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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.