Tuesday, March 17, 2009

iPhone 3.0

The long-awaited Apple event today was all about the new iPhone OS 3.0, but no news on new hardware :o(

Notable new features include:

* Cut & paste across all apps (really well-implemented - might even have been worth the wait). Can even copy pictures from album and paste into e-mails

* Push notification - at last! Still no background tasks, but maybe that's not such a bad thing given the quality of many of the apps in the App Store - I can see battery life draining to 20 minutes with the wrong app in the background!

* Extended Bluetooth support for new accessories and also P2P (i.e. swap contacts directly with other iPhone users nearby). P2P is via Bonjour - no Bluetooth pairing is required - and can also occur over WiFi. A2Dp support allows use of stereo Bluetooth headphones, but there is STILL no Bluetooth keyboard capability! Why not?

* MMS - new Message app to cover SMS and MMS - send photos, contacts, audio files, and location via MMS

* Embeddable maps - Core Location will finally make turn-by-turn apps possible

* Landscape mode for all Apple apps

* Ability to send multiple photos in mail

* New Spotlight search capability across all apps and content (contacts, calendars, music, etc.)

* Voice recording app vie internal or external microphone

* Extended Stocks app (WTF?)

* Notes will now be synchronised via iTunes (at last!!!)

* Ability to sell additional content from within apps via App Store - for example, if you have a city guide app, you can sell the app once and additional "city packs" as extensions. Or for a game, the base game could include 10 levels, and you can provide the option to buy additional levels only via the App Store. Free apps will not be able to sell content, however - free apps must remain totally free (fair enough)

* Laptop tethering is supported in 3.0 but will remain at the discretion of the individual cell operator (probably no chance in France then!)

Still no video support - bum and poo :o(

And still no way to manage apps properly via iTunes, i.e. grouping in categories or on "virtual screens" in iTunes ready for synchronisation - once you get past more then a screenful of apps you really do need more advanced app management capabilities (especially when you have multiple devices too)

The new OS will be available in the summer as a free download for all current iPhone owners ($9.95 upgrade for iPod touch users)

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