Home entertainment at the touch of an iPhone

27 Jun 2008

The iPhone may already be called the Jesus phone because of its combined holy trinity of web, music and phone but what if it could be used as a remote control to play music from anywhere in your home via the iTunes library on your computer or your home entertainment hub like the Apple TV?

According to MacRumors.com, the pre-release version of iTunes 7.7, which is being made available today for download by software testers, has mention of this functionality for both the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

The Read Me file that accompanies the pre-release, says MacRumors, contains the following text: “Use iTunes 7.7 to sync music, video and more with iPhone 3G, and download applications from the iTunes Store exclusively designed for iPhone and iPod Touch with software version 2.0 or later.”

Tellingly, it also says: “Also use the new remote application for iPhone or iPod Touch to control iTunes playback from anywhere in your home – a free download from the App Store.”

The iTunes upgrade, version 7.7, will be required by owners of the new iPhone 3G, as well as those already owning an iPhone which needs a firmware update. The iPhone 2.0 firmware update is required for anyone wanting to download from the Apps Store.

Although Apple has not officially commented on this type of functionality, both the iPhone 3G and the iPod Touch are Wi-Fi enabled and will most likely sync up with any machine running iTunes over a wireless home network and remotely access and control a user’s digital media library –  in effect, acting as a remote control for iTunes.

The Apple Apps Store will have a selection of third-party applications which users of the new iPhone 3G, as well as the existing iPhone and the iPod Touch, will be able to download.

So eBay addicts, Twitter fiends and businesspeople who need enterprise email on the go will all be pleased when the store opens for business.

The iPhone 3G goes on sale in Ireland on 11 July from O2 stores nationwide. The Apps Store is expected to go live close to this date.

By Marie Boran