In seven days, Apple's World Wide Developers Conference kicks off. Everyone is expecting we'll see a new iPhone revealed during the keynote, so a lot of leaks and rumors are popping up. We've compiled the most interesting ones for you.
Voice Memo, Compass and Autofocus Camera
Chinese Web site UMPCFever leaked some imagery of the new iPhone 3.0 recording and compass apps in action, and a demo of the new autofocus camera.
While the compass and recorder apps look very glitzy, which is a mite un-Apple like, they're definitely highly polished. We hope there's a switch to make it deliver the compass data in numerical format, though: Much more useful if you're trying to do some proper navigation. Meanwhile, the autofocus for the new 3.2-megapixel camera seems to work very intuitively--there's a blue square superimposed on the viewfinder screen. You simply drag it to what you want to focus on.
There are also side-by-side comparison shots taken by the old and new iPhone cameras. if you believe that someone really had a hold of the new hardware to make the shots, then the results make the new phone look pretty impressive.
Developers have known that location-based service hooks are hidden throughout the upcoming iPhone firmware, and that's enabled Google to run a demo of Latitude that runs in an HTML frame in a browser. It works just as expected, and apparently it'll be released soon after the new phone firmware appears. We expect a demo at WWDC too.
Re-downloading Apps to Cost You?
The iPhoneBlog has found some evidence that re-downloading an app wirelessly over 3G may incur an extra charge when you're using the new firmware. It may be a move to prevent users sharing their app purchases with someone else--pretty easy if you just reconfigure their phone to use your iTunes account. But you can still re-download for free from a computer.
Matte Black Case
There have been a number of rumblings that the new iPhone will have a less-scratchable matte plastic case back than the current shiny plastic one. It would seem to be a good decision: Just the next step in the design evolution, which started with an aluminum back.
New Case Design?
There doesn't seem to be much speculation on the net about whether the new iPhone will sport a new design. That leaked case photograph makes it look like the new phone is incredibly close in shape to the existing iPhone 3G, and that tallies with what some rumors are saying.
But the person who leaked the UI photos to UMPCFever apparently insisted that he couldn't show images of the phone's case, as it was a prototype and still unreleased. That suggests there might be some significant changes on the way. After all, we've heard that there may be three main hardware variations due. That matte black casing could be for the special China version, which could adopt much of the existing 3G hardware since it's limited to meet China Mobile's requirements. That still leaves room for the other iPhone 2009's to have a different case, or at least some serious differences to the current 3G one. Will we wave goodbye to the physical home button, perhaps?