Will new iDevice features (Flash, multitasking) premiere first on Pro devices?

Recently, Rumors was among the first to report on references to an “iPhone 2,1” in last week’s v2.2.1 iDevice OS firmware release, and suggest that this was almost certainly the forthcoming iPhone Pro. Now, along with emerging suggestions of a corresponding high-end iPod Touch, the grapevine is abuzz with rumors about background tasking, Adobe Flash and other features which may be tied to the powerful new “Pro” iDevice hardware.

These are fast-emerging & -developing rumors which we are monitoring around the clock with the help of our sources and the grapevine at large….so keep a close eye on this site for ongoing posts which will add detail and analysis to these early reports.

That said, in the wake of the exciting early iPhone “2.1” Pro rumors we have been able to talk to our oldest, most reliable sources who have shared with us significant new information.

Some of this will be under strict embargo for some time yet due to the extreme sensitivity of the information including some technical details of the hardware now in the late stages of field-testing by employees operating out of Infinite Loop….but among those tidbits we can release immediately is the probable fact that alongside or shortly following the release of an iPhone Pro with features similar to what we’ve described, there will almost certainly be an iPod “Touch Pro” based on a nearly identical core hardware platform: ARM Cortex A8 SoC (System-on-a-Chip) processor, powerful new GPU, more/faster system memory (256MB DDR?) and larger, improved flash-memory storage of 32GB or more at the high end.

Also, two key iDevice advancements which have been discussed with great excitement across the grapevine in the past few days — support for Adobe’s ultra-popular Flash technology and the ability to run applications in the background — may be tied to that more powerful hardware platform, according to sources.

One, or quite possibly both, of these features as well as other significant advancements may be available only on the new “Pro” iPhone & iPod until manufacturing costs come down to the point where the standard entry-level iDevices can be updated with similar processing, graphics and system memory.

Another possibility mentioned by sources is that both of these features would ship exclusively on the new Pro iDevices initially, but that after a period of time (6-8 weeks, potentially) a further-optimized version of Flash with inferior but acceptable levels of performance would then be released for existing iDevices.

However, even in that instance, the performance impact of allowing background tasking on existing iDevices has been studied by Apple and despite many efforts at optimizing the operating system firmware to make it practical, the performance of foreground tasks can still be unacceptably affected on current-generation hardware (only 128MB SDRAM) and it is not practical to limit background tasks only to those things which would not cause slow-downs on said harware.

As a result, while Flash may end up being a non-Pro-exclusive feature for iDevices, at this time we are increasingly confident that when (not if) background tasking becomes a reality on the iDevice platform that it will be due to a considerable leap forward in the hardware that forms that platform’s backbone.

Stay tuned for much more iDevice, Flash & background-tasking dirt in the days ahead….we’ve got lots more in store on this and many other fronts so don’t miss a beat!

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  • http://www.stmjr.com SCott

    oh the suspense…
    i cant decide whether to buy one this week or to wait…