• HD Video on 4th-Gen iPhone?

    After the weird now-you-see-it, now-you-don't release of the latest iPhone OS beta yesterday, devs started poring through the SDK in search of clues about new iPhone features. Some video-capture settings give hints that the fourth-generation iPhone will be capable of taking HD video at 720p, adding weight to the belief of many that the next model will be called the "iPhone HD." Also, a new dialog in iTunes that suggests that the next version of the iPhone OS may allow file transfer as well as some other much-needed interface improvements show that iPhone 4.0 work is proceeding quickly.

    New presets that show up in the Image Capture framework in the iPhone OS beta 3 SDK appears to support video capture at 1280x720 resolution: 720p HD video. MacRumors reported on the discovery of the presets - "AVCaptureSessionPreset640x480" and "AVCaptureSessionPreset1280x720" - which would presumably refer to an app's standard VGA and HD settings. Persistent rumors have indicated that the new iPhone will have a 5-megapixel camera, and the "lost-and-found" prototype showed a much larger lens on the device's back case.

    Michael Bettiol at Boy Genius Report discovered a new option in the Apps tab of iTunes when a 4.0 iPhone is connected: a 'File Sharing' section. The native Mail app is the only one that showed up when Bettiol clicked on it, but it could be that only that app has the API support built into it at this time. Kudos to Apple for finally building in a feature we've had since the first jailbreak.

    There is also - finally - a way to lock the screen orientation so that you don't switch between landscape and portrait mode. The lock is activated by an icon on the new multitasking dock, which also now features iPod controls and a much more convenient task manager. Previous betas have forced you to press and hold running app's icon in the multitasking dock to kill it. Now, once you press and hold a single icon, all the running apps' kill switches are activated, allowing you to kill them individually, in much the same way you can delete apps in the current iPhone OS.

    The addition of task manager is an interesting development, in light of Steve Jobs's statement at the iPhone 4.0 announcement: "In multitasking, if you see a task manager... they blew it. Users shouldn't ever have to think about it." Maybe he decided that they shouldn't have to but that they shouldn't be prevented from thinking about it, either. Choice is a good thing.
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