iPhone Firmware 2.2 Reveals Tweak in iPhone Safari’s User Interface

I had mentioned that Apple had not provided much information about the changes in the first beta version of iPhone firmware 2.2 (Build 9M2611) that was seeded to developers yesterday other than a note that it is for "compatibility testing".

However, iPhone Atlas has published a screen shot which reveals that iPhone Safari’s user interface could get a tweak in iPhone firmware 2.2.

As of now, it appears that iPhone’s Safari browser could get a minor tweak in its user interface.

As you can see in the screen shot below, from an iPod Touch (left) next to a picture of the new Safari interface in iPhone firmware 2.2.

Google (or Yahoo) gets its own search bar (instead of popping up when you hit the regular URL bar) and the reload button has been moved to the address bar.

iPhone Safari's New UI

So it should give you quicker access to search from iPhone’s Safari
browser as currently you need to tap the URL bar for the search bar to
show up and then tap the search bar to be able to type the keyword for searching. With the new UI, the search bar is only one tap away.

As most of the bugs have been fixed with the release of iPhone firmware 2.1, it will be interesting to see if Apple will introduce new features in the next firmware update like full-screen browsing on the iPhone and not to forget the missing copy and paste feature.

Charlie Sorrel over at Wired also mentions that Copy and Paste could be a possible feature in iPhone firmware 2.2. He speculates:

"Of course, there’s still no mention of Copy and Paste, a seemingly ridiculous omission from such a powerful device. But I have a theory: Apple won’t ever put it in, at least not in the form we currently know. The iPhone model is quite different from that of a proper computer. In a Mac or PC, you use the operating system to act on files, be they pictures, emails or text documents.

The iPhone works more like iTunes, where each application takes care of its own files and what you can do with them. Thus, in Safari, you can choose to send a picture to the Photo application, whence it is squirreled away into a filesystem only accesible through the same Photo application, or through a "media browser" (which is used to pick the desktop background, for example).

It’s possible that Apple is taking so long to implement copy and paste not because it is difficult, but because Apple is reinventing it. Imagine a system-wide menu added to all applications which, instead of shuffling items off to a clipboard, lists all the places you can send that file (or text string). This would be like the existing "Open with" option available in the Mac’s right-click menu — each application effectively reports to the OS exactly what kind of files it can handle and the OS remembers this. Thus a picture could be sent to not only the Photo app, but to any other photo program. Text could be sent directly to any open dialog box in, say, Safari.

Technically, this still uses a "clipboard" stack to store items temporarily, but the user experience changes to fit the iPhone’s one-open-app-at-a-time paradigm."

It all sounds good but to begin with I am sure most iPhone users would like to see the basic copy and paste feature rather than Apple reinventing the wheel and taking so long. We have already seen some neat implementations of the copy and paste feature such as the one by developer’s of MagicPad.

Let us know your thoughts.

[via Wired]

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