At Apple's annual Worldwide Developer's Conference on Monday, the company announced refreshes to its flagship hardware and software. Included was a new version of the iPhone called the iPhone 3G S, which will be in stores later this month. This version sports a faster processor, longer battery life, video recording, and a digital compass. It also comes with higher memory capacity than previous models.
In addition, Apple unveiled refreshed versions of its notebooks, which are headed to store shelves starting today. Along with the usual speed increases, the newer 13-inch and 15-inch models cost less and include SD card slots. The entire line is also using the same non-removable battery technology found in the MacBook AIR and the 17-inch model of the MacBook Pro.
Along with the new hardware, the company demoed features from the next version of Mac OS X, code-named "Snow Leopard." It will available later this year as a $29 upgrade to current Mac users. Apple also announced that the next version of the iPhone OS software (version 3.0) would be available in less than two weeks.
Here's a quick (but detailed) recap of everything that was announced:
New iPhone hardware
Apple announced a new version of the iPhone, called the iPhone 3G S. It's got the same design and pricing as the current iPhone 3G model, but sports a faster processor that Apple says will load most apps somewhere between 3 to 5 times faster. It also comes in improved capacities, all the way up to 32GB up from 16GB.
The 3G S has an updated 3-megapixel camera (up from 2 megapixels) that has autofocus and autoexposure. It can also shoot video that can be edited right on the device in a similar fashion to iMovie. The video it takes is 30 frames per second at 640x480 VGA resolution, bringing it to spec with most point-and-shoot digital cameras.
The 3G S hardware also gets a magnetometer, which will allow the device to tell what direction it's pointed in. To go along with this, there's a new compass app that will act just like a normal compass. Users with the 3G S will get additional features in the Google Maps application that show which direction they're facing.
Apple also added built-in voice control that can start calls, find songs, and other information on the phone. The iPhone has long been criticized for not having voice support.
New iPhone software
Apple announced that iPhone OS 3.0 will be available worldwide June 17 as a free update to iPhone customers, and as a $9.95 update for iPod Touch owners. For an overview of what the software does, see our previous news roundup from the mid-March developer event.
Newly announced was data tethering over USB and Bluetooth is coming as part of the software update; however it will require carrier support, which means some carriers may not allow it. There was no mention of whether AT&T will be offering as part of its iPhone service, or as a paid add-on, which it has done for some of its other devices.
Users can now rent and purchase movies from the phone. This also works for TV shows. Previously you had to do this on iTunes proper, then sync.
There's a new feature called "Find My iPhone" that will be available only for… Read more