Inside iPhone 2.0

Along with the highly anticipated news of the iPhone 3G at Monday’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference came official word of the iPhone 2.0 software. The new software, also being released in early July, will be free for current iPhone owners and $9.99 for iPod Touch owners. The update will include complete Exchange support for business users as well as support for searchable contacts, calendars, and global address books.

Another major feature being included is MobileMe, billed as “Exchange, for the rest of us.” The program, replacing .mac, mimics the functions of ActiveSync — letting you keep your contacts, calendars, and email automatically synced with your computers. It interacts with Mail, iCail, and Mac Address Book as well as with Microsoft Outlook. It also includes several Web 2.0 applications that work with its me.com web interface. A 60-day free trial will be available when the software launches, and current .mac users will receive an automatic upgrade.

Other changes include the addition of live contact searching, iWork document support, Office document support, and bulk delete and move commands for messages. A new scientific calculator is also being added, along with expanded language support featuring on-the-fly switching.

iPhone 2.0 will utilize Core OS, which Apple’s Scott Forestell said will make it easier for developers to build location-based functions into applications. It will include several APIs, such as Cocoa Touch — a tool Forestell touts as the simple solution to creating advanced UIs. Forestell demonstrated how the program could be used to build an application called Nearby Friends, which would actually show you all contacts who are within a 10 mile radius of you.

A handful of practical and recreational third-party applications are already being announced for the new software.