Apple today has announced enhancements that iPhone OS 3.0 will bring us. Below is a recap of the event held at the TownHall Event.
“The new iPhone OS 3.0 is a major software release packed with incredible new features and innovations for iPhone customers and developers alike. It will keep us years ahead of the competition,”
said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.
The iPhone OS 3.0 beta software and SDK include over 1,000 new APIs and are available today for all iPhone Developer Program members to use for the development and testing of their apps for iPhone and iPod touch. Included in these APIs is the ability to leverage the incredible purchase model of the App Store within apps.
Subscription Content Feature
In-App Purchases will allow developers to offer subscription content and provide the ability to sell new content and features in a simple and secure process. Developers can also more easily create peer-to-peer games for iPhone and iPod touch by using Bluetooth.
Another key developer feature in the iPhone OS 3.0 beta software is the ability for apps to interface with hardware accessories, creating a whole new element of control for iPhone and iPod touch accessory developers as well as a new ecosystem of solutions for customers.
Developers will also be able to use Apple’s new Maps API to integrate Google Mobile Maps services within their apps which will offer Google Map tiles, current location, custom annotations, and geocoding. The iPhone OS 3.0 beta software includes the Apple Push Notification service which provides developers with a mechanism to alert users with sounds, text, or a badge.
Notable IOS 3.0 Features
Cut/Copy and Paste
Yes, it’s finally here. We now have the ability to copy and paste text anywhere we please.
Multimedia Messaging System
The very popular MMS feature that is found on any phone these days will now work on the iPhone, allowing you to send photos via text messages with ease. No more having to send to email addresses! Yes!
Not only can you search for contacts you can now have the ability to search your emails, iTunes, notes, and email. Spotlight was also added to allow searching across the entire iPhone for a keyword.
Now, natively supported- Voice Memo will allow you to record a voice message and play it back on demand. No need for an external app here.
Email Supported Landscape Typing
You can now type emails in landscape mode with a larger keyboard! Finally. This also works with any of the other Apple Apps that require keyboard input, simply turn your iPhone on its side and type away.
Google Maps Integration
Apple will now allow developers to use Google Maps integration within their app instead of sending users away from their app to open Safari for mapping. This will also allow the iPhone to have turn-by-turn navigation with GPS navigation applications.
You can now email multiple pictures at once. This should have been in OS 1.0 🙂
The iPhone will now natively discover other iPhones automatically so that they can network to play games together. This could be big! I know we have some apps already that use WiFi for this purpose, but they have problems of their own.
Now you can close out and clear all your browser windows (tabs) without first having to create a new blank page. Didn’t you always hate not being able to close out the “last page” because there is no Red X to do so? They finally fixed this.
Push Notification Settings
Under Settings you will find a Notifications area where you can turn on and off three different notifications settings; Sounds, Alerts, and Badges. They all can be disabled as a whole as well to help conserve battery life.
Enhanced Battery Life Indicators
In iPhone 3.0, Apple has given us the option to show battery life in a numerical percentage. This will give users the ability to hopefully choose how they want the battery indicator to be displayed from percentage and numerical.
This feature allows any applications that have phone numbers, email addresses, and street addresses to automatically become ‘underlined’ to have further functionality. For example, if you are reading a text with an email address in it – you can click on that email address to then be able to send an email to that address or to save it as a contact. The same is true for a phone number; you can choose to call it or save as a contact.
Missing in Action
We still do not have tethering support formally announced nor do we have Flash Video for Safari. These two things could easily be added without a major release like 3.0 however.
Today, the groundbreaking App Store has more than 25,000 applications available to consumers, and 15 more countries have been added so the App Store is now available in 77 countries, allowing developers to reach more than 30 million iPhone and iPod touch users around the world. Developers set the price for their applications and retain 70 percent of all sales revenue.
Apple covers all credit card, web hosting and infrastructure costs associated with offering applications on the App Store.
The iPhone OS 3.0 will become available this summer and will be free to iPhones customers. iPod Touch users will have to pay a $9.95 update charge if they wish to upgrade.