iPhone OS 3.0: New Features


Today, Apple introduced the next version of OS X for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The iPhone is doing incredibly well, even in this economy. Its sales were up 17 million through December and there have been over 800,000 downloads of the iPhone SDK. 96% of apps reviewed are approved, and more than 80 million apps have been downloaded. The 3.0 software will be a major update to the iPhone OS.

New things for developers:

APIs: 1,000 new ones.

In-app Purchases: Developers can sell new content from within their apps, such as subscriptions for magazines or new levels for games.

P2P: The iPhone will have peer-to-peer connectivity. You can play a game with another person via Bluetooth.

Accessory Controls: Accesory developers will now be able to make apps for their accessories, such as an equalizer for an iPod speaker dock. Devices will be able to communicate with the phone over dock connection and Bluetooth.

Maps API: Developers will now have access to Google Maps inside their applications, including turn-by-turn.

Push Notifications: Apple was late on this one. They say it’s because they had to rewrite the structure to make notifications scalable for every app or something. Developers have asked Apple to allow background apps, but Apple thinks it’d be bad for consumers. They tested Windows Mobile and Android phones and discovered that running background apps lowers the battery by 80%. With Push notifications the battery only dropped by 23%.

The Push notification service is always connected to the phone, so you can get notifications all the time. There are three types of notifications: badge alerts, text alerts and audio alerts. Text alerts appear like SMS alerts, badges show up on the app icon, and audio alerts play in the background.

Other New Features: In-game voice chat, iPod library access, audio recording, battery API, streaming audio/video, email access.

Now on to the consumer side:

Copy and Paste: Finally! You double tap on a block of text and a bubble will show up with cut, copy, and paste options. You drag your finger to select text then choose one of the options. Later, you can double tap to paste. If you mess up and paste something accidentally, you can shake the phone to undo (or redo) your mistake.

Photos: You can now send more than one photo.

Landscape: The landscape keyboard will be available to all key applications, including Mail.

Messages: They can now be forwarded and deleted in bulk or individually. Huzzah!

MMS: It’s supported. Contacts, locations, and audio. No video. Sorry.

Voice Memos: You can now record ’em.

Calendar: It now supports CalDAV, which is supported by Google and Yahoo. Good for shared calendars.

Stocks: New landscape mode, and headlines at the bottom.

Search: They added an entire homescreen dedicated to search, and it’s to the left of the regular homescreen. It will search through all of Apple’s apps. It can also be used to launch apps.

Other New Features: Stereo Bluetooth, Notes Sync, audio/video tags, live streaming, shake to shuffle, Wi-Fi auto login, LDAP, iTunes account creation, YouTube ratings, Anti-Phishing, Call Log, Parental Controls, Media Scrubber, OTA profiles, VPN on demand, Languages, YouTube subscriptions (yay!), YouTube accounts, Encrypted profiles, and auto-fills.

They’re releasing a beta which will be available to everyone in the iPhone developers program. For regular people, it’ll be released this summer. It’ll be a free upgrade, and it’ll run on the 2G phone as well, though without MMS or stereo Bluetooth. It will also be available for both gens of the iPod Touch for $9.95.

Update: You can watch Apple’s entire presentation here.

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5 Responses to “iPhone OS 3.0: New Features”

  1. Alex

    There have been rumors that Apple will switch to Verizon when their contract with AT&T expires. Apple actually approached Verizon first with the iPhone, but Verizon turned them down. I’d have an iPhone right now if they hadn’t. It’s a shame.

  2. Richard

    The one feature they left out of iPhone OS 3.0 is signal — AT&T just plain sucks over here, and GSM in general really lags behind CDMA in the United States. That’s why I’ll probably never own an iPhone.


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