Apple 2.0

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Pseudo GPS coming to iPhone

December 31, 2007: 1:02 PM ET

picture-11.jpgWhat's next for the Apple (AAPL) iPhone? A flurry of new features -- starting with a "locate me" pseudeo-GPS function on Google Maps -- according to leaks that have been making the rounds of the Apple blogs.

The scoop goes to GearLive.com, which for the past two days has been exploring what appears to be a pre-release version of firmware update 1.1.3. The improvements (documented with screenshots) that it has discovered so far include:

Responding to commentary that questioned the veracity of their claims, GearLive's Andru Edwards and Nate True have posted an eight-minute video walkthrough of the new features that seems to have made believers of the skeptics. YouTube has removed its mirror version, but you can see the original here.

It's not clear how the pre-release software made it out of Cupertino's secretive skunkworks two weeks before Steve Jobs' Macworld keynote. Ars Technica reports that it may have been leaked by someone at Apple as a Christmas present to an iPhone hacker to aid in jailbreaking efforts. As with the last update, version 1.1.3 disables unlocked iPhones and breaks third party applications that run on jailbroken phones.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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