Apple's iPhone Sofware 3.0 Preview

If you're an iPhone user, today's press conference debuting a preview of the upcoming iPhone software 3.0 is going to rock your world. Greg Joswiak took the stage and announced that Apple set a goal to sell 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008, and the company achieved much more than that by selling 13.7 million. He mentioned that the company now has sold more than 17 million units, with 25,000 applications with over 800 million downloads. 98% of the applications have been approved in seven days or less.

The next version of the iPhone operating system, now at version 3.0 is going to offer over 1,000 new APIs for developers, and deliver over 100 new features. The iPhone OS 3.0 will ship this summer and will be free to all iPhone 3G customers and even original iPhone users. There will be a $9.95 update charge for iPod touch users, sadly. So, who's ready for the newly announced features?

  • Copy and paste functionality.
  • Accessories can now talk with hardware.
  • Push notifications, huge plus compared to background applications in my opinion.
  • Landscape mode for Apple applications.
  • MMS text messaging, finally.
  • Search all applications via the new Spotlight
  • 3.0 now has a standard system for finding other devices in the same area without using a WiFi network. Other devices can now be found via Bluetooth with no pairing required.
  • Stereo Bluetooth is now supported
  • Anti-phishing now in Mobile Safari
  • Safari will also remember login credentials.
  • Parental controls extended to movies, TV shows, and application downloads.
  • Turn-by-Turn GPS for the Google Maps application.
  • There is a new Voice Memo application for iPhone.
  • There is also a new version of the media player that will automatically adjust the quality of the stream based on your connection to the network.
  • In-App Purchasing for App Store applications, demonstrated in EA's upcoming 'The Sims 3' game for iPhone.
  • HDTV streaming for audio and video.
We think it's worth explaining how some features work to users.

Spotlight: The new Spotlight feature will have its own separate page on the devices home screen, which will sit to the left of all other pages. To get to it, simply swipe to go to the left and then enter what you wish to search for. From what we've seen, it's simple and easy.

In-App Purchasing: This is rather self-explanatory. In certain applications (mainly games) you'll be able to pay for items. For example, in The Sims 3, you can purchase items for your Sims, at $0.99 each.
All the other new additions are relatively self-explanatory.

There have been a lot of announcements today, and I'm sure you're wondering why Apple took so long to provide some of these features. Here are a few quotes from today's announcement:

"We were asked, why don't you do background processing? It's bad for the customer. It drains battery. We've been testing this, and running some background processes on some phones. We took a popular AIM client, and we just let go in the background -- then we measured the standby time. And it dropped by 80% or more."

"So, push. Preserves battery life, maintains performance, optimized for mobile networks."

"[Applications] 96% are approved, but there are things we have to watch out for. There have been issues, issues about content that's available to children for instance. But at the end of the day, we have a great solution that's working, and we're constantly making it better. We're tracking these numbers, and speaking with developers, and we are constantly doing that."

After the presentation, the Q&A began. Here are some quick highlights from the session:

Q: Flash? What are you doing?
A: We have no announcements on that topic today. But there are a lot of video streams we can handle. h.264 works great. We're adding HDTV streaming for audio and video. We think there's a lot of great video solutions for a single clip.

Q: Where do you stand on tethering?
A: Scott (explains tethering): We're supporting tethering in the client side, we're building that support in. We're working with our carriers around the world. We are building that support in.

Q : Are you addressing any of the lagginess with the new OS? We saw some of that when you loaded SMS up.
A: We're definitely addressing those issues. The units you saw today are demo units.

Q: Push notification, will you make uptime promises?
A: No.

Q: Why did copy paste take so long?
A: Scott: It's not that easy. There were security issues.

Overall I am very pleased with the updates that Apple is coming out with. As a Windows Mobile user, I myself have personally not given the iPhone a go because key features like MMS, C&P, and Push Notifications were not available on the iPhone. This major update is going to be a key player in the mobile phone arena. Microsoft and Windows Mobile has their work cut out for them. Overall I'm sure the millions of customers using the iPhone gives Apple a thumbs up, I do.

On a side not, there were a ton of new applications demoed today at this press event. Too many for us to list, so head over to Engadget for a look.

Kudos to Ars Technica and Engadget for the live blogging. Neowin reporter Sam Symons contributed to this article

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113 Comments

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I will also purchase the iPhone in the summer when it comes with the new hardware revision which i'm looking forward to.

All these updates plus more in the future will demand more power from the phone so it's only right it gets a little workout to get more muscle, hence the predicted hardware revision in the summer.

I just hope it is also released as a Pay As You Go phone only option in the UK!

I think Apple are fully justified in charging $9.99 for an OS upgrade. You will pay for the new OS X Snow Leopard thats arriving shortly, so why not an OS upgrade for your phone? I will probably get an iPhone when the new hardware revision is released in Summer and won't mind paying another $9.99 for OS 4.0 when it arrives next year.

When did Apple say that they would offer "Turn-by-Turn GPS for the Google Maps application"???

I thought Apple said they would allow Turn-by-turn, but the developer would NOT be able to use the maps API that includes the Google Maps due to licensing issues and would have to provide their own maps?

timster said,
well, a day after the preview and the SDK for devs is already 'out there' (as in, on sites other than Apple). don't be getting your panties all up in a bunch rushing to find it as it can only be used with a iphone developer account and locks down the phone to "testing" mode.

http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/sdk.html


Yeap; after I had installed the firmware, I had to log in to my developer account via iTunes in order for it to turn on fully.

stupid question but would sending/receiving MMS count as part of the data plan or is it separate from that like text messaging?

Clueless Fox said,
stupid question but would sending/receiving MMS count as part of the data plan or is it separate from that like text messaging?


I don't think it will, I think AT&T charges extra for it....they charge for everything.

Techno_Funky said,
So I can get Os 3.0 on my 1Genaration iPod Touch ... rite .. ?

You sure can; I have the beta running on my iPod touch 1G... it works well.

GreyWolfSC said,
Is there an iPhone emulator with the SDK?

From the dev site : "Includes the Xcode IDE, iPhone simulator, and a suite of tools for developing applications for iPhone and iPod touch."

Sucks that there's a $9.95 upgrade fee for iPod Touch owners. Apple is really ramming us in the arse with a steel pole on this one. Oh well. (snipped out a sentence - rm20010) Cheers!

If I was you, just don't rush into paying for a firmware upgrade. I didn't with v2 on my old touch and it paid off

SK[ said,]If I was you, just don't rush into paying for a firmware upgrade. I didn't with v2 on my old touch and it paid off ;)

I have to disagree with you there. I bought my 1st gen iPod Touch with the 1.x firmware, and as soon as 2.0 came out, I obtained it. It was much better, because even the first 2.x version was way more stable. When I bought my iPod, it would crash like 4-5 times a day (mostly with Safari). After I upgraded to 2.0, I barely got any crashes. So I have my hopes pretty high for the 3.0 firmware.

@Danielz : You also need to read my comment above. Apple HAS to charge for it and they decided $10 was a reasonable price.

Although I couldn't care less about MMS, why isn't it enabled in the 2G iPhone? MMS messages get sent through either GPRS or 3G, and I know the 2G iPhone handles GPRS, so what gives?

Glad to hear Apple finally caught on with Push Notifications and MMS. (can't wait to try those new features on my iPhone 3G) :D

Now the only thing left they absolutely need to do is to upgrade the darned camera when they introduce the new hardware in June! After all, 2.0 megapixels and no flash simply will not do anymore!

After this update I might actually consider getting an iPhone since its getting the basic features that my previous 3 non-smart phones had (if you classify smart phones the same way AT&T does - which is qwerty keyboard or touch-screen). Unfortunately for Apple they're a little too late and I won't be up for an upgrade for another 16 months...

Well Apple can get screwed, I'm not paying for a update other users get for free I'm sticking to 2.2 on my Touch thank you.

While I agree that I don't really get the whole pay-for-upgrade for touch users, unlocking bluetooth and addition of A2DP support for 2G iPod Touch may be worth dropping $10 for it.

Of course, I don't get to worry about it since I own an iPhone 3G.

@Xerxes : Read my comment above. Apple HAS to charge it to obbey the law. They decided 10 bucks was a good price.

well almost a year after the iPhone 3G launch, it will be to the acceptable level of usability it should've been since the beginning. Guess Apple felt threatened by the Pre, Android and other competing options.

Am_I_Evil said,
this ipod touch upgrade fee bull**** is starting to get a little annoying


Yea, maybe we could boycot Apple so that they stop doing upgrade fees!

Look, I'm also irritated that iPhone users get it for free and we don't. But apparently there's a law saying if you don't have a contract or anything, you can't get new features. iPhone users have a contract and we, iPod users, don't.

Btw there's always a way to get around that, but it usually goes beyond my skills. $10 isn't reaklly expensive for everything it adds, I remember back in the time, when they decide to include the original iPhone apps into the iPod, they would charge $20. I felt totally ripped of this time.

Explanations here : http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/01/17/ap...ifi_fee_update/
It justifies the fee for the U.S. only though.

Gabe3 said,
when will we get details about the new iphone because it should come out when 3.0 comes out.


Should be an announcement pretty soon on that :).

Anyone know if the iPod Touch 2G will carry 3.0 firmware when it's released or will it still be an $9.95 upgrade?

rayjin said,
Anyone know if the iPod Touch 2G will carry 3.0 firmware when it's released or will it still be an $9.95 upgrade?

I own an iPod touch 2G If they release a new one this year, it'll have 3.0 firmware, I think.

If the firmware 2.0 update was anything to go by, no it won't. I'm was actually pretty annoyed about that, bought my 1G Touch ages ago and 2.0 had been out for some time yet my Touch came with 1.0 and I had to pay extra to get 2.0, how stingy is that?? chances are even well after the release of 3.0, 2G Touches will still ship with 2.0 and you'll have to pay to upgrade, Apple are pretty good at screwing over the Touch users.

Xerxes said,
If the firmware 2.0 update was anything to go by, no it won't. I'm was actually pretty annoyed about that, bought my 1G Touch ages ago and 2.0 had been out for some time yet my Touch came with 1.0 and I had to pay extra to get 2.0, how stingy is that?? chances are even well after the release of 3.0, 2G Touches will still ship with 2.0 and you'll have to pay to upgrade, Apple are pretty good at screwing over the Touch users.

That's probably because you got one from stock. Any iPod touch from the online Apple Store shipped with version 2.0 the day it was released.

I can't wait for this release. June is only 3months away :)
Just shame wee're all so excited over a piece of software. That provides features alot of other phones do by default lol

As an Ipod Touch user I don't mind the $9.95 fee if it means a better running ipod. I love the touch (2G version) and use it every day. I hope it's release is soon......

You honestly shouldn't have to pay $9.95, especially when it's little things like that.

Zunes from 3 years ago all have the same new software features and we didn't have to pay a cent for the two major updates that they did. Also, the Zune updates were significantly greater than just some copy/paste and login credentials.

Apple just wants the extra money, simple as that.

I feel I shouldn't have to pay considering I bought a Touch 3 months ago. Bit poor, but hey, I can deal with it...

You do realize that the iPod Touch/iPhone can now do peer-to-peer across apps and documents. i.e multi-player games, apps, file sharing... Your Zune just took a sh!t on itself before slicing it's wrists. Just because you can't read past one sentence doesn't make this a minor update.

Yeah, Summer is what I heard. End of June is a good bet IMO, this update will come along with a brand new iPhone (new hardware), which should be able to record videos (there are 2 proofs in the new iPhone OS) finally.

Well maybe it will be time for me to use that upgrade i've been saving for a iPhone "3.0" (whatever the next version is gonna be called). I can get a 3G now for $99 and even though i'll finally get MMS and Copy/Paste i figured might as well wait for the next irritation to get the latest and greatest

solgae said,
Radio is different from iPhone 3G.


is the iphone 1st gen radio different from cellphones over the past 8 years that can do MMS?

Julius Caro said,
Why dont the old iphones get MMS?

does it need a special radio? i mean it thought MMS required AT LEAST gprs? which the old iphone has

Julius Caro said,
does it need a special radio? i mean it thought MMS required AT LEAST gprs? which the old iphone has

It probably needs a baseband update to do properly (a.k.a. according to spec), and Apple's either too lazy to do it, or thinks the 1st Gen is too old to support a baseband update.

EDIT: One has to remember that Apple's engineering resources are much, much smaller than say MS, and most if not all the radio engineers are probably working on the next-gen iPhone.

A FREE phone from two years ago has MMS!!! Come on, we all know that the iPhone should have MMS. Apple just likes being different and doing things with their own standards.

Sounds like some definite improvements! Will be the iPod Touch be able to share the love? (I'm assuming they're basically the same device minus the telephone part.)

GreyWolfSC said,
Sounds like some definite improvements! Will be the iPod Touch be able to share the love? (I'm assuming they're basically the same device minus the telephone part.)


The iPod touch gets everything in the new OS.. for $9.99.. but the iPhone Gen 1 will not get MMS and Stereo bluetooth . ah who cares.. hehe

This is what happened in the Q& A

Q: Is there a physical hardware problem on the first-gen iPhone that prevents it from doing MMS.
A: It̢۪s a different radio, so it is a physical issue.

I didn't expect MMS, I was already assuming it was a cell protocol. You could handle that with e-mail or IMs I guess.

GreyWolfSC said,
I didn't expect MMS, I was already assuming it was a cell protocol. You could handle that with e-mail or IMs I guess.

Nothing like getting OOo's and Aaahs from an audience for finally implementing a standard technology on a 2 year old platform.

I wouldn't have wanted it anyway. Free IMs via free WiFi hotspots would work for me. I try not to travel w/my friends in my pocket.

Yes.. its there.. I was following the live blog.. they've included spotlight.. spotlight also works within the iPod application..

and now Kevin Rose can suck his own dick... according to him MMS was confirmed to not make it... he's an ass and I don't know why people make news about his predictions... they are as accurate as GW Bush's prediction on the war timeframe...

His Copy and Paste predition was SPOT ON, he even explained how it would work exactly how they demoed it. From what I saw of the live Kevin Rose clip, he looked like he didn't want to give up too much information as to mess up his source, and also as if it was a brief conversation with his source.

Mr_Baby said,
lame a** update, probably something mainly to prevent jailbreaking or unlocking with current methods.

What do you expect? Flashy hardware, cartoon UI? please.... this is so you dont have to jailbreak, (whitch I'm glad apple wants stopped, people are lazzy)

barteh said,
I dont think you could be more wrong...
Clicky

Neowins post doesnt contain anything useful really.


Probably because at the time, we were updating as the news was coming from the live blogs. Article is completely updated now :).

There certainly isn't in 2.x firmware, which I was shocked at. Bluetooth is even hidden away in the settings menu. I wanted to send a video to a friend with a Sony Ericcson and couldn't find any way to do it. Hopefully 3.x will bring the iphone up to par with other phones in all the right aspects.

TCLN Ryster said,
There certainly isn't in 2.x firmware, which I was shocked at. Bluetooth is even hidden away in the settings menu. I wanted to send a video to a friend with a Sony Ericcson and couldn't find any way to do it. Hopefully 3.x will bring the iphone up to par with other phones in all the right aspects.

You couldn't find a way to send the video to your friend? I thought it had a "send via" capability.

"We were asked, why don't you do background processing? It's bad for the customer. It drains battery. We've been testing this, and running some background processes on some phones. We took a popular AIM client, and we just let go in the background -- then we measured the standby time. And it dropped by 80% or more."

Hmm... maybe that client, in fact probably every single iPhone app, wasn't programmed to run with lower CPU priority while in the background because no apps on the iPhone are supposed to do that yet. Wonder what Palm has to say on this?

Also bear in mind that in WebOS the cards keep repainting even while shuffling through them while the iPhone OS has to snap a screenshot to animate the window zooming out. If the Pre can still manage more battery life over the iPhone, Apple's doing something wrong here.

rm20010 said,
Also bear in mind that in WebOS the cards keep repainting even while shuffling through them while the iPhone OS has to snap a screenshot to animate the window zooming out. If the Pre can still manage more battery life over the iPhone, Apple's doing something wrong here.


Keep in mind that the Pre's CPU is ~1.4-1.5x faster. And it has an even more advanced GPU.

Fast does not mean power-hungry, though. There used to be a correlation, but the Pre might definitely buck it.

iPhone 3 (the hardware) supposed to be out this summer they can't update the hardware?!

Apple like milking this stuff basically selling a 2yo phone.

It's bad for the customer. It drains battery.


Wow. Thanks for giving me the surefire ticket to Windows Mobile 7, Apple. I decide what I wanna run.

Thecreativeone said,
Well, it is. Even on windows mobile

Eh. On Windows Mobile, the user can decide whether to run apps in the background or not. If you want to, understanding that it will drain the battery faster, leave it open. If not, close it. Choice is good.

andrewbares said,
Yea, background programs are very important, like copying a passage from an online source and then pasting it into Word all on your phone.

that works now. that's the whole point of copy+paste.
you can visit a website, copy a passage and paste it into any other application.

Sounds good to me. I like the current iPhone but still haven't gotten one yet because it's hasn't grabbed me yet. With some extra stuff added in i might take a closer look

GreyWolfSC said,
Engadget seems to have live photos, but I don't see a video feed anywhere.

Yeah, for Apple events, I don't think allow live videos; they usually just have a QuickTime movie up about an hour or so after it's finished, on Apple's site