Tuesday, March 17, 2009

iPhone 3.0 Details Announced [UPDATED]

Today Apple had an invitation-only event where they gave up all of their secrets regarding the next iPhone update: 3.0.

Here is a quick run-down of what to expect from the new software update coming out this summer:

  • Copy/Paste: This is the most exciting. Copy/Paste should have been offered from 1.0, but, little matter, because we are getting it this summer! Apple says that it will be used by touching and dragging small "grab points" with a pop-up offering cut, copy, or paste. This functionality also includes the ability to copy and paste photos, as well as "shake to undo".
  • MMS: This is another function available on the simplest of handsets that Apple has oddly been ignoring, but now they are including it in the iPhone's various functionalities. You will be able to send and receive photos, audio files, contacts, and more, although this functionality is only availabl on the iPhone 3G due to "hardware limitations" on the 1st generation.
  • A2DP stereo Bluetooth: All this means is now you can connect headphones and speakers via bluetooth rather than the headphone jack. A very nice feature.
  • Spotlight Search: A screen to the left of your first home screen which will allow for a universal search of your phone.
  • Tethering: The ability to make your iPhone a modem has been put into the 3.0 update, although the carriers will have the final say on whether or not it will be present, as well as pricing plans regarding this.
  • P2P: Peer-to-Peer meaning that you can connect to other iPhones to transfer files or play multiplayer games without the need of a Wifi network; both iPhones will be able to automtically connect with one another with no set-up required.
  • Push: This is also an overdue feature which will allow instant messaging apps and other apps like them to receive messages and alert you to that fact without having to be open.
  • Turn-by-Turn GPS: Apple is finally allowing developers to release apps with turn-by-turn directions; a feature that has been holding people back from calling the iPhone a true GPS device.
The update will be free to all iPhone owners "this summer", and will cost iPod Touch owners $9.95.

Engadget has a nice complete list of some other small things added by Apple, but these are all of the big ones. All we're missing now is the ability to record video and Flash. Anyway, I am pretty pleased with these new features; they add almost all of the features that the iPhone needs to become a truly great smartphone (although it is already, in my opinion, the best phone available).

UPDATE: Here is a nice 90-second video of the most exciting portion of the Apple event:

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