Apple previews iPhone 3.0 software

Apple previews iPhone 3.0 software
At an event in Cupertino, California, today Apple announced the 3.0 version of the iPhone operating system. Of course, everything started with how great the company and phone are – available in more than 80 countries, sold more than 17 million units, 800,000 downloads of the SDK and 500,000 companies or individual developers joining the dev program. This leads to more than 25,000 submitted apps, 96% of which have been approved. This is a success, so it is fine to introduce the new 3.0 version. It comes with 1000 new APIs, expanding the developers’ options. Here is the interesting new stuff:

Cut, Copy, Paste – finally! Apple’s Scott Forstall noted that they’ve been working hard to design an easy-to-use interface. Indeed it looks fine – double tap the text and it will select it, with points in the beginning and end – grab either of the points and move it to select more/less. If you’ve done something wrong, shake the phone to undo. It will be available in 3rd party apps and you can copy/paste from one app to the other. One can also mark several photos and paste them into email.

Messages menu has been updated with the option to forward or delete multiple messages. However, the “big news” here is the MMS support – no need to explain it, the standard old-school MMS.

iPhone 2.0 introduced the Search in phonebook, the 3.0 introduces the new Search. There will be an option to exchange the standard home screen with the new Spotlight home screen – it is an universal search that goes through the whole phone. There will also be local searches in the apps – search mail  to/subject/headers fields, search calendar entries, search notes titles and text.

Push notifications have been added. These will come handy in IM for example – instead of leaving the IM client running in the background, it can be inactive but you will receive notifications once there is something new. Apple says this greatly helps for battery life.

There is now the option to download/buy parts of the app from within the app itself. For example a game, you can buy it with basic levels and buy additional ones from the app itself. Or City Guide – buy the app and then buy the cities you want. Free apps remain free though – you won’t be asked to buy anything in them.

There will be support for peer to peer, allowing you to connect over Bluetooth to other iPhones with the same app. This would be usable for 1v1 games or for sharing data, such as contacts. Talking about games, you will also be able to play massive multiplayer games, connecting to a global game server. Quake 3 anyone? The in-app purchase is also working for Games  - for example in The Sims, you will be able to buy some things for your virtual friend.

Another new API will allow the phone to communicate with the accessories. For example when connected to an FM transmitter, the iPhone will automatically tune to the best available station. Or when docked into speaker system, it will be able to control the equalizers. It can also connect to not-your-ordinary iPhone accessory, such as medical devices – blood pressure reader, finger pricking device for glucose testing for those with diabetes. The live demonstration also showed accessories for music instruments, such as Leaf Trombone – using it, a couple of guys performed The Phantom of the Opera in a multiplayer online music game.

Maps has also been updated; many developers have wanted to include it in the apps and now they will be able to. Developers will also be able to use the core location for turn by turn navigation. However, due to licensing issues, they won’t be able to use the actual Google’s Maps, but will have to bring their own maps.

There is now landscape view in various apps – mail, messaging, notes, stocks, not only in the web browser. We wonder why they include it just now.

Stocks has been updated with news stories and additional details.

There is now support also for Voice notes, Note sync, stereo Bluetooth, YouTube accounts. Video streaming is also supported – it has been demonstrated with ESPN app and the media player changes the quality depending on the bandwidth speed.

Overall, the new 3.0 software definitely is an upgrade, but not anything that will shake the industry. Great news for the iPhone owners is that they will be able to install it for free on their iPhone or iPhone 3G phone. However, these with the first gen device won’t be able to take advantage of stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) and MMS, due to hardware differences – we hope these are the only limitations. iPod Touch users will also be able to update to 3.0 but for $9.95. The developers can now download the beta of the new SDK and start preparing apps! However, there isn't official information when the 3.0 will be available for download for users.

iPhone 3G Specifications | Review

source: Engadget

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