Wednesday, June 17, 2009

iPhone OS 3.0 Round Up

There was lots of anticipation of Apple's new mobile OS, iPhone OS 3.0. Lots of new features that were wanted "pre-3.0" were released. Copy/Cut/Paste, more landscape typing, Push notifications etc. Other things we did not expect: Spotlight, bluetooth, etc. also made it on to the update. In this article, we will give you the basic new features in the iPhone OS 3.0 and we will also say how/if they worked.


if you liked Spotlight on the Mac, you will like the one on iPhone OS 3.0. It works uber-fast, often searching as you type. With spotlight, you can find virtually anything: apps, music, videos, emails, notes, etc. Not only can you search, you can also tap the item you are looking for, and it will open the app, or the appropriate app for which the item belongs to (i.e. song-music).

There are some shortcuts and settings that go along with Spotlight. If you want quick and easy access to the Spotlight feature, you can have it automatically launch by double clicking the home button (you can change this setting in Settings > General > Home). Just as you have the ability to order search results in Spotlight on your Mac, Spotlight on your iPhone allows you to do the same type of order. Just navigate to Settings > General > Home > Search Results. From this screen, you can enable/disable certain search results and control the order in which the search results are shown. Video below...

Push Notifications

Unfortunately, I did not get to see proper notifications yet, even after hours of use. I have received tons of e-mails, and not one notification on my iPod. Plus, I did not get any Pushes on Aim or Tap Tap Revenge 2 (probably b/c I havent been playing much, though I did get asked if I wanted the notifications). I guess its just the fact that most of my apps are not able to do it yet. Its ok though, I dont really need it, but I'm sure some of you guys would really want it for some reasons.


So far, Notes, Mail, Safari, Music, Contacts, and Stocks are the only standard apps with landscape functionality. Calendar, Clock Photo (browsing), Video, and Maps are the ones without "real;" landscape functionality.


Maps was mildly improved. A noticeable feature is when you set your start and end destinations, not only do you get regular directions, you also get directions for public transportation (departure/arrival times), walking (and walking distance/time), and driving (distance/time), or a combo of all three.


On the iPhone, you already had bluetooth, but the update enables "Stereo Bluetooth", allowing you to wirelessly hook it up to select car kits, stereos, etc. The same goes for iPod touches. Unfortunately, iPod Touches (2 gen) will not be able to be paired with BT mics (as far as I know, me trying 3 BT mics). I was able to pair my iPod with my Mac and my Phone, but there was no notable functionality.

Hopefully we can get BT tethering (Cell Phones -> iPod) so we can get out iPods on the internet anywhere.

Internet Tethering

For iPhone users only, tethering will be enabled. Functionality will be based on your phone's carrier, and unfortunately for AT&T customers, you will not get to officially tether for quite a bit. I would check with your carrier before tethering because some fees may apply.


Finally, iPhone users have the ability to send MMS to others. Now, you can practically send pics, vids, etc. to others, in addition to sending regular texts. Again, AT&T users will have to wait...till summer.


Pictures on the iPhone have long been a hassle to share with friends and family via email. When you navigate to the new Photos application and attempt to share some of your favorite pictures, you will see several new sharing options. You can now select up to 5 pictures to send via email, MMS, or MobileMe; you can also copy even more pictures than that and paste them into your favorite application. You can delete multiple pictures just by selecting them.

Youtube App

It went over a major overhaul. Individual video pages include comments, description, rating (and the ability to rate), the ability to comment, and flag.

Find My iPhone/ Remote Wipe

If you lose your iPhone or it gets stolen, you can track it, or have the phone's data wiped out.

Shake to Shuffle

It works one you get used to it. Typically, you have to quickly shake and stop. I guess this is to avoid random shuffles. Plus, it only works when the phone is unlocked (unlocked meaning after "Slide to Unlock").

iTunes/App Store

The iTunes application now gives you even more purchasing options. You can now purchase and download videos, including whole television shows and movies. You also have full access to downloading sections from iTunes U and Audio books. The AppStore now allows you a better view of application screenshots, a section that lets you find out which applications need updating, and a place to redeem those ever-so-popular app promo codes.

Cut, Copy, and Paste

No matter how excited you were about the iPhone supporting push notifications, I bet nothing can top your excitement for the new cut, copy, and paste integration. Any application that has text boxes or text areas will now allow you to cut, copy, and paste text to and from those boxes. Even if the application wasn't specifically built for the iPhone 3.0 in mind, I found that most applications could take advantage of the new feature.

To select text for cutting or copying, just double tap in the text area. The blinking cursor will turn to two blue insertion point markers that you can drag to select the text you want to copy or paste. Optionally, you can hold down your finger on the text area and then let go -- a balloon will pop up asking if you want to select, select all, or paste. Tapping select will bring up the two blue insertion points and let you highlight the appropriate text; the select all option will highlight all of the text in the box, and the paste will paste any text from the clipboard into the text area.

When you are ready to paste your text into an application or text area, just single tap and hold for a few seconds, then let go. A balloon will display the paste option. Selecting this option will place the clipboard contents inside of the text area. To undo/redo your paste just shake the iPhone left and right -- a dialog will ask if you wish to undo or cancel.

Other Features:

-Better Parental Controls
-Automatic WiFi logins
-Voice Memos (iPods require mics)
-Encrypt your iPhone and iPod Touch backups in iTunes

Check out the video above for an iPod Touch demo, since I don't have my hands on an iPhone.