The big (and ignored) bit in Apple's iPhone 3.0 announcements

Before Apple's Tuesday announcements of iPhone 3.0, the buzz was around cut, paste and copy. However, I was encouraged by API support for the iPhone's dock connector, which will let third-party developers talk to their mobile apps over a wire.

Before Apple's Tuesday announcements of iPhone 3.0, the buzz was around cut, paste and copy. However, I was encouraged by API support for the iPhone's dock connector, which will let third-party developers talk to their mobile apps over a wire. On this issue, Apple first pointed to "accessories," such as speakers or other consumer audio devices. This is natural if the iPhone and iPod Touch are primarily music players ("the best iPods ever," as Steve Jobs said at their introduction. However, the iPhone/iPod Touch are now much more than that: they are a platform that can deliver mobile data to a wide range of markets and segments. (Today's iPhone 3.0 announcements around in-app purchase of subscription content addresses the content creators, and the late arrival of push events helps shore up the business market.) But with secure wired connections, the iPhone/iPod Touch is now a solid mobile data collection platform., one that supports Bluetooth wireless, WiFi and wired connections for data transfer. Not all applications want a wireless or mail data transfer. For example, Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iPhone software, talked up how a blood pressure cuff could be connected to the iPhone for data collection. After the data is retrieved, it is sent to your doctor. The more practical approach will be that your iPhone app will talk to a desktop application through the dock cable and store the results over a period of time, days or weeks. The application can then send the batched data as well as trend alerts to a server run by the doctor or medical group.

Support for the connector also makes file transfers more transparent to the user. I currently use Avatron Sofftware's Air Sharing http://avatron.com/products/ for moving documents over to my iPhone. It requires a wireless setup to mount the iPhone on your computer. The wired connection will be more secure and easier to work. Of course, the arrival of cut, copy and paste will be great, especially for use in chat. And it is essential, I admit. At the same, I really liked the addition of subscription calendars in CalDAV and .ics formats. I don't know why these weren't supported in iPhone 2.0. I can't wait for the summer. And all the new apps.

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