What iPhone 3.0 means to users

Posted by Hitarth Jani | 2:59 PM | 0 comments »

Apple has just previewed its OS 3.0 for the iPhone, featuring 100 new features. With the new release, Apple aims to further strengthen its presence in the smartphone market.

Incidentally, last year too Apple introduced iPhone 2.0 at a March event. This was followed by iPhone 3G launch two months later.

Here's what the new Apple software, iPhone 3.0, exactly offers to the users.

When do I get iPhone 3.0?

The software is available for outside developers interested in building mini-programs for popular iPhones and iPod Touch MP3 players, however, the operating system will not be publically released until mid-year.

The company blamed security and user-interface design complexities for the delay in adding it to iPhone's operating system. Analysts are betting on the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), likely to take place in early June this year, as the platform for the introduction of new iPhone models.

How much will the upgrade cost me?

iPhone users, including those holding first-generation iPhones, will be able to upgrade to 3.0 for free. However, iPod Touch users, first or second generation, will have to shell out $9.95 for the update.

The new operating system runs on the latest version of the iPhone, released last year, as well as the original model.

What's new in iPhone 3.0?

A lot, according to Apple and analysts. "It's a significant update," said Gartner analyst Van Baker. The improvements in iPhone 3.0 address some of the complaints that iPhones lacked functions basic in competitors such as the Blackberry Storm, the Google Android G1, and the as-yet-unreleased Palm Pre.

What's the biggest new feature?

So far the most analysts say the biggest addition is the much longed-for cut-and-paste feature. Says Gartner's Baker, "When it ships, cut, copy and paste as well as multimedia-media messages will resonate most with consumers."

The feature will let users highlight text with a tap, drag it, deselect it by shaking the phone, or to copy and paste it into another application.

Users can copy and paste photos, as well as select multiple photos -- also a first on the iPhone -- to paste into an email message.

What else?

Also, top on most lists is the new Apple app-wide search -- Spotlight -- to match the integrated search within Mac OS X that will let users search through Mail, Calendar, Notes and iPod on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Prsently, the only available search was in Contacts.

iPhone 3.0 also lets accessory makers connect devices, such as radios, to Apple's smartphones.Another big miss in iPhone 2.0, makes its presence with upgrade. Users will now be able to read and compose email and text messages in landscape mode.

MMS will be added, which means that photos, contacts and audio files can be sent with the messages application. 3G iPhones will also have stereo Bluetooth after the software update, which allows for wireless stereo headsets to connect to the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

Will iPhone 3.0 allow me to run more than one app at a time?

For those users who, say, want to keep their IM open and still do other stuff, Apple has finally added the much-awaited push notification to the iPhone. The push notification would allow developers to build applications that can provide automatic alerts of items such as sports results or the arrival of an instant message.

The alerts would show up automatically even if the user is in another application. It will also allow developers to offer subscriptions and sell content within their applications that have items for sale within them, such as electronic books or additional levels of a video game. And developers will be able to access the music within users' iPhone libraries, so songs they own can be included in games, for example.

Do first-gen iPhone users get everything in iPhone 3.0?

Sorry, no. According to Apple, the older hardware doesn't support MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) and stereo Bluetooth A2DP. There may be some other features too that may not work on the original iPhone, however, so far Apple has only mentioned these two omissions.

What is missing in iPhone 3.0?

Upgrades did not include being able to record video with iPhones or play video made using Adobe's ubiquitous Flash software; an omission deeply irking many iPhone owners.

During a question-and-answer session, Apple executives responded with "No comment" to clamors for video recording and compatibility with Flash.

"They did not address the camera, which is a fairly low quality for a smartphone these days, and they also did not mention video support, which would be nice to see," said Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin.