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iPhone OS 4.0 Secrets: Hidden iPod application hints at automobile integration


An TUAW informant has slipped us some video showcasing a new application built into iPhone OS 4.0. Apparently bundled with iPods and iPhones, the new application transforms the iPhone screen into a simple remote control which is used to manipulate a menu system that's fed out via a video lead. That menu system was captured in the recording shown at the top of this post.

Our source says that information bundled into the application shows that Apple intends this new "iPod out" functionality to be used in automobiles using the iPod Accessory Protocol (IAP). Hints as to this use are found in strings within the application itself. These strings include IAPSimpleRemoteCarButtonNotification and IAPSimpleRemoteCarButtonTypeKey.

He suggests that the application might be used in an Apple-branded car kit, where the user docks his iPhone or iPod touch and gains full access to the onboard audio libraries (no video at this time). The car kit could include both a video screen to show the menus and custom physical buttons that would produce the notifications to allow the user to move through those menus, and select from them.

Other hints in the application point to hands-free phone integration as well (kCTCallStatusChangeNotification). Incoming phone calls would be routed into the same system, allowing users to answer calls without having to pick up their device.

The idea of an Apple-branded iPhone Car Kit sounds pretty exciting to us. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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