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iPhone OS 3.0 unveiled


March 17, 2009

iPhone OS 3.0

iPhone OS 3.0

Apple today unveiled OS 3.0 for the iPhone and iPod touch, which is set for release this summer (that's June-August for those of you south of the equator). It's far from the revolution some were expecting, and strikes us as more of a defensive play to bring the iPhone further in line with its hardware capabilities, users' desires, and the increasingly heated competition from Android, BlackBerry and Palm's imminent release of the Pre. Read on for the full details.

Core functionality

Cut, Copy and Paste for text and images.

Spotlight allows you to search everything on your device including e-mails, songs, applications and notes.

AD2P support brings pairing with stereo Bluetooth headphones/speakers. (iPhone 3G only)

MMS support including sending and receiving vCards. (iPhone 3G only)

Tethering support to use your iPhone as a modem. While the functionality is there, it's up to your provider as to whether they enable it, and charge you for it. (iPhone 3G only)

Wi-Fi autologin can automatically log in to Wi-Fi hotspots.

Parental controls for all App Store content.

Application upgrades

Landscape mode for all core applications.

Note sync allows you to synchronize your notes with Windows and OS X.

Calendar gets CalDAV support, and syncing with iCal, Yahoo, Google or Oracle.

Stocks will display recent company news and current trading information such as Market Cap.

Shake to shuffle added to iPod.

New applications

Voice Memo.

Developer functionality

Spotlight integration - Developers can add Spotlight support to expose application data to searches.

Push notification - Apps don't need to be running to receive information from the web and notify you with a sound, vibration and/or number badge on the application icon.

Google Maps integration - Developers don't need to handball you over to the Maps application anymore. It can be embedded in their application, with complete functionality including pinch-zooming and turn-by-turn.

Peer-to-peer - Two iPhones can find each other via Bluetooth and automatically connect via Wi-Fi, to transfer contacts or files (don't get your hopes up about swapping music) or go head-to-head in a racing game.

In-app purchases - The Store Kit framework allows developers to sell things from within an application, like extra levels in a game, or the renewal of a subscription. Hopefully this will also allow for an Xbox Live Marketplace-style demo-to-full-version function.

VOIP communications - Developers can now add voice chat to their applications and games.

Accessory communication - Talk to "Made for iPod" hardware through the dock or Bluetooth.

Music library integration - Applications will be able to access the music on your device. (We suggest you prepare for a tidal wave of DJ applications.)

Developers can, and should, grab the iPhone SDK for OS 3.0 beta from Apple.


Free for iPhone users, US$9.95 for iPod touch users.

What do you think?

Are these latest additions enough to convince you to buy your first iPhone? To not break your existing contract and move to another device? Too little, too late? Let us know in the comments!

Tim Hanlon

About the Author
Tim Hanlon Tim originally came to Gizmag as a developer, much to the dismay of anyone who had to maintain, build on, or rewrite his code. After wearing every other hat that didn't have a head for it, he became CEO in 2010. Outside Gizmag, he trains Muay Thai and plays too much Destiny. All articles by Tim Hanlon

Cut n paste, ability to send business cards, modem tethering - these addressed my main complaints with the iPhone3G which is otherwise a brilliant gadget.

Ability to sync with Google calendar will be bloody fantastic, and the new abilities for app developers will surely bring us a whole bunch of new apps. Might not be a huge revolutionary change, but I'm excited about this update!


I'm excited about the update too - it might just be enough to resist switching to Palm Pre (and not bother jailbreaking after I update to 3.0). It appears the last thing missing from the phone that users are clamoring for is Flash support.

However, in my iPhone world, there's one thing that never fails to make me consider another device - the fact I need to use an ugly workaround to trick another machine into putting music on it - even if those machines are mine, with the iTunes installation linked to my Apple ID.

I never had to do this on my iPod nano or my first-gen iPod touch, and I didn't expect to drop so much money on something that took that functionality away. The fact the workaround hasn't been patched out of recent versions of iTunes (indeed, it's been made a little easier) leads me to believe that Apple doesn't really care, so why not just make it the norm and save me the hassle?

Tim Hanlon

I still miss any reference to the "F-word". Are Adobe and Apple still talking, or have they given up? As for the rest of the update: great (and very late).

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