An early working version of firmware update 1.1.3 for the iPhone has been spotted in the wild and given the full video preview treatment over at Gizmodo. A short list of the confirmed new features includes multiple-recipient SMS and Google's new faux GPS maps application.These two updates alone should be enough to make iPhone users dance with joy. Most regular phones can send SMS messages to multiple recipients. The iPhone's inability to do so has been one of the device's major drawbacks. The video preview posted on Gizmodo shows how users can send SMS messages to a number of different people at once, rather than one at a time.
Also shown in the video is a revised version of Google Maps for the iPhone. It includes Google's hybrid view, which pastes a representation of the roads and streets on top of the aerial satellite view of maps. It also brings on board Google's new cellphone-tower triangulation scheme, called My Location, to give users an approximation of their location. While it isn't GPS, you can see a demo of how well the triangulation works in Over The Air's video here. This is a cool feature to have. Lastly, the maps app also has new animations that make the interface more fun to use.
One of the other advancements talked about is the ability to drop Safari Bookmarks into the Springboard application. The Springboard is the official name for the iPhone's home screen, where you have quick access to all of its applications. Many people and companies have been hard at work making Safari-based applications for the iPhone. This new feature will let people bookmark those sites and give them shortcuts on the iPhone's home page. This means if there is a Web-based application that you use on the iPhone, you will now have quick access to it without opening Safari first.
All good stuff. Keep it coming, Apple. Of course, the firmware update has not been made public yet.