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iPhone, iPod messenger clues in latest iPod software

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Overwhelmed with anticipation, some fans of Apple Computer's iPods are ripping through software code to find clues about what the company has planned for the next-generation of the digital music players. And they may have found some answers.

An AppleInsider member by the name of VL-Tone recently dissected the latest iPod firmware update and made some interesting discoveries.

While Apple has been relatively mum on any plans for iPod-branded cell phone, the latest iPod software includes references to an "t_feature_app_PHONE_APP" application and variables such as "kPhoneSignalStrength," "clPhoneCallHistoryModel," prPhoneSettingsMenu," "prPhoneSettingsMenuView," prPhoneEnableSetting" and "prPhoneMenuItem."

The phone references within the iPod software are unlikely in relation to Motorola's iTunes Music phones because those phones do not run the iPod operating system, the member pointed out in his analysis. The references also appear to be unrelated Apple's address book synching.

In potentially related news, a European Apple design filing discovered earlier this month revealed several iPod concept designs, including one that appeared to blend an iPod nano with a cell phone.

Apple may also be working on some form of iPod-based instant messenger application, if you believe in reading into some additional clues embedded into the latest iPod software such as "t_feature_app_MESSENGER_APP," "clMessengerModel," and "clMessengerApplication."

In his investigation, VL-Tone also discovered references to an iPod-based search application, an iPod keyboard, and what appear to be two new game applications: Simon and Stacker.

Apple filings reveal potential iPod redesigns

The same iPod software package also hints at a version of Apple's iPod software that will allow users to change interface themes, create a customized startup photo, set background images and specify font preferences.

A complete list of VL-Tone's discoveries, many of which were not present in previous versions of Apple's iPod software, is available on the AppleInsider forums.
post #2 of 35
First reply and first post... that's all. Nothing else to add.
- Sean
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- Sean
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post #3 of 35
I think this should be melded with the other post by the essential "author" of the news item.
post #4 of 35
Awesome investigation and analysis. Nice work VL-Tone.
post #5 of 35
Ooooh ... fantastic work. I'm tired of duping people by pretending to use my nano as a phone, bring on the real thing Apple!

Major kudos to our great investigator!
post #6 of 35
Take that Shaw Wu!
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
Take that Shaw Wu!

Wu who?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #8 of 35
Snapshot of VL-Tone ?



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 #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by KidA
First reply and first post... that's all. Nothing else to add.

Nothing else to add? I didn't realize you added anything in the first place.
post #10 of 35
Yeah, I don't really get the excitement of being the first one with nothing to say.

Great work VL-tone. Of course, this doesn't mean iPods will undoubtedly have phone capabilities someday soon, but that seems like a likely interpretation. I am always waiting to see what exciting thing Apple will come out with next.
post #11 of 35
Something just occurred to me: most phones these days seem to have cameras attached. Would Apple's? Consumers seem to like the cameras, if Motorola phones are anything to judge by; but cameras on cell phones have always smacked of inefficiency ("a jack of all trades is a master at none").

In short, I could see Apple not adding a camera, instead choosing to say "buy a digital camera if you want pictures." But would that cripple the phone in the consumer's eyes?
"In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn a stately pleasure-dome decree."
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"In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn a stately pleasure-dome decree."
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post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by nmcphers
Nothing else to add? I didn't realize you added anything in the first place.

He did, he added himself to the boards
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 #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Dirk
Something just occurred to me: most phones these days seem to have cameras attached. Would Apple's? Consumers seem to like the cameras, if Motorola phones are anything to judge by; but cameras on cell phones have always smacked of inefficiency ("a jack of all trades is a master at none").

In short, I could see Apple not adding a camera, instead choosing to say "buy a digital camera if you want pictures." But would that cripple the phone in the consumer's eyes?

I thought about these things before, and I have to tell you, I'm still thinking about them. There's no obvious choice here, but I suspect if apple makes a phone it will have to have some sort of camera in it.
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 #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Dirk
But would that cripple the phone in the consumer's eyes?

considering the current phones in Tokyo are 7 megapixel. I'd say yes.

we are far behind the times.
:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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post #15 of 35
Great work, VL-Tone!

If nothing else it shows that Apple has a lot of potential in the iPod/iPhone area and that it just might be a series of tasks Apple has to get through before they can let it loose on the public.

Let's see, a true video iPod + iPhone + 7 mpix camera all rolled into one and released after MS has paid for their SuperBowl slot to announce their iPod killer . . .
Ken
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Ken
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post #16 of 35
Yeah I'd have to say that I would not buy a phone without a camera. I use it all the time. I see a sign that I need the info from...I take a picture of it. I have photos of the people in my phone so when they call it pops up....I want my wife to see something I just saw in the city. I send her a photo. I use it to send people directions, say a street corner of where I am...just to name a few. The phone I have now (Sony Ericsson W800) has a 2mpx camera and It takes relatively nice photos for what I use it for. And since it plays music as well, I often leave my house with nothing but my phone (and my wallet). The music player on it isnt as good as an iPod but for my 15 minute walk to work...it works just fine. I cant wait for the iphone to come out. As someone who walks everywhere I cant stand it when my pockets are full of tons of stuff. And I dont want to carry a bag just for my phone, iPod, camera and wallet. Imagine being able to scan your id ino your phone and being able to beam your check card number to a cash register. Thats what we need! C'mon Apple hurry up with my iPhonePodCameraWallet!
-Adam
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-Adam
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post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by afalkner
Yeah I'd have to say that I would not buy a phone without a camera.

I wouldn't buy one with a phone because my job does not allow camera phones even on the grounds, let alone inside. So I have to leave it at home. You would think being in an area where a lot of people have government jobs that cellphone providers would offer choices of phones without a camera. I have a RAZR and when I bought it there were NO phones in the entire store without one.
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by crees!
I wouldn't buy one with a phone because my job does not allow camera phones even on the grounds, let alone inside. So I have to leave it at home. You would think being in an area where a lot of people have government jobs that cellphone providers would offer choices of phones without a camera. I have a RAZR and when I bought it there were NO phones in the entire store without one.

I wonder if there would be any chance of a camera "add-on" that would plug into the connector... Of course, that would (unfortunately) be at the bottom, making it rather awkward.
"In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn a stately pleasure-dome decree."
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"In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn a stately pleasure-dome decree."
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post #19 of 35
I think these days, a camera in a phone makes perfect sense.

For Apple, it would make even more sense, imagine:
- iTunes and Music/Podcast/Videos -> portable Media Player
- iPhoto and Pictures/Movies -> portable Camera
- iChat and Chats/Voice/Video -> portable Chat appliance

It all makes sense.

And really, the consumer just doesn't worry about a camera "making a bad picture". It makes a picture! That's what counts. How many people *really* object 128kbit? It's only the freaks. If people would care, know one would be using Windows. Most people just don't care about this kind of perfection, but they care a lot about convenience.

There is still a point to be made that for lot of average users buying a Windows PC is just more convenient (knows it, friends can help, cheaper, store is closer, same old software works, fine) - they just don't worry about spyware or user interface design or beautiful hardware that much, that's all.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by crees!
I wouldn't buy one with a phone because my job does not allow camera phones even on the grounds, let alone inside. So I have to leave it at home. You would think being in an area where a lot of people have government jobs that cellphone providers would offer choices of phones without a camera. I have a RAZR and when I bought it there were NO phones in the entire store without one.

Cameras on phones are the worst kind of feature creep. Terrible idea. Get back to a damn phone that's easy to use and you'll instantly take over the majority of the market. Apple should do for cell phones what they did in the MP3 player space.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by sandau
considering the current phones in Tokyo are 7 megapixel.

But are they any good? Even if they are any good, would Apple use them? The iSights that are built into Macs are pretty crummy, very poor color and poor light sensitivity, just like any phone's camera that I've seen. There's only so much that can be done without adding substance to the camera. Unless there is some form of Silicon-Unobtanium metalurgy going on, that is. A 1mm lens can only pick up so much light, and splitting that meager amount of light onto 7 million cells doesn't help the sensitivity.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by sandau
considering the current phones in Tokyo are 7 megapixel. I'd say yes.

we are far behind the times.

Indeed, we have 1.3 MPixel crappy photos instead of the super high res crap the Japanese have. I can't wait!
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by sandau
considering the current phones in Tokyo are 7 megapixel. I'd say yes.

Who cares about megapixel. Or perhaps you take media pictures with a phone? If they can't get the optics in there, it's pretty much worthless anyway.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by Zandros
Who cares about megapixel. Or perhaps you take media pictures with a phone? If they can't get the optics in there, it's pretty much worthless anyway.

the 3 megapixel sony camera phones take surprisingly good photos, but even those aren't in USA yet... i don't know what you're talking about man...
post #25 of 35
Why would Apple have source code of an unmade product when they can add functionality with a firmware update? Seems sloppy for a company as stringent as Apple (although I do believe they actually leak the details they want leaked). I think this source code is most likely nothing.
post #26 of 35
I don't know. Something's fishy. However you think Apple's going to go, it seems like you either have to give them too much or too little credit.

They were looking ahead when they brought out the iPod. Brought a high-end HD mp3 player to a dismal market with no real competition at that level. They didn't enter flash until they could bring out a mid- to high-end player with a color screen. Both times they entered the market a bit late, but with a powerful, mid- to high-end presence.

Now there are a bunch of cell phones that double as mp3 players. Soon they ALL will, and if Apple doesn't do something, they will end up selling their B&W one-trick pony in a two-trick market. What to do?

If you give them too little credit, you imagine them coming out, logically, with a nice cell phone / mp3 player. However, looking at the two above examples, it's not really their style to follow the market.

If we give them too much credit, we imagine them going Phone + iPod + ¿? Could it be VoIP? Super-tastic video a la PSP? I think, for some reason, perhaps lack of any evidence to support it, that believing either of these two things will lead to disappointment.

So what could the "+" be, given that it will be a Phone +mp3 + ¿? ?

--B
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post #27 of 35
...double post....
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post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by Zandros
Who cares about megapixel. Or perhaps you take media pictures with a phone? If they can't get the optics in there, it's pretty much worthless anyway.

Nokia have some pretty decent cameras in their phones now... some with auto-focus and Zeiss optics. (They also have some crappy ones in other models.)
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by bergz
They didn't enter flash until they could bring out a mid- to high-end player with a color screen.

Uh... Shuffle?
post #30 of 35
How great that is, I'm a Mac news celebrity now

Thank you for the kind comments I read Macsurfer just about everyday since a very long time, and I was pleasantly surprise to find this AppleInsider story in the top 4 headlines. Does it happen often that an AppleInsider gets that high on MacSurfer? Not from what I remember.

"Overwhelmed with anticipation, some fans of Apple Computer's iPods are ripping through software code to find clues about what the company has planned for the next-generation of the digital music players."

I was laughing so hard when I read this!

Nahh I wasn't overwhelmed with anticipation, just curious And also I have a lot of experience in reverse-engineering raw data like this (I'm working on a Mac/PC Mario 64 level editor).

Actually at first, I was looking for the Nike sound files. Interestingly I found that part of the Nike interface is built out of xml. Then I found the phone references, and my jaw dropped.

And Ireland, even if I did inspect this gadget carefully, I don't look like Inspector Gadget at all!

Well now that I think of it, I do look a lot like Matthew Broderick:

Go go Gadget iPhone! Ah well whatever, I never was a fan of the Inspector, especially since that in the French version of the cartoon we had here, the Inspector had a very annoying voice. The cartoon was a French/US/Japanese collaborative effort I think?

I only recently found that the English version featured "Maxwell Smart" for the voice, and I was a fan of Get Smart in my teen years, watching re-runs on YTV. I guess I did miss an incredible voice performance... missed by "that" much

Ok this is getting off-topic, let me now address the only overly skeptic reactions I could find here, courtesy of MacCrazy:

Quote:
Why would Apple have source code of an unmade product when they can add functionality with a firmware update?

First, this is not a source code, this is compiled code found inside the nano iPod firmware, that everyone can download at Apple's site. You can check it yourself. These are more than likely experimental features that Apple didn't completely remove before the release.

Quote:
Seems sloppy for a company as stringent as Apple (although I do believe they actually leak the details they want leaked).

Mistakes can happen? It's not unusual for a developer to include experimental features in the main build and remove them at the last minute. They forgot to remove the variable names amongst other things, maybe they were in a rush to release the Nike installer discs in time.

Do you think that every single byte in every files are inspected at Apple to be sure there are no clues of future products?

Ever heard of DashCode? Apple forgot to remove this unreleased program from the MacBook install disc.

Quote:
I think this source code is most likely nothing.

What do you mean by that? That it's "nothing" to get excited about? Or that it's "nothing", as in " this whole thing was invented"? Again... check for yourself. Do you think Apple added those just for fun? Well if they did, it's still interesting to find about it.

As I said in the other thread, I don't think that these will automatically become features in future products. But to me, these are certainly more tangible clues than "Our source told us that....".

It shows that Apple is not standing still with the iPod, despite the "long" time since a new iPod release.

Oh well anyway, you're entitled to your opinion, but you got some facts wrong, like that "source code" tidbit, which may explain why you don't see what's interesting about it.
post #31 of 35
I wonder if these will be slip cases with phone or game functionality.

In other words, the iPod nano slips inside of the phone case and you use it like a phone/music player. Or slip it in the game case and use it like a game/music player.

Obviously, I use the term "case" loosely as these "cases" will have their own circuit boards, buttons, antennas, etc., to enhance the functionality of the nano.

Just a crazy idea...

All I know is I think Apple delayed a whole bunch of launches this year. The anniversary of the Mac has been non existent. And Jobs' "see you soon" last February materialized in nothing.

I hope WWDC clears the queue with some exciting product announcements.
post #32 of 35
If there is an iPhone or iPod VOIP or whatever, then the Messenger application will most likely be for sms/mms messages, not Instant Messaging (AIM/iChat).

I expect that the Contacts list that is currently on the iPod will be modified to become a fully featured Address Book type application.

A basic phone only needs phone + texting + address book. Of course the Messenger application will allow people to save received images to the Photo library. I'm certain there will be the ability to buy music directly from iTMS as well.

Apple could add a camera though, they're well into putting iSights into everything!
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by bdj21ya
Yeah, I don't really get the excitement of being the first one with nothing to say.

The movie version of Dave Barry's book, "Big Trouble," has a hilarious running theme, in which "gator fans" (u of fla) call a sports radio talk show--NOT to say anything of value, but merely to refute the host's claim that, "when the gators lose, nobody calls then..." It's a skillful lampooning of such mindlessness.

So I recommend the book and the movie without reservation.

I won't reserve my praise for VL-Tone, either: Nice job, fella--or gal. You're right: your discoveries are of more substance than "sources say", whatever the outcome.

Speaking of outcomes, I share the chagrin of many members here, over Apple's failure to deliver exciting new products for the past year. It is an achievement to have made the Intel switch. But other than offering greater speed, i don't see much engineering/design ingenuity in those new products. Between WWDC and MWSF, it's important to the company's well being that some of those nifty new products come online. If Bill Gates/MS had been as slow in bringing new stuff to market, we'd be having a field day...

peace
terry
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by Hattig
If there is an iPhone or iPod VOIP or whatever, then the Messenger application will most likely be for sms/mms messages, not Instant Messaging (AIM/iChat).

I expect that the Contacts list that is currently on the iPod will be modified to become a fully featured Address Book type application.

A basic phone only needs phone + texting + address book. Of course the Messenger application will allow people to save received images to the Photo library. I'm certain there will be the ability to buy music directly from iTMS as well.

Apple could add a camera though, they're well into putting iSights into everything!


if the device will have any kind of wireless data services, it will have ichat!
fyi...AIM messages can be sent via text messaging.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by Hattig
If there is an iPhone or iPod VOIP or whatever, then the Messenger application will most likely be for sms/mms messages, not Instant Messaging (AIM/iChat).

I still see some big assumptions that iPhone means cellular phone (GSM/CDMA whatever). I agree that if it's cellular - chat is probably sms/mms. If there's video-chat it's 3G video calls.

However, if it's a home phone (wireless/Airport, or Bluetooth to your Mac?) - messages would mean iChat, video would be iChat, and voice would be iChat with interface to the public phone system.

Of course, perhaps Apple can give your iChat a phone number and merge messages with SMS? or iChat video with 3G cell phones? That'd be a pretty big move though.
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