As expected, Apple announced a third version of the iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 3G S (the S stands for speed) today at the keynote for WWDC 2009. This new version has several updates over the iPhone 3G model, and here they are:
- As the name implies, the new iPhone 3G S is supposed to be faster. Apple boasts that you can load Web pages and launch apps twice as fast as the previous model. It also promises improved 3D graphics for games.
- A 3-megapixel camera with autofocus. You can also focus by tapping on the screen. It will also have settings for white balance, exposure, low-light sensitivity, and a macro mode for close-up photos.
- A camcorder. You can shoot VGA-quality video in 30 frames per second, and after you're done, you can trim the video by adjusting the start and end points. You can then send the video via MMS (included in iPhone OS 3.0) to a friend, to your MobileMe account, or even to YouTube, directly from the phone.
- Voice control, but not just for calls. Not only can you manage phone calls with your voice, you can use your voice to play music. You can ask the phone what song is playing, ask it to play a particular song from an artist or an album, and even to play songs that are similar to the currently playing track.
- A built-in digital compass. It automatically reorients the map to the direction you're facing. It works in conjunction with Maps to give you street view as well.
- Voiceover, an accessibility setting on the new iPhone 3G S that acts as a gesture-based screen reader.
- Compatibility with Nike+ iPod, where it detects the Nike+ sensor in your shoe to track your runs.
- Improved battery life. Apple promises that the iPhone 3G S can hold up to 9 hours in Wi-Fi, 10 hours on video playback, 30 hours on audio playback, 12 hours talk time on 2G networks, and 5 hours talk time on 3G networks.
- The 16GB model will be $199 with a new contract and the 32GB model will be $299 with a new contract. They will be available June 19, 2009.
Of course, this is in addition to the iPhone 3.0 features that were promised earlier this year, which include copy and paste, voice recording, Internet tethering, and stereo Bluetooth. Older iPhones will be able to get the iPhone 3.0 update for free. The iPhone OS 3.0 update will be available June 17, 2009.