• iPhone OS 3.0 Details & Developer Beta Released

    Apple showed everyone a preview of iPhone OS 3.0 and it was good. Many happy people. No mass riots. Fanboys & whingers (mostly) appeased. Only two reported suicides - mostly related to lack of Flash on the iPhone. They will not be missed.

    It all started off with Greg Joswiak (Apple's VP of iPhone Marketing) saying that the iPhone 3G is in 80 countries and that they sold 13.7 million iPhones in 2008. Since The iPhone's introduction in June '07 to Dec '08, a total of 17 million iPhones have been sold. There's also been 13 million iPod Touches sold since it's introduction also. So that means about 30 million devices with the iPhone OS out there. There's been 800 million app store downloads too. All nice and big, impressive numbers.

    Scott Forstall (VP for iPhone Software) pops in and gets to the meat of this event, iPhone 3.0

    In-App Purchase - ability to sell upgrades to an app from within the app. i.e: more levels of a game, extra cities in a city guide app, etc.

    Peer to Peer - lets you find other iPhones in the same area, using Bluetooth, to connect to them via Bonjour. Designed mainly for games, but can be used in any app (contact sharing over BT!). No need to pair devices, it's all automagic.

    Greater accessory support - developers can now build custom applications that talk directly to 3rd party hardware over the dock connector & Bluetooth. Examples given were an FM transmitter app, a speaker EQ app, interacting with medical devices (e.g: blood pressure cuff).

    Google Maps Embedding - maps can now be embedded in applications and using Core Location, apps can give turn by turn instructions. However, to do turn by turn, you cannot use Google Maps due to licensing restrictions. BYO maps for turn by turn.

    Push notification - it's alive! Promised a year ago, Apple decided to re-do the architecture behind it after receiving feedback from 3rd party developers. All good now and will launch with iPhone OS 3.0. This means no background apps, as Apple found it kills the battery really fast.

    Streaming media API - a new API for video and audio streaming, that automatically adjusts based on your available bandwidth.

    Cut, Copy and Paste - oh yeah, this is just what you've been dying for. It is hard to explain in text what to do, so you'll just have to watch the keynote video when it comes out later. It is good, I assure you. (Note: they used an email with flight info for Oceanic 815, hah). There's an API for it, so you can use it in your own apps too. Apparently this took so long due to security & implementation issues.

    Email multiple photos - exactly what it means. You can select multiple photos and pop them into a single email.

    Landscape keyboard everywhere - you know how in Safari, you can tilt the iPhone and get a landscape orientated keyboard? Well now that's in Mail, Notes and SMS. Huzzah.

    MMS support - you can finally send MMS picture messages to your loser friends who lack iPhones and receive them from your loser friends who lack iPhones. Hot dog!

    Forward & Delete SMS - you can forward on a single SMS and delete a single SMS. Welcome to 2009 Apple.

    Voice Memos - simple app to record snippets of audio

    CalDAV & .ics calendar subscriptions - yep, you can subscribe to CalDAV and .ics files over ze air.

    Stocks - some bullshit no-one here uses

    Spotlight - yep, they put Spotlight on the iPhone. You can search across many apps, such as iPod, calendar, email (which will even search email on your server, not just locally), Contacts, apps etc. Just like spotlight on the Mac

    Notes Sync - you can finally sync those notes that you make on your iPhone with your Mac

    3G Data Tethering - Apple is working with carriers to build it in to the iPhone for OS 3.0. More details will be out shortly.

    Bluetooth on iPod Touch - the 2nd Gen iPod Touch has Bluetooth hardware, Apple will be "unlocking it" for iPhone OS 3.0.

    1st Gen iPhones - MMS and A2DP won’t be available on the original iPhone

    Other stuff - there are many many more little things Apple has put into iPhone OS 3.0, like shake to shuffle, auto-fill, a call log, VPN on demand, YouTube accounts, live streaming, increased parental controls, stereo Bluetooth support, anti-phishing support and lots more.

    A beta of iPhone OS 3.0 is out now for developers to get their hands dirty with. For end users, it will be available in the US Summer (June, July or August - probably the last day in August - here in Australia). The update will be free for iPhone users, but will be $9.95 for the iPod Touch.
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