iPhone 2.1 software beta adds better navigation, copy and paste

Apple has reportedly released a beta of its next significant release of the iPhone software, activating background push notifications, as well as enhanced GPS functionality.

iPhone 2.1 should not be confused with 2.0.1, another firmware update reportedly in testing. The latter is essentially a maintenance release intended to fix some of the more serious bugs that have appeared with iPhone 2.0.

Details of the contents of the 2.1 update first appeared on Gear Live, which apparently has access to the beta. One of the more notable additions is tweaks to the iPhone GPS code, which seems to allow for truer navigation.

Additions to the Core Location subset of the code will allow the phone to detect the cardinal direction of the device as well as its speed. This is essential to allowing the device to provide turn-by-turn directions.

Also spotted within the firmware code are commands for "cut," "copy" and "paste." While this does not guarantee the functionality will immediately appear -- Apple has been known oftentimes to add coding in well before a feature is actually implemented -- it certainly suggests copy and paste is on the way.

AppleInsider added it had confirmed that a rough version of Apple's background push notification service has also made its way into the 2.1 release. The technology will allow developers to get around the restrictions blocking applications from running in the background on the device.

iPhone apps will be able to receive new data even though they are not actively running on the device. At WWDC, Apple said the service would premiere in September, which could be used to deduce a similar release date for the 2.1 software.

In addition to the beta release, a beta version of the iPhone SDK intended to work with the new firmware was shipped. Apple is telling those with in-production apps to hold off on testing, as apps created with the new SDK cannot be submitted to the App Store.

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