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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    exciting stuff.. Hopefully it won't be such a letdown.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    ibeamibeam Posts: 322member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    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 application?s 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
  • Reply 4 of 36
    because spell check has already been uncovered



    http://goo.gl/fb/r5PZ
  • Reply 5 of 36
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,860member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    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...
  • Reply 8 of 36
    Nice missing graphic there AI.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    Perhaps a double-tap of the Home button would open and close Dashboard.
  • Reply 10 of 36
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    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?
  • Reply 11 of 36
    ilogicilogic Posts: 298member
    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
  • Reply 12 of 36
    cicocico Posts: 14member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    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
  • Reply 14 of 36
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    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 ?
  • Reply 16 of 36
    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!
  • Reply 17 of 36
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 989member
    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!
  • Reply 18 of 36
    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!
  • Reply 19 of 36
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    auclaucl Posts: 19member
    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.
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