle in main menu or change the Wifi menu to " Network "
-Better brightness controls ( Dimming time and Backlight Time out. There are times when I dont even know I have a text message because the backlight timed out when after I get a new message )
- More bluetooth options
- Option to have 100% Silent including the iPod when opens
( if Silent is on and someone wants play music on the speakers, then have a pop-up prompting to disable the silent on iPod)
-Better Camera with option like in Photobooth
-More YouTube Features : access account, comment etc
- Be able to add events from Mail ( as you can in OS X ). This would be great to do in SMS And Safari as well.
- More options similar to iCal ( Edit / Add new Calender groups , Why can't a change an event from one Calender group to another once I created it ?)
Address Book
- Edit / Create Groups
- REAL Mail Sync ( especially sent messages ! )
- Sync Notes
- Add multiple images / Files ( if they add a finder )
- Compass
- Map to face in direction that I'm suppose to be facing !
( Sick of turning the phone !)
- More Detailed Directions
- Voice Would be excellent
I think great additional feature would be :
The ability to quickly access a app. For example, I get a text message. I don't want to have to quit / exit the app I'm currently in. Would be great if SMS had a short cut like the iPod does, where I can quickly reply to a brand new message on top of the current application. It's extremely annoying to have to completely exit to just send a text.
Also, Maybe a quick return short cut. After returning to the home screen from the current app to go to the home screen to enter the app i want. When finished I would like to quickly return to the previous application without having to go into the home screen again.
If I happen to have Airplane mode on and enter an app that requires a data connection, i want the ability to turn on my Data / wifi on the spot in the pop=-up without having to go to the main menu !!!! EXTREMELY ANNOYING !

- I want to be notified like a text message alert to which email account I got an e-mail to and who it's from, also the tittle of the mail.
( Tired of the guess work )

I wish for those as well.
Also, how about being able to turn Location Services "on" from the Maps app? I hate having to exit Maps, then go to settings, then back to Maps again. Just change the d@mn "Settings" link button in Maps to a "Location ON" button. I think most of us like to keep it off for battery life.

That as well !
Also, I want a search for SMS and Mail.
I want to be able to find a contact I was texting in SMS or find a word that we've might of text to each other.
Same idea Mail !
Sick of flicking through a whole list to find a previous conversation that I might not have visited in a while.
I just end up creating a new text message because finding the contact in address book is a lot easier than finding the old conversation in SMS.
I don't know why they made it like that ... too much moving around. Even though flicking through is fun to do sometimes. It's not always efficient.
Also, something is wrong with the Mail app because sometimes pictures/files don't even download !! I have to force quit and start again !

My big issue is the keyboard. I hope they have a horizontal keyboard update included in 3.0 and voice recognition for calls.

I very much doubt that background apps will be added until, at the very least, memory is increased. And I very much doubt memory is going to be increased in a software update ;)

After giving them several different ideas of what they could do and after each one of those ideas were not considered seriously very long, I was just about to give up. ,

Playing six tables at a time clearly isn't Poker (the romanticized, capital-P-type) and I half agree with those people. All you're doing is playing ABC poker, and taking money from people that have zero business sitting at a card table, virtual or no. Poker Tracker, however, is no more unethical than running endless simulations with Turbo or something else. What has happened is that, much like that which happened to chess, any game that is intellectual and halfway mathematic and/or theoretical, will be devoured by geeks and nerds worldwide. It took longer to happend with poker, mainly due to the fact that most geeks fear the old, leather assed road gambler. But the advent of the PC has allowed these brainy-types to begin to nudge their way into the world of poker. It's changed the game, making it less romanticized and more theoretical, but I'm with you. The first mention of Stephen Hawking at a poker table, and I'm cashing out.