The new features of iPhone OS 3.0 explained

Although i was unfortunately not invited to the exclusive Apple event in which they released the new iPhone OS 3.0 today, i have followed it online through some great live blog updates from amongst other CNet to get up to date on new features of the iPhone OS 3.0 to share with your loyal readers.

As Apple revealed the features of the new iPhone OS 3.0 at the exclusive event today they announced that it will be available immediately for developers, while the general public will have to wait until this summer to get the upgrade. The iPhone OS 3.0 upgrade will be free for iPhone owners, while iPod Touch owners, as usual, will have to pay a premium fee of $9.95 for the upgrade. We have added a survey to our homepage where you can express your opinion on having to pay for the upgrade if you own an iPod Touch (i do and not too happy about it).

But over to the real features of the new iPhone OS 3.0, which is pretty much as expected following the rumors in the last few weeks.

MMS – MultiMediaMessaging

This was something that was sorely missed when the iPhone 3G was released and that will now be available with the new iPhone OS 3.0. You will now be able to send pictures and voice messages through text messaging on your iPhone, but not video messages, as the new OS does not feature video support, something that has been expected from the next generation iPhone, and might be an indication that video messaging might still be quite a bit in the future for the iPhone.

System wide search

The new OS does feature Apple’s Spotlight search technology across the entire iPhone and iPod Touch, allowing you to search across features and applications at one place. Search for emails, contacts or applications becomes much easier with this feature. The new search menu is available by to the left of the home screen by swiping to the left it brings up a search box that will display relevant results as you search.

Copy and paste functionality for text, photos and SMS

Another feature that was sorely missed on the last upgrade to the iPhone OS will now become available, as Apple brings copy and paste functionality for text, photos, and SMS to the iPhone.

Top copy text the only thing you have to do is double tap the screen and it opens up the options to cut, copy, and paste. To select the text you wish to copy just drag a start point and an end point, and then double tap again. The text will then be saved on a clipboard to be used across other applications etc. The feature for photos will allow you to select up to several photos to send at the same time, or to move over to an email etc.

In-app micropayments

I raised this issue in an earlier article about the evolving business model of mobile applications, and although the new in-app payment system becoming available, Apple is still controlling the payment process and payments go into your iTunes account developers. The in-app purchase system does however allow developers to create applications where additional content can be made available through the app at a cost to the user, which is a great new feature for game developers etc.

The new system is only available to application developers that charge for the initial application, so there is not room for giving away the initial app for free and then charge for additional content. And just like with the cost of purchasing the application, Apple takes 30% of the sales value of the in-app upgrade as well to beef up their own profit line. This potentially raises several issues that i will cover off in coming articles.

Improved GPS for applications

Core locations will now be made available to for developers to build into their applications, which amongst other will include turn-by-turn directions for applications. Allthough the feature can not be built off the Google Maps application, it does however open up opportunities for map providers to sell mapping data to iPhone application developers.

Push notifications

Better late than never, as Apple has finally been able to sort out the push notification features without having to sacrifice too much the battery life and the processing power. The new system has been optimized for over-the-air-data-transfer.

P2P networking 

Your iPhone is no longer alone as the introduction of improved P2P networking features through the built in bluetooth antenna and combined with the Apple Bonjour technology. This new feature is great for playing multiplayer games with friends or strangers without having to rely on a third party server or wi-fi connection.

3G tethering

This new feature will allow you to connect the iPhone to a computer or laptop and use it as a modem to access the internet, but will require cooperation from the carriers which might want to charge extra for this feature.

Landscape keyboard

A very welcome addition for people with large fingers, the new landscape keyboard is available for applications such as mail and SMS.

Stereo bluetooth A2DP audio

You will now be able to pair your iPhone with a stereo bluetooth A2DP device, be it headphones or speakers.

Other fun and functional features

Here are some of the other fun and functional features of the new iPhone OS 3.0

  • Shake to shuffle music, just like with the iPod Nano
  • Voice memo application
  • Send and receive files between iPhones and iPod Touch’s
  • Browse remote content through third party applications
  • Control peripherals and accessories, such as music systems
  • Rumbling to make gaming on the iPhone/iPod Touch more interesting

We will come back with more information and dissection of the new features of the iPhone OS 3.0 later. In the mean time you might also be interested in reading about the features that was missed out in this iPhone OS release, including background processing and video recording.


Filed in: iPhone, Lead Story

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5 Responses to "The new features of iPhone OS 3.0 explained"

  1. Chris says:

    Isn’t there going to be a iPod Touch 3rd Generation? I think they should add a camera and a built in microphone. I really don’t think we iPod Touch owners should have to pay for the upgrade, we already bought the freakin iPod that is still over priced.

  2. Jeffrey says:

    Well, as far as i’m concerned, the new iPhone and iPod Touch 3.0 release will be sometime in June.
    I have spoken to many people about this exciting new update and they have been telling me that it will be out June 24. – ( I hope). This is not a fact, rather a….i guess you would call it a rumor.
    That is all I know about this.

    – Jeffrey.

  3. Conor says:

    Apple are just trying to make money out of us- for those people who bought the 1st gen ipod touch, will they have to spend money on a 2nd gen ipod touch and then spend more money on the june update for bluetooth?

    to be honest- i think we will be better off getting an iphone- after all- apple probably have another secret that ipod touch also works as a phone anyway!

  4. thedude says:

    #3, then they’ll tell us the itouchs brightness sensor is a camera, and it has a internal microphone, apple loves to scam us

  5. Jake says:

    Just to let you guys know you guys have to look at the variables that apple set for us….
    1st generatioin- the ability to surf the internet and game apps from the app store…ooooo..ahhh
    2nd generation-external speakers……oooooo…..ahhhhhh
    3rd generation(if there is going to be one) gps navigation satelite chip w/ camera…ooo..ahh

    a litlle irrevelant but i have the 2nd

    The people who says that apple is scamming us…..Its really your fault for buying this….

    If you guys notice the update for the ipod touch is always near september

    so your wondering what’s my point? well here it is…SAVE YOUR MONEY and Quit Complaining

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