iPhone 3.0: A Look at what’s New

Apple revealed the latest iPhone OS, version 3.0, today. This update brings more than 1,000 new APIs to the interface. With the new APIs, developers will be able to add features such as in-game voice chat, iPod library access, battery information, GPS information, and the ability to copy and paste text. Additionally, the landscape keyboard is now supported by all core iPhone applications.

iPhone SDKThanks to the new API, developers will be able to create hardware accessories as well as software. Developers and users will also be able to take advantage of the new Peer to Peer feature. With this feature, two iPhones can discover each other via Bluetooth and then connect directly via Wi-Fi (no Wi-Fi network needed) to share files.  

You’ll also get the ability to send audio messages, vCards, and GPS locations via MMS. Voice Memos are part of the iPhone 3.0 as well.

Another new feature with iPhone 3.0 is push notification. With this feature, applications will be able to receive messages automatically. With this functionality, your iPhone will vibrate or play a sound when a new instant message comes in, even if the application isn’t currently running.

The Maps application also received an update with iPhone 3.0. The Maps feature now includes custom annotations, and developers can use CoreLocation information to develop turn-by-turn applications.

Other noteworthy changes and additions include:

  • Users will now be able to search across all apps, including Mail using the new Spotlight.
  • Stereo Bluetooth A2DP will be supported by iPhone 3.0.
  • 3G tethering that lets you connect your iPhone 3G to a laptop and use it as a high-speed modem will be made available, though carriers will have to sign off on it.
  • The Calendar now supports the CalDev standard.
  • The Stock app was updated to deliver news updates for selected stock tickers.
  • Mobile Safari will have new anti-phishing tools to help protect against malicious sites.

The iPhone isn’t the only thing receiving updates. The App Store will now have the ability to buy additional content within applications. For example, a game developer could sell you additional levels within a game and bypass the App Store. Additionally, a magazine could add issues to your current subscription using this feature.

In addition to the announcement, Apple disclosed a few statistics and facts surrounding the iPhone. More specifically, the company sold 13.7 million iPhones through December 2008. Combined with the iPod Touch, Apple sold approximately 30 million devices. The

company also made a point to say that over 60% of the application developers for the iPhone have never developed for Apple before. Finally, in one year's time, the free SDK has been downloaded over 800,000 times.

The iPhone 3.0 update will be available for free to iPhone users this summer. iPod Touch users will have to pay $9.95 for the updated OS.