updated 01:05 pm EDT, Thu April 10, 2008
iPhone Beta Hints GPS
Text strings in the latest beta of Apple's iPhone 2.0 firmware point both to multiple new features as well as extra steps to prevent unlocking, according to explorations by a Greek iPhone unlocking site. In addition to references to 3G chipsets, the code also adds A2DP and "HeadphoneBT" entries that suggest support for stereo Bluetooth audio, in addition to the "HeadsetBT" mention for existing mono Bluetooth headset support. Bluetooth remote control is also an apparent option.
Other hardware references include an allusion to "RoleGps," implying GPS navigation, as well as an unknown reference to printers. However, earlier references to Nike+ equipment have been dropped and point to delayed or scrapped plans for integrating the sport pedometer with the phone.
References are also made to a new "YouTubePlugIn.webplugin" component for Safari, though the add-on is unlikely to replicate Flash or similar animation plug-ins and instead call on the dedicated YouTube player to load a given video listed on a website. "Google411," associated with Google Maps, suggests the iPhone will receive either a text or voice directory lookup link for given locations.
Apple may also be taking its first steps to actively counter unlocking attempts. A new, clearly identifiable "BRICKED_AND_SIM_LOCKED_STRING" indicates that the phone may eventually refuse to unlock itself for use with unofficial carriers if it detects either it's restricted from normal functions, a condition that can occur partway into the unlocking process. While it's unclear that this would avoid hardware hacks or those that can make deeper changes to the firmware, the move suggests Apple has or will have a solution to casual attempts to de-restrict the phone.