updated 12:30 pm EDT, Thu July 15, 2010
Should allow for better headsets, dash controls
More features are being discovered in the first iOS 4.1 beta, which was released to developers on Wednesday. In the long term the most important is proper AVRCP support for Bluetooth devices. Until now, headsets, car dashboard systems and other peripherals have been unable to control more than volume for Apple handhelds. Actually controlling playback has required using the iPod app, a potentially serious distraction; with AVRCP however, it should also be possible to skip forward and back through tracks using buttons.
For nervous parents, two new lock options have been implemented. The first of these restricts FaceTime, the video calling technology present on the iPhone 4. Disabling FaceTime removes the option not only from phone calls but the Contacts app; when making a call, the Hold command from iOS 3 returns to its previous place.
The other parental control blocks multiplayer play in Game Center, Apple's upcoming Xbox Live-like service for iOS 4 devices. Beyond consuming bandwidth, multiplayer could theoretically bring kids into contact with dangerous strangers, or simply language that parents might have problems with. Despite the arrival of iOS 4, no definite rollout date for Game Center has been set.