Apple has given developers a taste of the new iPhone firmware, version 2.2 beta 2, and it includes a host of spiffy new features that are making the rounds online.

A tipster shared with us some screenshots of the new firmware, including what appears to be the ability to download podcasts directly to your iPhone (and presumably your iPod touch). This could tidily explain why Apple rejected the Podcaster app last month. The option to "get more episodes" doesn't appear to work in this firmware build, however.

MacRumors' Arnold Kim links to an screenshot showing the iPhone software asking for a rating before you delete an application. Kim speculates Apple is looking to increase participation in the App Store rating process.

Om Malik's Apple Blog is showing off screenshots from the message boards, including new Maps functionality. Google Street View will apparently be available by rotating the device into landscape mode. Public transportation support and directions for walking also seem to be included.

In the same report, the Apple Blog's David Appleyard also mentions location sharing via email and SDK support for manipulating line-in audio as part of the seed.

This article was originally published on Tuaw.
Apple releases free Mac management white paper