Here we go with some 3G iPhone GPS problems already. Not exactly with the built-in GPS capability, but with the iPhone SDK from which mobile developers can built applications that use the phone’s native GPS. In Section 3.3.7 of the latest iPhone SDK version, Apple states that “applications may not be designed or marketed for real time route guidance; automatic or autonomous control of vehicles, aircraft, or other mechanical devices; dispatch or fleet management; or emergency or life-saving purposes”.
This effectively eliminates many of the cool location-based applications we were expecting for the 3G iPhone in the coming months and also makes us wonder what TomTom is up to with their navigational app which they say is commercially ready. Because the app most likely features real-time route guidance beyond what the Google Maps interface on the iPhone can offer, the new rule would render their application useless.
Why would Apple do this? The company has been notorious for refusing to open up their software to 3rd party application developers in the past (hence the jailbroken iPhone), so we’re not entirely surprised to hear this news. But given how specific it is toward “real-time route guidance”, it’s quite possible we’ll see Apple roll out some of their own navigational software in the future and are just trying to keep out potential competitors until then.