The iPhone 3.0 event is only hours away, and I'm more interested than I've been before any recent Apple trade show or presentation. Rumors are flying about the software update roadmap; here are a few of my favorite predictions.
Premium App Store
Apple's App Store is an overwhelming mess. With more than 25,000 apps so far, and each competing to be the cheapest, you'll find a lot of quantity at the $1 point, but not much quality. Wired is the latest to cover the premium App Store rumor, with Apple featuring selected programs at a higher price point--$20--away from the rest.
If Apple takes this kind of direction, I'd hope developers could then spend more time releasing quality apps instead of rushing junk to market, hoping to get lucky. I like RIM's decision to force paid BlackBerry applications to start at $3 link on its store; hopefully that'll result in more though-out software.
Close to a year ago, Steve Jobs detailed an upcoming option to let third-party software push updates to your phone. A chat program would, for example, show an icon counting the number of unread messages. It's not quite as valuable as letting software run in the background, but this work-around is a step towards more powerful, always-connected applications. I'm expecting to hear about push, but if unmentioned, it could be gone forever.
If you only download a few dozen apps--easy enough with the range of free software--the home screen organization is a mess. You just swipe to the next of up to nine screens, each holding up to 16 apps. I expect Apple to introduce a better-organized approach using folders or a different nested system.
Copy-and-paste and MMS
The iPhone still can't copy text and paste it in another app or send MMS picture messages. Neither function has been personally critical, although both would have been useful at several points. Rumors for these keep building steam, although the latest says "yay" on copy-and-paste and "nay" on MMS. Some sort of announcement on this is highly probable.
Zack Stern is a San Francisco-based writer, editor, and entrepreneur who is hopelessly addicted to his iPhone.