When Apple debuted its second generation iPhone 3G, the inclusion of GPS hardware suggested that the everything device might soon replace that TomTom suction-cupped to your windshield by offering real turn-by-turn directions. Other phones offer this functionality, but for whatever reason, Apple forbid it on the iPhone despite the device technically having the capability to pull it off.
Today the Cupertino-based company previewed the iPhone OS 3.0, a new software update on the way that, among many new features, will finally allow turn-by-turn directions. While details are scarce, the new functionality is apparently being opened to software developers who can write their own navigation apps for the iPhone and sell them through the iTunes App Store. The only catch mentioned is that developers will have to provide their own maps, suggesting that plugging into the iPhone's native Google Maps is a no-no. We suspect current third-party navigation manufacturers like TomTom, Garmin and Magellan will be all over this.
Click here to read Engadget's live coverage of the Apple iPhone OS 3.0 preview event.