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iPhone 2.0 Software Brings Next-Gen Features to Current iPhone Owners

Start counting down to early July for the release of the new iPhone 2.0 software update, which Steve Jobs and company today announced at the keynote speech for the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference). This upcoming version of the operating system will enable new features that includes a redesigned calendar application and input capability for Japanese and Chinese characters. This new software will be built-in to the new iPhone 3G that was announced today, but will also be available for free as a downloadable upgrade for all current iPhone owners.

With iPhone 2.0, instant messaging becomes much more "instant," with constant updates coming across the network in a way that promises not to drain the device's battery. This is vital for iPhone users who are (like many) addicted to constant messaging but have complained of the current iPhone's battery life.

The biggest improvement appears to be the ease with which developers can create new applications for the iPhone. Demonstrations included medical teaching applications and games from SEGA, which apparently needed only two weeks to prepare its game sample for previewing at the conference. (That's speedy, and means it's much easier for developers of all stripes to make games and other applications for iPhone 2.0. More applications means users of all kinds will be able to find functionality that works for them. In Apple's effort to compete with other smartphone makers, this is very important.) Some of the applications that will be available were also previewed. These included apps from eBay, Loopt, MLB.com, Associated Press, and Typepad.

While current iPhone users will be able to upgrade to iPhone 2.0 for free, iPod Touch users will have to fork over $9.99 to get the new software.

New applications will be available via the App Store, and will be downloaded wirelessly. Developers will be able to post their creations to the store, so reaching users will not be difficult. Whenever an application is updated or improved by the developer, consumers will be able to download the new software wirelessly as well, for free.

For more information on the new Apple announcements, make sure to go to Engadget Classic's extensive, up-to-the-minute coverage of the WWDC.

Tags: Apple, breaking news, BreakingNews, iPhone 2.0, Iphone2.0, iPod Touch, IpodTouch, new announcements, NewAnnouncements, Steve Jobs, SteveJobs, WWDC

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