The first patents for the 3G iPhone/firmware 2.0 have appeared ahead of Steve Jobs' opening WWDC keynote on Monday. Meanwhile the rumour mill has descended into chaos!
Innovative hacker Zibri - creator of ZiPhone - has been trawling the patents and is the first to spot new Apple documents for its impending new handset and firmware. The submission consists of a massive 371 pages and shows the new welcome screen, support for Flash and Windows Media content in Mobile Safari and support for an external Bluetooth GPS. Worryingly, it is not clear whether this last detail applies to the original iPhone or the 3Ger since there is no mention of embedded GPS anywhere in the document (at least that I can find).
Equally worrying is that panic seems to be setting in with the rumour hounds. So far this week we've heard UK O2 employees have been told not to take holidays on 9 July (similar to the AT&T 15 June notification), while conversely loose lipped staff are said to have claimed the 3G iPhone won't appear until around Christmas time due to manufacturing delays.
On top of this Apple has confirmed to us that there will be no simultaneous broadcast of Jobs' Monday keynote in the UK. Traditionally we hacks get invited to view a live stream (often at the BBC), so can anything be read into this? Well, clearly the UK isn't Apple's focus so could the delay rumour be true? Perhaps there won't be a 3G iPhone announcement at all (I doubt it, but Mac OS X 10.6 - supposedly dubbed 'Snow Leopard' - has been rumoured too this week). Throw in the lack of GPS listed in the patent and it is panic stations all round.
Of course that is unless you a) already own an original iPhone that you're very happy with... (check). Or b) have become too numb to care... (checkish).
In related news hacker Zottd has managed to port the famous VLC media player over the the iPhone and iPod touch with Mpeg/MPG, AVI and MP3 codecs and promises FLAC and Ogg soon. Currently in beta, Zottd is working on VCD, DivX, WMA and WMV compatibility as well and this should hit the Installer App for jailbroken iPhones pretty quickly. No more re-ripping? Good work sir!
Update: Original patent finder Zibri now says he can find evidence of GPS in the official documents. I can't, but anyone else got the time to search through a 371 page filing? In which case I've got some washing up you can do...