I haven’t heard much about what to expect in iPhone OS 2.3. A quick Googling of the term, as of today, yields nothing of value, other than speculation. iPhone 2.2 came out in November, almost 2 months ago. Since we haven’t heard anything about 2.3, that leaves just a few possibilities.
First, it’s possible that Apple simply stopped development on the iPhone. I think the likelihood of this is practically null.
The other possibility is that Apple has been working on things, but nothing is ready. In two months, we haven’t heard anything at all – there’s been no SDK update, no betas. That means either they are working slowly, or they are working on things that are taking some time.
Rewind to iPhone OS 2.0. There was supposed to be a “push” mechanism by which applications would report to Apple, and a single iPhone tether to Apple would act as the pusher for all background services. That was delayed until “October” timeframe, and has since been ignored. Or has it?
My prediction: the next version of the iPhone OS to see light of day will be iPhone OS 3.0. It will feature background notifications via Apple’s push services (which I further suspect will take between 2 and 3 months to work properly). It will feature some sort of tool for better applications management, maybe folders, as the current springboard is inelegant and cannot handle large numbers of applications. It will include copy & paste, if only to shut up the online crowds, but also because it’s necessary for a true smartphone-type device.
I think the biggest changes will be at enterprise level. The fact is, the iPhone is getting a lot of play in executive settings, and I think better management tools and business integration is a mound of cash waiting for Apple. They’ve conquered the home market, everyone I know has a damned 3G now. The business world is ripe for the taking, as Blackberries are so far behind the iPhone in features and style it’s not even funny.
What won’t be a 3.0 iPhone OS? Wi-fi and bluetooth syncing, unfortunately. There will be no voice dialing, no MMS, no Flash, no video recording.
Why? Wi-fi and Bluetooth sync seems unlikely to me. Apple did not want to allow Time Machine over Airport for some time either, possibly because of data corruption. I think the holdup here is that the SQLite databases on the phone may not be atomically updated, and therefore, an interruption in signal availability could damage the phone. Of course, this could happen with the cable too, but I think the fact that the battery would be in use may also be of concern. This is, of course, pure speculation.
Voice dial and MMS seem unlikely, because if Apple wanted to ever include these standard phone features, it seems they would have done so by now.
Flash is a third party app. It won’t be in the OS. If Apple wants to bless it, they can and would do so for 2.x.
Video recording would be unlikely largely because the camera on the iPhone sucks. So why bother, if every iPhone filmed video would be poor quality, 100% of the time? Perhaps if new hardware came out that wasn’t camera-shorted, it would be more likely, but current models, with the terrible 2mpx camera, will not produce video worth watching.
This is entirely assumption, I have no inside information. However, I think the major gap in time is suggestive of big things to come.