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Tuesday, February 27, 2007, 05:00 pm PT (08:00 pm ET)

Video unearths hidden iPhone features

While Apple chief executive Steve Jobs flew through the iPhone's core software during his Macworld keynote address, a video team has gone back and discovered several software touches that may have some people reconsidering the distinctive phone.

An especially thorough group at Actioncorp re-examined Jobs' presentation frame-by-frame, pointing out a number of hidden features revealed in passing — even those which surfaced for only a split-second via the live stream or in a journalist's snapshot.

Perhaps the most relevant finding is the inclusion of a "Ringtones" tab in the phone's iTunes preferences. Although Jobs had drawn attention only to the handset's default calypso ringtone during the two-hour event, the sighting validated hopes that customizing the sound would be at least as flexible as with its rivals today.

Actioncorp was particularly intrigued by the addition, noting that a dedicated tab and the plural phrasing meant that Apple expected owners to have more than a small collection of tones separate from their music. The extra space could well be part of a larger strategy to sell ringtones through the iTunes Store, the footage noted.

A second new tab, Personal, was likely to contain options for synchronizing contacts, e-mail accounts, and other info.

In the clip, the group also reminded its audience of the much larger scope of the iPhone's trumpeted Google Maps feature. David Pogue of the New York Times was previously quick to silence expectations of live GPS in the Apple communicator through hands-on experience, but the video emphasized Steve Jobs' seemingly casual references to direction-finding and traffic alerts for the Google utility. Corner buttons in the map tool for either function were already in place.

Hidden iPhone features


Eventual users of the iPhone could also count on saving time by means of a few important control tricks, the footage reveals. An alphabetic side strip immediately jumps to tracks filed under a particular letter just by tapping the screen, breaking the tedium of scrolling through a large collection.

The briefly mentioned iPhone calendar application also has a plus-sign button for adding new events directly from the iPhone, heralding the first time an Apple device has permitted two-way updating for anything other than play counts or track ratings.

Watch the video: