I just watched the Apple presentation on the iPhone OS 3.0 and I was amazed at how lame the reaction of the crowd was.
While they oohed and aahed over cut-and-paste, the practically slept through the most significant change to the iPhone and maybe even computing as we know it.
With iPhone OS 3.0, you can attach an iPhone to a third-party device via cable (and other means) and read and control data from it! You know have an actual field computer that can acquire data. Yes, the examples given were a pair of speakers that you can control the equalizer with, a blood pressure measure that tracks you blood pressure and a blood sugar meter for diabetics, and those were rather yawn-inducing.
But the fact that you can extract data and control a device opens up a whole new universe for the iPhone.
I’m sure there’ll be limitations, like Apple-approved cables only, but there are so many potential implications where someone could simply “dock” their iPhone with a device for a few moments, collect all the data it has, perhaps update it, do calculations – you know, all the things you can do with a computer.
The first thought that comes to mind are reading the data ports on automobiles. Yes, you can buy a device that does that already, and you have to buy the right one for you car, and it reads diagnostic codes, extracts MPG performance, emissions and other information.
Of course, there are data cables to attach that to a laptop, too. But isn’t that technology oh-so-much more accessible on your cell phone?
It’s a game changer. It’s absolutely the biggest new feature in iPhones OS 3.0