Apple on Tuesday unveiled the next version of the operating system that powers the iPhone, dubbed version 3.0, at an invite-only event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. It will be available for developers beginning today, and to everyone else "this summer." It's a free upgrade for iPhone users; those who own the iPod Touch will again have to pay for the upgrade (Apple is charging $9.95). Here's a quick recap of what was announced:
Systemwide search Apple has integrated its Spotlight search technology across the entire device. This will let users search for specific e-mail messages, applications, contacts, and any other data from within those applications in one place. Users get to it from a new menu that's to the left of their first home screen. Swiping to the left brings up an open search box that brings in results as you type, similar to Spotlight search on Mac OS X.
Copy and paste for text, photos, and SMS One of the most-wanted features, the ability to copy and paste text will be making its way to OS 3.0. Users will be able to select sections of text and take them to other applications. This is one of the new APIs that Apple is releasing to developers.
To copy text, simply double-tap the screen, and it pulls up an option to cut, copy, and paste. Then simply drag a start point, and an end point, over the text you want, and then double-tap again. The phone will save the text in a clipboard, from which it can be taken elsewhere. You can also grab entire sections of text using a large rectangle that can be moved around to include paragraphs at a time.
Additionally, copy and paste will work with photos and SMS messages. For instance, if you feel like selecting multiple photos to send in an e-mail you can now select the ones you want, then send them together in one message. Previously you had to select them one at a time--through the Photos application, over to mail. The same goes for SMS messages too, so if you feel like relaying a text message to another contact you can simply forward it.
MMS You can now send and receive multimedia messages (MMS). This means text messages can be sent with photos and voice recordings, all without using the built-in mail application to do it. Missing, however, is any kind of video support, which is an MMS feature found on many other phones with built-in cameras.
Push notifications The feature that was supposed to appear in September of last year will finally be making its way to phones in version 3.0. Scott Forstall, the head of iPhone software development, noted that Apple had been late on this, and blamed the delay on scaling, saying that the original system was too taxing on both the handset's battery and its processing power.
The new system works just like old one, but has been optimized for over-the-air data transfer. It still relies on Apple's servers as a go-between to send audio alerts, text messages, and badge notifications. Users still have to fire up the application to get at the data though.… Read more