iPhone OS 3.0 Preview.

Town Crier IconOn March 17th, Apple unveiled details about iPhone OS 3.0 software and released the new iPhone Software Development Kit to developers. The presentation went down at the Apple Campus in Cupertino, CA. and was hosted by Greg Giles and Scott Forstall of Apple Computer. If you’d like to view the entire presentation, you can do so here in Quicktime format… be aware the entire preview is 90 minutes long… if you’re into the iPhone though, it’s cool to have running on your desktop while you’re doing other things.

Here’s a quick laundry list of the new features your iPhone will sport once the update hits.

Copy & Paste Text > This works across all applications… Double-tap over text and a ‘cut, copy or paste’ bubble appears… double-tap again and a ‘paste’ bubble will appear if you have anything on your clipboard. Expand selections with your thumbs… and if you inadvertantly paste something, shake the iPhone to undo it.

Copy & Paste Photos > You’ll be able to copy and paste pictures now as well. Select multiple photos by tapping the action button, copy some of them, and paste them in an email, ready to send.

Search Full Monty > Any Mac Spotlight fans out there? I don’t know how I ever existed before Spotlight… and much to my delight, it’s coming to iPhone with v.3.0 across all Apps that are native, in other words, created directly by Apple. This capability is included in the latest revision of the iPhone OS SDK as well, which means the makers of your favorite Apps now have what they need to make them Spotlight-ready… so stay tuned on those…

Also worth noting is that Mail, iCal and iTunes each have their own specific search interfaces… Mail does not yet support searching the content of your emails. What? Why not? But it does support searching on IMAP servers… which will really be handy for all you gMail users.

3G Tethering > This will allow you to connect your iPhone 3G to your laptop and use it as a modem… which is really a nice thing to be able to do if it ends up either free with your AT&T contract or extremely cheap… initially it might not work at all as it involves the carrier… but we’ll see.

Landscape Keyboard > Apple has added the larger landscape keyboard to more Apps including Mail, SMS Texting and Notes… a boon to all the sausage-fingers out there.

Multimedia Messaging (MMS) > I can’t see wanting this… it seems to miss the point of the medium… but you’ll now be able to attach images, sound and vCards to “text” messages… the jury is still out on video though.

Extended Calendar Support > You’ll now be able to subscribe to calendars on the web in both calDAV format which is used by Google and Yahoo as well as .ics format which is used by Apple’s iCal.

Improved “Stocks” Application > which now includes embedded links to related content on the web allowing you to witness your 401k tanking in much more vivid detail.

Stereo Bluetooth A2DP audio > You will now be able to pair your iPhone 3.0 with stereo Bluetooth A2DP devices like headphones or speakers.

Automatic Login with Safari. The new version of mobile Safari will remember login values for the sites you visit requiring them. Your iPhone will also now automatically login to wi-fi spots that you frequent, such as (outside) the local Starbucks, as well… And for the security-minded, your mobile Safari will also now warn against phishing or possibly malicious sites.

A New Native Voice Recording App > Although this feature is currently available via 3rd-party Apps… why not save yourself $6 if you haven’t already spent it (I did)… If you’re prone to forgetting all those brilliant thoughts you have throughout the day (I am), this little puppy becomes indispensable…

Beyond the scope of this post is all the improvements that have been made to the development kit given to developers as well as the features those improvements will enable… if you’re interested, follow the link I gave up top and watch the presentation by Apple…. cool stuff.

This update to iPhone OS 3.0 is going to be free to all current iPhone owners including 1st generation iPhones, although those original iPhones won’t benefit from any of the 3G enhancements. iPod Touch owners are going to be able to upgrade for $10 which has me scratching my head… why wouldn’t the upgrade be free for those folks as well? If anyone has the answer to the logic behind this… post to the comments.

Start salivating… it’s coming soon.


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