iPhone Software 3.0

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Five iPhone Accessories I Want to See NOW

apple updates iphone software with support for third-party hardware with connector
This is a picture of the Apple iPhone's dock connector. Apple announced today it now supports a greater range of hardware accessories.
Apple announced iPhone 3.0 software will support hardware accessory attached via the dock connector.

As I write this Apple's media event surrounding the launch of its iPhone 3.0 operating system hasn't even concluded, and already I'm rejoicing at the possibilities of iPhone 3.0, as enabled by peripherals. One of the big pieces of news from this morning's event, in case you haven't been following, is that iPhone 3.0 will support accessories that attach to the iPhone's dock connector.

My wishlist is already spinning out of control, but I've narrowed it down to the top five accessories I'd go out and buy, now, for an iPhone. What do you want to see?

1. Physical keyboard. Yes, I've used the on-screen keyboard, and yes, I still prefer a physical keyboard-be it a one-handed implementation like my trusty Palm Treo 680, or the horizontal two-handed implementation of the T-Mobile G1. But I don't just want a Bluetooth keyboard (yes, better Bluetooth support seems to be in the wings based on the heavy reliance on Bluetooth during the announcements); Bluetooth will drain battery life faster, and requires a static setup for the phone and keyboard. Instead, I want a docking sled that I can attach the iPhone to, so the keyboard becomes one with the phone. Maybe the keyboard can also house more robust speakers.

2. Memory card and USB reader. I'm a digital photography buff. And, sorry, my iPhone's camera just can't cut it. But...I'd like to be able to take content from an SD or CompactFlash card, and transfer it directly to the phone while on-the-go. I could also see the iPhone serving as a way for photographers to preview images on a larger and higher resolution screen than their camera, before taking a days' worth of photos using the same, possibly incorrect settings. Meanwhile, the USB port would be handy way to port files directly to the iPhone, without using a PC.

3. Large screen touch display and dock. The iPhone's screen is great, but what about when you'd like a roomier touch display, say seven or eight inches of portable goodness, with the iPhone plugging in to a dock to provide the processing power and storage to the larger display (I'm thinking a variation on Philips' portable DVD player with iPod docking station. And the larger display will have its own, removable power source, so you can bolster power as needed.

4. Speaker dock with integrated FM tuner. Apple mentioned these possibilities in their briefing, but I'll take it one step further and say, let's get both done in one swoop. A portable, lightweight speaker dock that improves the sound output with minimal additional bulk, plus an FM tuner for those of us who'd like to catch the local airwaves. And, of course, the appropriate software for optimizing tuning and audio output (via equalizer controls).

5. Blood glucose meter. I know friends and family with diabetes; and tracking one's blood glucose can be a chore. But, if the idea of a blood pressure cuff (proposed by Apple at this morning's event) is possible, why not a blood glucose meter attachment that records your blood sugars uploads that information to your iPhone and computer so you can track your progress.

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