screenshot_01Apple hosted an event this morning, previewing the newest iPhone OS, 3.0. I thought I would bring you some details.

Many rumours have circulated regarding this update. Many were confirmed, some were not. Some of these should have been included in iPhone 1.0, but we’ll take them now.

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– “CUT, COPY, & PASTE”. Wow. It’s about effing time! The demo showed that you just double tap on some text, and it automatically selects it. Two “grab” points show up at the beginning and end of the selection, with a cut/copy/paste bubble above it. You can drag the grab point to select as much text as you need, then tap cut, copy or paste from the bubble above. You can also double tap and drag to select text. Nice. Just the way it should work. This feature will work across all apps onthe device, including 3rd party, and will also work for emailing more than one photo at a time.

landscape2– “Landscape Keyboard for ALL key apps”. This is one that has bugged me, personally. Finally, email and SMS in landscape mode. Awesome.

messages1– “MMS”. Here’s an example of another feature that every other phone has had, long before the iPhone. With 3.0, we will be able to send contacts, pictures, and audio, via the SMS app.

voice1– “Voice Memos”. This is a native voice recorder for the iPhone. We’ve seen many 3rd party apps that can do this, but it will now be including in the firmware.

spotlight– “Spotlight”. Apple has added Search to all apps that use the keyboard, including Mail, Calenders, and iPod, among others. They have also included a new page called “Spotlight”, that you can use to search across all your apps, from one location. It is a new page to the left of the main home screen. Nice.

inapp“In-App Purchasing” will give developers the ability to sell subscriptions or, upgrades from inside the application. This means we would not have to exit the app, and purchase the upgrade from the App Store.

peer-to-peer“Peer to Peer”. Finally Apple puts the Bluetooth to use, on the iPhone. Peer to Peer will be used for multiplayer gaming, among other things. Sending contacts over Bluetooth was featured. Any other file sharing was not discussed.

accesories–  “Accessories”. Developers of accessories for the iPhone and iPod Touch will now be able to develop special apps to talk directly to the accessories. They featured an FM Transmitter, with an app that automatically tuned in the proper frequency.

– “Turn by Turn in Maps”. Holy crap, it’s about time! They have enabled developers to use core locations in maps, via a new Maps API, to give us turn-by-turn GPS functionality.

push “Push Notifications”. Another one we should have had long ago, and Apple admits to this. This will give us to ability to know when there is an update (or anything new) within an app, without having to open it up. You would see a number (or something) attached to to it, just like your email.

– New API’s for streaming video and audio, including in-game voice.

– A few new apps, devices, and games were previewed: a native “Meebo” app, using push notification. EA showed off “The Sims” for iPhone, featuring in-game purchasing of clothing and such. ESPN has a native app coming, with streaming video (sports nutz rejoice!). Lifescan has a Glucose Meter that can talk to the iPhone, via Bluetooth. The Lifescan app will keep track of diet and exercise, to help control diabetes. Ngmoco showed off “Touch Pets”, a pets game that features peer to peer, and in-game purchasing, and “LiveFire”, a multiplayer, first-person shooter for the iPhone, that features in-game chat. Smule showed off a multi-player music app, called “Leaf Trombone”.

A few other things were mentioned quickly, among the 100 or so additions, we’ll see stereo Bluetooth, auto-fill, WiFi auto-login…the list goes on.

The new firmware and SDK package is available to developers today, but us consumers won’t see it until June this year. It will be a free upgrade for all iPhone owners, and it will be a $9.95 upgrade for iPod Touch owners.

What’s missing that was rumoured:

“Background processing”. Apple says they can make it work, but it really kills the battery life, by about 80%. They opted for the Push Notification system, instead.

“Flash Support”. Apple just said “We have no announcement on this topic, right now.”. Does that mean it is coming, eventually? Who knows. They didn’t expand on that. They just went over all the other ways you can get video on the iPhone. Good point, but there is a huge percentage of websites that cannot be viewed on the iPhone, due to lack of Flash.

So that’s what we have to look forward to. I was hoping for a “Oh, one more thing…” new iPhone announcement, but I guess we’ll have to wait until June. Comment below, with your views on the new firmware.

UPDATE:

view the entire presentation here:

http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/0903lajkszg/event/index.html

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