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iPad SDK Indicates New Widget, URL, Dictionary Features

by on February 19th, 2010

The iPad SDK is currently testing iPhone OS 3.2 and the new firmware includes some new features that may make their way to the iPad.

According to a report from AppleInsider, firmware 3.2 has a new feature that focuses on what may become widgets, as well as other features regarding URLs and dictionaries.

Widgets

Earlier this month we reported on the potential of widgets, similar to what is seen on Dashboard with Mac OS X, possibly making their way to the iPad.

One example of this is the iPhone Address Book. In the iPad SDK, the Address Book is referred to as “LittleBrownBook”. The Springboard, which is the app that runs home screen apps, tags the contacts app as “stand-alone-contacts”.

The naming scheme suggests that there may be a non-standalone version of the Address Book (contacts) or more commonly referred to as a widget to show contact information within other apps.

This would act similar to how the Mac OS X contact browser works, where users can access contacts within other apps, as well as the actual Address Book app. The main advantage to this is that many apps can now be launched and running at the same time, which could also be expanded to third-party apps.

URLs

Another SDK discovery has to do with URLs for apps in that “web snippets are not opened by the Web app anymore.”

What this means is that the iPad is routing user taps on URLs to the appropriate app instead of to the Safari web browser. AppleInsider notes that this could indicate that URL shortcuts for telephone numbers, addresses, and web URLs may now be more sophisticated than ever before.

Where this becomes particularly interesting is with third-party apps. As it stands, URLs pointing to a website open within Safari. However with this new URL system, URLs could now open directly into a dedicated app (if applicable). One example of this is eBay URLs opening in an eBay app.

Dictionaries

The third SDK discovery relates to dictionaries.

The iPad SDK Library directory contains a Dictionaries folder that includes the same six dictionaries as found in Mac OS X. The dictionaries include the Apple Dictionary of company terms, the Oxford Dictionary/Thesaurus, and three Shogakukan Japanese Dictionaries.

The inclusion of these dictionaries could lead to word lookup and replacement features on the iPad, which are currently found in Mac OS X.

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