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Unsupported widgets, apps listed in iPhone firmware

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
References to several unsupported widgets and at least one new application have been discovered within Apple's iPhone firmware, leading to speculation that some of the hidden features could be unlocked with a future iPhone software update.

While rummaging through the Apple handset's embedded version of Mac OS X, one user located preference files for 3 unsupported widgets (phonebook, translation, and worldclock) and what appears to be two native iPhone applications (radio and unitconverter).

Unlike the widgets, which have Mac OS X equivalents, the radio application is drawing particular attention. While resources from the widget files could have been carried over to the iPhone's software accidently during development, Apple has never offered a standalone radio tuner application, either on its iPod digital music players or via Mac OS X.

The preference files aside, the user was unable to locate an additional references to the applications or widgets in the iPhone software. A screenshot of the preference file listing follows:

iPhone preference file listing | Source: iPhoneology
post #2 of 52
Bring on the apps!!!
post #3 of 52
Bring'em on. And MMS support!!!!
post #4 of 52
World Clock is an "unsupported widget"? Is it not the thing called "World Clock" that's on my iPhone?
post #5 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by akabaka View Post

World Clock is an "unsupported widget"? Is it not the thing called "World Clock" that's on my iPhone?

Was wondering about that one myself.
post #6 of 52
Is this a big non-issue? I don't have an iPhone (yet), but in the Blackberry world "radio" refers to the wireless connection mechanism, not an AM/FM tuner.

Here's an example on the Blackberry support site.
post #7 of 52
After having my phone for about a month now, I've had some negatives about the phone.

Does anybody else find many of these widgets a "waste of space"? I think they all look very cool, BUT there are some apps that would come in more handy. Seeing the list of POSSIBLE new apps really bugged me because I think there are already enough apps that I don't use.

I mean, first off, the STOCKS APP is worthless for a lot of people. I have other ways of checking my stocks, and I hardly find it necessary to be on the MAIN MENU for my phone. You also have the NOTES widget, which I've used 1 time because a friends Starbucks order was more complicated than I could remember. The calculator would be better placed in a TOOLS folder along with the clock... CLOCK? How often do I need to look at the time when there is a clock on the top of the screen. Theoretically they could have consolidated the PHOTO and CAMERA button.

I'm really not a HATER, but this list of TRANSLATOR, CONVERTER, PHONEBOOK seem really weak.

WHAT DO WE NEED TO TRANSLATE?

WHAT DO WE NEED TO CONVERT?

WHAT DO I NEED YELLOWPAGES FOR? - lame at&t plug if you ask me...

now... after you answer these questions, ask yourself if you need to do these things on your phone?

These are all things that could be web apps.

If you are going to clog my iphone with actual apps, make them useful or let me remove them or hide them.
post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

If you are going to clog my iphone with actual apps, make them useful or let me remove them or hide them.

I have to say I agree with you. I think there should be a "Dashboard" style button for access to widgets such as weather, stocks etc. These things are nice, but hardly essential apps. In addition if you're going to have widgets, why not have a load of them. Translation would be excellent on the go, I can't understand why Apple didn't add more of them. Certainly it would be a lot nice also if we had an "iPhone Dashboard" to allow people to develop their own widgets for it. Accessing iPhone apps via MobileSafari is just a pain in the ass.

Surely Apple will at some point have to develop a subdirectory/subset system on the iPhone's front page, much like they had on Palm Pilots back in the day (I'm sure they still do but I haven't used one since 2001).
post #9 of 52
Don't know if this has any relationship, but I was looking at the 999 pictures on the iPhone and noticed that the widget icon is present, but I have yet to find it displayed on the iPhone.

Also, I saw an image of the 'fancy' trash can, link in OS X, but I've not seen that on the iPhone either.
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post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

I'm really not a HATER, but this list of TRANSLATOR, CONVERTER, PHONEBOOK seem really weak.

Could it be that Apple thought the same thing, and the files are remnants of apps that did not make the cut.
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post #11 of 52
Come on donlphi just because you don't use things things doesn't make them useless for everyone.

Quote:
CLOCK? How often do I need to look at the time when there is a clock on the top of the screen.

I do because I travel to different cities with different time zones. I also call people in different time zones around the world. It can help to take a quick look to see what time it is in their city.

Quote:
WHAT DO WE NEED TO TRANSLATE?

The translation converter in OS X translates Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

It can be handy to have. I can only see it being completely useless if you are either fluent in all of these languages or you only ever around one language.

It makes sense on your phone because if you are in a foreign country it can provide a quick way to translate something.

Quote:
WHAT DO WE NEED TO CONVERT?

The Unit Converter Widget in OS X can convert Area, Currency, Energy, Temperature, Time, Length, Weight, Speed, Pressure, Power, and Volume.

I can only see it being completely useless if you never have to convert values or you only ever have to deal with one currency or a single system of measurement.

I think it can be handy on your phone if you need to quickly do a conversion.

Quote:
Theoretically they could have consolidated the PHOTO and CAMERA button.

Not really. Pictures on the phone can be synced from the computer. So it would make little sense to go through the camera to get to pictures that were taken with another camera.

You can also store pictures in different folder. So why go through the camera to get to the folder you need. And you don't want to go through your picture folder to get to the camera when you want to take a picture.

Quote:
If you are going to clog my iphone with actual apps, make them useful or let me remove them or hide them.

I could agree if you had to scroll through 50 widgets to get to one you wanted. But at this point their are only 12. I don't think its a huge problem.
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

WHAT DO WE NEED...

What's this WE white man?!

I for one could make use of yellow-pages since I never bother to add local restaurants, the dog groomer, pharmacy, etc, etc into my address book... Yea, maybe I should but I really don't call those places all THAT much... Having YP would save me a costly 411 call just to get their number. Just one example but, just because you don't find something particularly useful doesn't mean its a worthless feature. I for one would never use IM or MMS (not my generation) but that doesn't mean I think it would be dumb to have those as iPhone features since I'm sure others would disagree.

Dave
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post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

I'm really not a HATER, but this list of TRANSLATOR, CONVERTER, PHONEBOOK seem really weak.

I use Translator and Convertor quite often here in Europe. Annoys the hell out of me that you don't use metric or even British Standard Imperial measures, which I can at least vaguely remember.

I wonder what we'll get in Europe since the Stocks widget is US only and apart from that we tend not to gamble stocks like you do in the US. I'm just glad there's no ESPN widget like we're forced to endure even on European Macs as standard and it's unremoveable.
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

What's this WE white man?!

I for one could make use of yellow-pages since I never bother to add local restaurants, the dog groomer, pharmacy, etc, etc into my address book... Yea, maybe I should but I really don't call those places all THAT much... Having YP would save me a costly 411 call just to get their number. Just one example

Dave

You can already get that through the MAPS app. on the iPhone. Just enter Startbucks or Pizza into the field and it will retrieve locations and telephone #s.
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I could agree if you had to scroll through 50 widgets to get to one you wanted. But at this point their are only 12. I don't think its a huge problem.

It'll be interesting to see what they do to solve that providing they do let you have more than one screen full of apps/widgets.

On my Sony P910i I've got 66 applications (and that's after I pruned back). 13 rows per screen in list view or 6 icons per screen in icon view. You can scroll through them with the scroll wheel or page flip through them by clicking on the arrows on screen. You can also divide them into categories accessible by a pulldown. Along the top of the screen you've space for six configurable favourites.

Obviously that's more options than Apple often likes to give you but they'll surely have to come up with something other than a scrolling list and I can't see them just doing what SE or Palm have always done.
post #16 of 52
I use the Clock all the time - not the world clock part of it, but the alarm, timer, and stopwatch. I must use it at least ten times a day, for cooking, appointments, reminders...

P.S. By the WAY, writing like THIS is really ANNOYING.
post #17 of 52
I like the stock app. It's a quick way to check my favorite stocks through-out the day. The clock app is also used to create alarms. I use notes all the time to jot down random stuff.

While I appreciate hierarchy (especially when programming), I prefer not to experience it on my phone just to get to my apps. Perhaps Apple plans to eventually allow customization of the widgets that show up on the main screen?
post #18 of 52
Quote:
It'll be interesting to see what they do to solve that providing they do let you have more than one screen full of apps/widgets.

The choices I can think of at the moment. As you've stated a long list of icons or a list view. Other options could be full pages of widgets that you swipe through with your finger. Widget categories that have a main widget icon that opens to the submenu page.
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesabol View Post

Is this a big non-issue? I don't have an iPhone (yet), but in the Blackberry world "radio" refers to the wireless connection mechanism, not an AM/FM tuner.

Here's an example on the Blackberry support site.

The other apps listed all have (or clearly would have) exposed user functionality, as opposed to being just a checklist of hardware subsystems.

"Phone" functionality (which is supported by the wireless radio) is already accounted for on the list, so it's pretty clear that "radio" in this instance either means "fm/am" or "internet streaming".
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post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevenmrgan View Post

I use the Clock all the time - not the world clock part of it, but the
P.S. By the WAY, writing like THIS is really ANNOYING.

Most people capitalize the names of applications, so you know whether they are talking about a clock or the CLOCK application.

But if you're talking about this guy -donlphi, I concur.
post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proximityeffect View Post

You can already get that through the MAPS app. on the iPhone. Just enter Startbucks or Pizza into the field and it will retrieve locations and telephone #s.

This kind of works, but it doesn't work that great. It would be better if there was a dedicated "search for business at this address". Typing in just the business name doesn't always work that well, for example I had a hell of a job trying to find the number for the "Starlite Drive-In" yesterday, it kept giving me the option of "Starlite Dr, South Bend, In" or "Starlite Dr, Columbus, IN" (rather than my local drive in movie theatre).
post #22 of 52
Not to diminish any potential excitement, but I am going to agree with previous posters that 'radio' most likely refers to preferences associated with the cellular radio signal. In future iterations, one could foresee that selecting preferences associated with alternative networks could be stored in such a location.
post #23 of 52
If the Radio app is an end-user application, it's probably a tuner for listening to internet radio/mp3 streams. Given that Apple's iTunes revenue is dependent on people buying new music, this app is unlikely unless it's centered around people being able to stream their own music from their desktop machines to their iPhone (a feature that will be much easier once Tiger comes out since it will have an uncanny ability to punch through firewalls and dynamic IPs to let you find your desktop machine no matter where you are). An internet radio tuner might also be a realistic option for the iPhone if it included a 'buy now' button to purchase the currently-playing song. This could be done easily by taking the id3 tags from the stream and performing an iTunes store search. If there's a match, offer to sell the song. Downloads could happen immediately and the song could be added to your desktop machine on the next sync.

The other, much more boring explanation for the 'radio' app is that it's the radio transmitter debugger app for the iPhone.
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proximityeffect View Post

You can already get that through the MAPS app. on the iPhone. Just enter Startbucks or Pizza into the field and it will retrieve locations and telephone #s.

That was what I was getting at with the Yellowpages Rumored App. It's going to require the edge or wifi network just as much as google or maps, so what's the point of adding YET ANOTHER app.

As far as my comments about all the apps being "useless" I was slightly exaggerating. I've used the timer and the stopwatch and the alarm clock, but I just don't think they deserve "FRONT PAGE" status.

I still think a lot of these apps could have been designed on an apple website and supported as Web Apps that could be bookmarked for later use.

I MAY JUST BE EXPERIENCING "CABIN FEVER" SYMPTOMS from being stuck with the same apps day to day.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by kfury View Post

The other, much more boring explanation for the 'radio' app is that it's the radio transmitter debugger app for the iPhone.

That is called the FieldTest.app.
post #26 of 52
Apple is being Apple with apps. Ever see the commercial where the skinny guy(Apple) is standing beside the fat guy(PC) and they're talking about all the worthless stuff you get on a PC and only the necessities and stuff you actually use are on the Apple? Thats their game. Simple.
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post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

After having my phone for about a month now, I've had some negatives about the phone.

Does anybody else find many of these widgets a "waste of space"? I think they all look very cool, BUT there are some apps that would come in more handy. Seeing the list of POSSIBLE new apps really bugged me because I think there are already enough apps that I don't use.

I mean, first off, the STOCKS APP is worthless for a lot of people. I have other ways of checking my stocks, and I hardly find it necessary to be on the MAIN MENU for my phone. You also have the NOTES widget, which I've used 1 time because a friends Starbucks order was more complicated than I could remember. The calculator would be better placed in a TOOLS folder along with the clock... CLOCK? How often do I need to look at the time when there is a clock on the top of the screen. Theoretically they could have consolidated the PHOTO and CAMERA button.

I'm really not a HATER, but this list of TRANSLATOR, CONVERTER, PHONEBOOK seem really weak.

WHAT DO WE NEED TO TRANSLATE?

WHAT DO WE NEED TO CONVERT?

WHAT DO I NEED YELLOWPAGES FOR? - lame at&t plug if you ask me...

now... after you answer these questions, ask yourself if you need to do these things on your phone?

These are all things that could be web apps.

If you are going to clog my iphone with actual apps, make them useful or let me remove them or hide them.

The only thing I agree with you about is that they don't all have to be on the top menu.

But, yes, I do use those functions on my Treo. But, I had to BUY them. So, when I do eventually get an iPhone, I'll be glad they're there.

But, you also are too impatient. this is a new product. Apple installed what they had, and what they must have gotten back in feedback.

As the phone matures, it will change. More apps will come, both from Apple and third parties.
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

This kind of works, but it doesn't work that great. It would be better if there was a dedicated "search for business at this address". Typing in just the business name doesn't always work that well, for example I had a hell of a job trying to find the number for the "Starlite Drive-In" yesterday, it kept giving me the option of "Starlite Dr, South Bend, In" or "Starlite Dr, Columbus, IN" (rather than my local drive in movie theatre).

If you add the zip code before or after the business name, like Starbucks 94133, you're much more likely to get the business you want. If you don't know the zip, you can put in city state instead.

And my favorite part: Once you find a business, you can add it to your contacts with a single tap.

Google Maps, once you figure out how its search criteria thinks, is one of the most useful apps ever developed for a mobile device. It totally replaces the need for a yellow pages widget.

I agree that as Apple adds more widgets and apps, it's going to become necessary to allow users to customize the home screen. For now, as long as everything available fits on one screen, I don't mind having them all there.

Most "untapped" icon for me: YouTube. How often do I need to see a skateboarding dog? The five or six YouTube videos I've actually thought were worth watching in the last couple of years aren't even available on iPhone yet. (Keep churning out those H.264s, Google.)

Clock is indispensable to me, because it's my primary alarm clock (I love being able to set different alarms to repeat on different daysgreat for people like me with flexible work schedules). The calculator needs scientific functions to be more useful, but it comes in handy when you need a quick calculation.

I imagine Weather would be pretty useless to someone in San Diego, where it's pretty much the same weather every day. But it's nice to be able to look up forecasts when you are traveling.

The thing I want to see most on iPhone: A search field in the contacts list and iPod. Scrolling is fun; using the alphabet along the right side is helpful; but a search field that brought up the on-screen keyboard would make calling people even easier. Tap a few letters, and the list would narrow down, just like it does when you are typing in an email address or a URL. That's about the only thing I come close to missing about my old Treo.
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevenmrgan View Post

I use the Clock all the time - not the world clock part of it, but the alarm, timer, and stopwatch. I must use it at least ten times a day, for cooking, appointments, reminders...

P.S. By the WAY, writing like THIS is really ANNOYING.

Sorry! It won't happen again, King of Blogging. Sorry to annoy. God knows you don't annoy anybody with your perfect self.

P.S. I think people that sit and critique how others post on blogs (spelling, grammar, and in this case, capitalization), are losers with way too much time on their hands. Don't rip me to shreds because I have an "unpopular" opinion of the some of the iPhone apps. If you don't want to read other opinions you should start a diary homepage for others to read and stop visiting sites like this. Nobody, especially me, wants to see you get annoyed.
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

The choices I can think of at the moment. As you've stated a long list of icons or a list view. Other options could be full pages of widgets that you swipe through with your finger. Widget categories that have a main widget icon that opens to the submenu page.

I'm hoping they do a kind of 'Spaces for iPhone' thing where you can have 9 spaces in a 3x3 grid each with their own icons configured. To access the alternate spaces, you swipe the space into the center. The home button goes back to the central space.

It would be fairly easy to remember which space had what apps in it and soon enough motor memory would take over instead of having to pick through lists or pulldowns.

That would probably be enough space for all your apps and 9 categories is probably enough too.
post #31 of 52
IMHO, donlphi is just another forum troll (or perhaps a TROLL?) wanting attention and thus overusing caps something that is considered bad form (shouting) on *every* forum.
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

Sorry! It won't happen again, King of Blogging. Sorry to annoy. God knows you don't annoy anybody with your perfect self.

P.S. I think people that sit and critique how others post on blogs (spelling, grammar, and in this case, capitalization), are losers with way too much time on their hands. Don't rip me to shreds because I have an "unpopular" opinion of the some of the iPhone apps. If you don't want to read other opinions you should start a diary homepage for others to read and stop visiting sites like this. Nobody, especially me, wants to see you get annoyed.

I happen to agree with Teno. While it's fine to use the occasional caps, bold, or whatever to emphasize, to do it constantly, with almost entire sentences typed that way, is universally considered to be showing poor manners.

Criticizing him for mentioning it in the way you did, reinforces the bad manners that you displayed already.

I can assure you that while most people might not bother to say anything, they feel the same way.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proximityeffect View Post

You can already get that through the MAPS app. on the iPhone. Just enter Startbucks or Pizza into the field and it will retrieve locations and telephone #s.


I know that works for many national things but will that find 'The Woofer Dog Groomers' a local groomer in a small town or my neighborhood luncheonette?

Dave
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post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I happen to agree with Teno. While it's fine to use the occasional caps, bold, or whatever to emphasize, to do it constantly, with almost entire sentences typed that way, is universally considered to be showing poor manners.

Criticizing him for mentioning it in the way you did, reinforces the bad manners that you displayed already.

I can assure you that while most people might not bother to say anything, they feel the same way.

???

(please imagine a calm and non-shouting voice)

I really sincerely apologize. I'm not trying to be a troll or impolite. I was simply stating that I didn't like some of the current apps I am forced to keep on the home menu of my iPhone. Rather than quoting the entire original post, I just capped some of the key words from the post. I wasn't yelling or name calling, just capping a few words (statements) I thought were important. I didn't read the books some of you wrote on "Posting Etiquette". I just posted something that was unpopular and the AppleInsider Police jumped all over me.

My apologies x 1000... can we get back to the original topic?

I'm actually curious if Apple has done any surveys with people that have actually purchased the iPhone. I heard that some iPhone buyers recieved an e-mail from AT&T, but never heard about Apple contacting users for their thoughts on the "experience".

Any iPhone users get anything from Apple?
post #35 of 52
Quote:
I was simply stating that I didn't like some of the current apps I am forced to keep on the home menu of my iPhone. I just posted something that was unpopular and the AppleInsider Police jumped all over me.

The problem mostly was that you were so unequivocal in how sure you were that these apps were useless because you don't use them. The reality is that a lot of people look at the stock market, use world clocks, need translations, and unit conversions.

I can see your point that as more apps are added to the phone its very likely that Apple will not give a choice to add or delete its own apps whether you want them or not. I agree as the number of apps increase this could be annoying.

Quote:
Any iPhone users get anything from Apple?

Its unlikely Apple will issue a formal survey. But they offer the opportunity for direct feedback here
post #36 of 52
A reference to a preference file or a "com.apple" anything does not mean there's an associated application. Those types of entries are used everywhere for a number of reasons.
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

.... never heard about Apple contacting users for their thoughts on the "experience".

Any iPhone users get anything from Apple?

That is a great question. I have been wondering about that myself...... maybe they just do a smaller (random) sample of users so that they can dig deeper.
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Its unlikely Apple will issue a formal survey. But they offer the opportunity for direct feedback here

I doubt it, since such an approach could produce lots of useless data and hence poor-quality decisions, given the selection bias in who chooses to take advantage of such an 'opportunity.'
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That is a great question. I have been wondering about that myself...... maybe they just do a smaller (random) sample of users so that they can dig deeper.

If they do, we will likely not hear about it.
post #40 of 52
I received an email from Apple for an online survey about the iPhone. I assumed all who purchased the phone got this.
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