Pandav, an iPhone developer, told MacRumors that PinchMedia’s usage logs for November reveal a device identifier iPhone3,1. The current iPhone 3GS has an iPhone2,1 identification, which PinchMedia first reported in October 2008 eight months prior to the iPhone 3GS release. The iPhone3,1 might be the next iPhone prototype being field tested. On a similar note, the next-generation iPhone will most likely have a much better map app than the current one if a new Apple job listing for an “iPhone Software Engineer” position becomes filled:

We want to take Maps to the next level, rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things. We want to do this in a seamless, highly interactive and enjoyable way. We’ve only just started.

Remember Placebase? It is the mapping company that Apple purchased around July of this year. Placebase’s founder and CEO Jaron Waldman is currently part of Apple’s “Geo Team”. The current iPhone makes use of map data from the Google Map service; so does iPhoto ’09. With Placebase and hiring software engineers to revamp Apple’s mapping capability, I think the company will move away from using Google’s services. There is always room for improvement and if Apple can help bring innovation into mapping, then I’m all for it. Making geotagging services more integral (email, text messages, photos, videos, voice calls, etc.) to the iPhone might lead to some interesting location-based social interactions.

Competition is good: Android 2.0 and Motorola’s Droid offer full-blown GPS capabilities, for free. My bet is on Apple providing all the goodies from top-notch navigation tools from Navigon, TomTom, Telmap, etc.: live traffic, turn-by-turn guidance, modes (in-car, pedestrian, cycle, etc.), location-based search, fuel prices, local weather, location-based contact search, voice recognition, worldwide maps, and more. For free. Source: MacRumors, Computerworld, Wired (1, 2)

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