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iPad SDK hints at new widget, URL, and dictionary features

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
iPhone OS 3.2 includes some changes that offer a possible look at new, unannounced features of the iPad.

According to an individual familiar with the latest version of the iPhone OS simulator in the iPad's software development kit, there are a number of changes over previous versions of the iPhone/iPod touch SDK that suggest new features yet to be announced for the iPad.

Evidence for potential widgets

One example is the iPhone's Contact app, which is internally called MobileAddressBook. In the new iPad SDK, it has morphed into an app referred to a LittleBrownBook. SpringBoard, which is the internal name of the app that runs the Home screen icons, uses the app tag "stand-alone-contacts" for this new app.

This suggests that there will also be a non-standalone version of Contacts, or in other words a desk accessory style widget to present contact information outside of the standalone Contacts app. Mac OS X similarly provides a contact browser that can be used in other apps in addition to the stand alone Address Book app.

Enabling a way for apps to draw upon mini-apps while continuing to run would be one way for the company to skirt around the existing restrictions of the iPhone OS security model, which do not support multiple third party apps to be launched at once. How exactly this will be implemented still remains to be seen, but it does appear similar to the classic Mac OS' use of desk accessories to get around its initial limitation of only running one main application at once.

URLs for apps

A second discovery, according to the source, is that "web snippets are not opened by the Web app anymore." It appears that SpringBoard is now handling the task of routing the user's clicks on URLs to the appropriate app. This indicates that URL shortcuts for phone numbers (for dialing or texting), mail addresses (for maps), and web URLs (for the browser) could now be given an additional layer of sophistication.

URLs could even be set to launch a given third party app. For example, URLs pointing to Facebook.com are currently always opened in the iPhone's Mobile Safari browser. But with an expanded URL system, users could opt into opening Facebook.com URLs via the dedicated Facebook app.

Third parties could potentially also create their own types of URLs that direct users to their app to handle a specific type of link. Apple's opposition to Google Voice suggests that the company wouldn't be excited about redirecting phone number URLs to a third party app, however.

Mac OS X Dictionaries

A third discovery in the new iPad SDK pertains to dictionaries. The latest SDK's Library directory is said to now contain a Dictionaries folders with the six dictionaries bundled with Mac OS X, including the Apple Dictionary of company terms, the Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus, and three Shogakukan Japanese Dictionaries.

This could indicate new word lookup features similar to those in Mac OS X, where users can both lookup and replace words and access definitions and related words contextually.

While it's possible the files are simply carried over from Mac OS X as part of the SDK and not really a part of the iPhone OS, the source says the files are actually slightly different than those used in Mac OS X because they lack the version.info component in the bundle.



Features saved for iPad launch

The idea that the iPad will undoubtedly present additional features at its actual launch date should come as no surprise, as Apple has similarly certain reserved features for other products it has announced months ahead of their actual launch, including Apple TV and the iPhone.

AppleInsider previously reported that the iPad is set to get wireless document sharing features aimed at both home and enterprise users.

Additionally, other details discovered in the SDK have indicated that the iPad will include camera support, while an examination of iPad case designs presented by Mission Repair suggest the potential for hardware changes prior to launch, such as a forward facing camera.
post #2 of 37
exciting stuff.. Hopefully it won't be such a letdown.
post #3 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

URLs for apps

URLs could even be set to launch a given third party app. For example, URLs pointing to Facebook.com are currently always opened in the iPhone's Mobile Safari browser. But with an expanded URL system, users could opt into opening Facebook.com URLs via the dedicated Facebook app.

You could do this already using Custom URL Schemes

This is done via the info.plist file located in your application’s project folder. This is the same file you would use to define a custom icon.
post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibeam View Post

You could do this already using Custom URL Schemes

This is done via the info.plist file located in your applications project folder. This is the same file you would use to define a custom icon.

Agreed. This is simply a developer "finally" figuring out an existing feature
post #5 of 37
because spell check has already been uncovered

http://goo.gl/fb/r5PZ
post #6 of 37
Hmmm, maybe we'll see Dashboard on the iPad? Four finger pinch-in to "Zoom" into Dashboard, Reverse the pinch to zoom out. The iPad's screen should be large enough to accommodate several widgets.

Would love to have a calculator and dictionary widget available at all times.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #7 of 37
You could search the whole of the world wide web and you would not find one person who was eager to have the Apple Dictionary in iPhone OS.

I don't know what it's doing in Desktop Mac OS X to be honest.

Most pointless "feature" ever.
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

You could search the whole of the world wide web and you would not find one person who was eager to have the Apple Dictionary in iPhone OS.

I don't know what it's doing in Desktop Mac OS X to be honest.

Most pointless "feature" ever.

I use the desktop version all time, I would love to have one built in like this.

Search over...
post #9 of 37
Nice missing graphic there AI.
post #10 of 37
Perhaps a double-tap of the Home button would open and close Dashboard.
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by alectheking View Post

exciting stuff.. Hopefully it won't be such a letdown.

Let down? Who is let down? Don't understand your comment?
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by gto65l View Post

I use the desktop version all time, I would love to have one built in like this.

Search over...

I use it all the time, either via spotlight, or whenever I don't know a word, I simply drag it to the icon. Not useless at all. I've been waiting for it to show up on the iPhone
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

You could search the whole of the world wide web and you would not find one person who was eager to have the Apple Dictionary in iPhone OS.

I don't know what it's doing in Desktop Mac OS X to be honest.

press ctrl+cmd+D while hovering on a word and it'll dawn to you.
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by gto65l View Post

I use the desktop version all time, I would love to have one built in like this.

Same for me, but this can be linked to the fact that I'm not english
"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." - Albert Einstein
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"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." - Albert Einstein
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post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

You could search the whole of the world wide web and you would not find one person who was eager to have the Apple Dictionary in iPhone OS.

I don't know what it's doing in Desktop Mac OS X to be honest.

Most pointless "feature" ever.

It's funny how many people assume that everyone else is like them. I use the dictionary widget all the time, along with the calculator.
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cico View Post

press ctrl+cmd+D while hovering on a word and it'll dawn to you.

Nice feature, I didn't know it existed. Do you have other cool shortcuts like this one ?
"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." - Albert Einstein
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"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." - Albert Einstein
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post #17 of 37
Who cares about all of this? What Apple needs to do is quickly revamp the UI for both the iPhone/iPod and iPad to look like Windows Phone Series 7, 2010 Contiguous US Edition.

I've seen the future of consumer-touch UIsand this is IT!
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La vendetta migliore é il perdono
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post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

You could search the whole of the world wide web and you would not find one person who was eager to have the Apple Dictionary in iPhone OS.

I don't know what it's doing in Desktop Mac OS X to be honest.

Most pointless "feature" ever.

I use Dictionary you insensitive clod!

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post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cico View Post

press ctrl+cmd+D while hovering on a word and it'll dawn to you.

Holy smokes Batman!!! I didn't know that existed, what a great feature!
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

Perhaps a double-tap of the Home button would open and close Dashboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordeagle View Post

Agreed. This is simply a developer "finally" figuring out an existing feature

I have thought about both of these! And while both of them are awesome, I think the double home button tap is less likely to conflict with gestures from the app you're currently on.

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post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleveland View Post

because spell check has already been uncovered

http://goo.gl/fb/r5PZ

spell checker is something different, but also clear to appear.
the fact that there is some iWork on iPad should be enough evidence for that.
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefano Lavori View Post

Who cares about all of this? What Apple needs to do is quickly revamp the UI for both the iPhone/iPod and iPad to look like Windows Phone Series 7, 2010 Contiguous US Edition.

I've seen the future of consumer-touch UIs—and this is IT!

Not everything has to be a clone of each other and Microsoft is actually really good at making pretty UI's that look good in press shots and feel good during their first use but I find that navigating them can be rather frustrating. Believe it or not, I find Microsoft UI design to be form over function whereas Apple focuses a lot more on function, but they still look good.

PS. If iPhone OS gets widgets, there will be some changes in the UI design. It won't be a windows clone though.
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The key to enjoying these forums: User CP -> Edit Ignore List
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post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Hmmm, maybe we'll see Dashboard on the iPad? Four finger pinch-in to "Zoom" into Dashboard, Reverse the pinch to zoom out. The iPad's screen should be large enough to accommodate several widgets.

Well maybe not with that interface but a Dashboard like feature none the less. Personally I'd like to see native dasboard apps myself. Better yet Dashboard needs to run as a process to keep all those applets updated. Ideally Dashboard would even get a few CPU cycles in sleep mode. This so that the applets have valid data at the transition to normal mode.
Quote:

Would love to have a calculator and dictionary widget available at all times.

Yes exactly! Even an accurate stop watch program would be nice. Believe it or not these apps are the ones that cause me to whip out my iPhone at work even if 3G or WiFi isn't available. Each one comes in very handy even when at a computer. The only qualification here is that the Dashboard apps would have to be of a higher quality than some of the current Mac OS Dasboard apps.

In this case I'm kinda equating quality with more features. For example the calculator ought to be full featured scientific and other functions. A dictionary should work as good or better than the Dictionary.com app on my iPhone.

Of course the neat thing about Dashboard is that it is fairly easy to produce your own. Hopefully it is as easy to install them on iPad. Even so I'd like to see the three mentioned here supported and maintained by Apple.



Dave
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

You could search the whole of the world wide web and you would not find one person who was eager to have the Apple Dictionary in iPhone OS.

It is not that the dictionary is a perfect implementation but rather it's integration with the OS as a whole that makes it useful. So yeah eager would be close to the emotion seen here.
Quote:
I don't know what it's doing in Desktop Mac OS X to be honest.

Most pointless "feature" ever.

it is a very handy feature. The integration is truly useful.

Dave
post #25 of 37
Considering the conspicuously absent weather stocks and calc widgets, I think dashboard widgets will make an iPad appearance by launch.
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Hmmm, maybe we'll see Dashboard on the iPad? Four finger pinch-in to "Zoom" into Dashboard, Reverse the pinch to zoom out. The iPad's screen should be large enough to accommodate several widgets.

Would love to have a calculator and dictionary widget available at all times.

You're a legend.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #27 of 37
I really like the idea of setting urls to launch apps, and not web pages for some things. Althoguh, they would ha eto actually fix the facebook app so it doe sthings like show comments and what not.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

One example is the iPhone's Contact app, which is internally called MobileAddressBook. In the new iPad SDK, it has morphed into an app referred to a LittleBrownBook. SpringBoard, which is the internal name of the app that runs the Home screen icons, uses the app tag "stand-alone-contacts" for this new app.

The stand alone Contacts app in iPhone OS has always been referred to as "stand-alone-contacts". In iPhone OS 1.0, there was no stand-alone Contacts app, it was just built into the Phone app.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

Nice missing graphic there AI.



You know the graphics are ALWAYS in the news story on the front page and have not been in the Kasper's Automated Slave forum posts for oh, the last 5 years or so...
.
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.
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post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefano Lavori View Post

Who cares about all of this? What Apple needs to do is quickly revamp the UI for both the iPhone/iPod and iPad to look like Windows Phone Series 7, 2010 Contiguous US Edition.

I've seen the future of consumer-touch UIsand this is IT!

Is that a joke? That new UI is a huge FAIL. What the hell does a hub mean anyway? Can you explain how that's any better than what's being used now on the iPhone? I still yet to meet anyone who can explain how the hub works or how it's better. Can you?

What I DO notice is that their blocky icons looks awful. Second, the functions look confusing because the icons are basically the same. Also, everything about the Zune UI looks like it was developed by a retarded person. From the jumbo weird words scrolling across the top the the blocky menu icons that look the same. It's just bad all around.
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post

You could search the whole of the world wide web and you would not find one person who was eager to have the Apple Dictionary in iPhone OS.

I don't know what it's doing in Desktop Mac OS X to be honest.

Most pointless "feature" ever.


How is a Dictionary pointless, what a strange comment to make. Are you also unhappy about Mac's performing calculations?
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCC View Post

Is that a joke? That new UI is a huge FAIL. What the hell does a hub mean anyway? Can you explain how that's any better than what's being used now on the iPhone? I still yet to meet anyone who can explain how the hub works or how it's better. Can you?

What I DO notice is that their blocky icons looks awful. Second, the functions look confusing because the icons are basically the same. Also, everything about the Zune UI looks like it was developed by a retarded person. From the jumbo weird words scrolling across the top the the blocky menu icons that look the same. It's just bad all around.

Yeah surly your are joking, the iPhone OS has a beautiful UI, and for other companies it's a "oh I wish we had thought of that, how close can we make ours before getting sued".

Microsoft's UI is different, so I'll give them that. It's also very blocky and almost like they got a print designer in, who ended up creating a leaflet that the user has to swipe across, and a lot of it doesn't even fit on the screen. Also Microsoft loves branding, so when they create standard icons, you get a couple of odd ones because they have to look a certain way. Xbox, IE Office etc.




Ugly office branding
post #33 of 37
In defence of columbus (having seen several posters seemingly missing the point), I assume that what he or she was talking about was the Apple Dictionary as opposed to the New Oxford American Dictionary, the Oxford American Writers Thesaurus or one of the three Japanese dictionaries (see the screenshot in the article); I completely agree that all these ordinary dictionaries can be very useful, and I regularly use ctrl-cmd-D to look up words in NOAD (in applications where this works).

The Apple Dictionary, which you can get to by clicking on the Apple button in Dictionary.app, is a glossary of mostly Apple- or Mac OS X-related terms a few hundred or so of them. I can safely say that Ive never felt inclined to go there as a first source of information. The exact same dictionary would be even more pointless on an iPhone or iPad, as the interface is different and many of the terms have no relevance there. (I imagine that a dictionary of this sort could be useful for novice computer users if only they knew where to look!)

Still, its only a tiny dictionary, so hardly a great waste of space.
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by macadam212 View Post

Yeah surly your are joking, the iPhone OS has a beautiful UI, and for other companies it's a "oh I wish we had thought of that, how close can we make ours before getting sued".

Microsoft's UI is different, so I'll give them that. It's also very blocky and almost like they got a print designer in, who ended up creating a leaflet that the user has to swipe across, and a lot of it doesn't even fit on the screen. Also Microsoft loves branding, so when they create standard icons, you get a couple of odd ones because they have to look a certain way. Xbox, IE Office etc.



Awful icons. Incoherent mess.

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post #35 of 37
I'm afraid that with his 'Widgets' suggestion based on finding the term 'stand-alone-contacts' as being something different from the 'little brown book', Daniel jumps too conclusions again.

It's a lot more probable that you can have stand-alone-contacts on your homescreen, which open specific contact screens within the Addressbook app, next to the little-brown-book, which opens the Addressbook app as your collection of contact data.

Especially since this feature has been rumored for several months now.
post #36 of 37
Apple just keeps us looking out for more. It seems like every week there's some new revelation about the iPad and it's supposed features and functions. It will be interesting to see how everything pans out over the next few months.

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post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by macadam212 View Post

Yeah surly your are joking, the iPhone OS has a beautiful UI, and for other companies it's a "oh I wish we had thought of that, how close can we make ours before getting sued".

Microsoft's UI is different, so I'll give them that. It's also very blocky and almost like they got a print designer in, who ended up creating a leaflet that the user has to swipe across, and a lot of it doesn't even fit on the screen. Also Microsoft loves branding, so when they create standard icons, you get a couple of odd ones because they have to look a certain way. Xbox, IE Office etc.
Ugly office branding

[CENTER]Conversely...

Whereas you don't appear to understand the fluidity of Microsoft's WinPho7s/Metro interface, there are also those who find Apple's 'blocky' and static grid of identically size icons seriously lacking both aesthetically and functionally in comparison.

WinPho7s/Metro (as based on the ZUNE HD UI) effectively guides its user on a visually dynamic virtual journey through their smartphone information, showing small hints , via the use of over-sized/cut-off text and arrows, to entice the user into the next level of information. It's like a GPS for data/information, and it's works brilliantly on the ZUNE HD, and appears even more thoroughly realized here.

Apple's mobile UI works well as a simple app/widget launcher, but seems rather dated in comparison as there's very little cohesion, either visually or functionally, which is to be expected on such a 'modal' system.

Personally, I always got the impression that with the iPhone/Touch IU, Apple was clearly inspired by those old scratch n' Sniff sticker cards from the early 1970s (as depicted below):



"Blocky You Say?[/CENTER]
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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