Apple has been testing a new wireless sharing feature that could allow users to quickly and easily transfer files from various iOS devices, PatentlyApple has discovered. The technology will no doubt compete with HP’s webOS “Touch-to-share” feature, which lets the Palm Pre3 and the TouchPad share files with one another. Though there is no indication as to when Apple might implement the tech, Apple’s patents outline a technology that appears to one-up HP’s offering. The patent describes the sharing experience as including both visual and audio aspects. As PatentlyApple points out, imagine an iPad “sucking” the files from your iPhone with a vacuum noise, and seeing the files leave the iPhone and appear on the iPad in an animated fashion. Or, as the image above shows, a user might be able to “pour” the files from an iPhone onto an iPad. The transfer process may also include “physical, intuitive gestures.” The patent application number 20110163944 was filed in the first quarter of 2010 and the inventors listed are Brett Bilbrey, Nicholas King and Todd Benjamin. More →
Google made its software development kit (SDK) available for version 2.3.3 of the Android OS earlier this month, and Stanford University’s MobiSocial News uncovered a nifty feature that hasn’t gotten much coverage. The new SDK features an API for “insecure Bluetooth socket connections” on both the client and server sides. Coupled with Gingerbread’s widely publicized NFC capabilities, this will allow developers to enable a tap-to-connect feature that lets NFC-equipped Android phones forgo the Bluetooth pairing process. Similar to the functionality HP showed off with its TouchPad tablet and Pre 3 smartphone at the Think Beyond event last week, devices running Android 2.3.3 or later can be connected to each other with a simple tap that will automatically initiate data transfers. Apple is rumored to be cooking up a unique twist for the NFC functionality coming to its next-generation iPhone, so smart functionality beyond mobile payments such as tap-to-share will certainly help Android’s case in the meantime. More →
It’s rather sad that Bluetooth file transferring coming to a modern smartphone by way of a third party application is something that warrants coverage, but that’s what you get when the smartphone you’re talking about is the iPhone. Its lack of ability to conduct Bluetooth file transfers is just one of the many things we wish were not left off of the original iPhone and when we saw that it wasn’t coming to firmware 2.0+ we were quite surprised. Thankfully it looks like Bluetooth file transfer is almost a reality for iPhone users everywhere. No, the application is not made nor endorsed by Apple and it certainly won’t find its way to the App Store, but if you have a jailbroken iPhone you can grab iBluetooth as soon as it is released into iSpazio repository on Cydia. Hit the jump for a video.