Apple Apps Ahead

Apple (AAPL) is about to remove the shackles from developers of applications for the iPhone.

While iPhone users have mostly praised the steady stream of games, guides and other programs released thus far, many developers have been frustrated by their inability to do more, such as allow users to purchase digital content within an application. Until recently, Apple Inc. has been slow to give them the tools or a blueprint with which to make that possible.

Now the company says it is on the verge of launching a new iPhone operating system — and a toolkit to help developers of new applications for the handsets. Apple says the new operating system itself will add more than 100 features, including the ability to cut and paste text, and a virtual keyboard for use when the phone is turned sideways, making it easier to type emails. The toolkit is expected to add about 1,000 functions to help developers come up with new applications.

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