So what did Apple announce today regarding the iPhone 3.0 software??? Pretty much everything that people were asking for. And to be honest, the people that were asking for video or background applications don’t understand the limitations of the current hardware. For the video stuff, sure video can be done with the iPhone, there are plenty of applications available to those of us that Jailbreak our phones, but the camera is really not meant for video, therefore to make this actually supported Apple would have to update the camera in the phones, which is a hardware issue, not a software issue. And as far as background applications, they’ve already explained many times in the past that running applications in the background would severely drain the battery life of the phone. And with a lot of people already complaining about battery life on the phone anyways, adding another power drain would not be wise, but this also leads me into what WAS announced (after the jump).
- Push – Essentially push is used to “push” data to the phone instead of having the phone go out and retrieve it on it’s own. This is really the only thing I’ve been waiting for since it was promised to us back in September (actually it was promised in June with a release of September). They demoed different scenarios where push would be useful, the main one being IM. Essentially you would log into your IM account and you would then be logged in on Apple’s server, so when you closed the application, you would still be logged in. Then once someone sends you an IM, Apple will push that notification to your phone, in real time. BeeJiveIM in the AppStore (as well as the new AIM client) do something sort of similar in that you are logged in on a remote server but the notifications come either via email or SMS, not through the data push and those applications are a little shotty when it comes to actually delivering all messages when they come in. So this is what I’m really looking forward to.
- AppStore Improvements – Not so much cosmetic or categorial(sp?) changes, but more so that now developers can milk the hell out of their applications by offering in-app purchases. For example, The Sims, you’re in the game, dicking around, maybe lighting your Sim on fire… then a little pop-up comes up and tells you that you can purchase a fire extinguisher for 0.99 cents, which then takes you to the app store which then comes out of your phone, rapes you, steals your wallet, and disappears, but at least you now have a virtual fire extinguisher… I don’t know how I feel about all these micro-transactions, but we’ll see how it’s implemented. Hopefully it doesn’t become too annoying.
- Peer To Peer – This actually sounds interesting/cool. It will allow you to use bluetooth to connect to other iPhones/iPod Touch’s to play games, interact within applications, etc. Essentially, multiplayer gaming without the need of a network. This could be quite useful at the office… So I’m interested to see how this plays out. Zynga Poker already uses Edge/3G/Wifi to allow players to play poker against other people over the network, so while it’s similar to this, it sounds like it can be implemented into a lot more things now. Oh, it also allows for transfering of things between iPhones/Touch like contacts and probably more.
- Accessory Interface – Essentially this will allow applications to communicate with different accessories and add-ons to the iphone via bluetooth and the data port on the phone. A cool example they showed was an app that monitored your glucose levels based on the data it recieved from one of those finger pricking devices (via bluetooth). The app then took that number into account and helped you base a diet around them. I’m sure there are a ton of ways this can be used, so this is a welcome addition.
- Embedded Google Maps – Applications can now access google maps and run it within their applications as well as allowing developers to use the core location feature for turn by turn directions and such. Another welcome addition, although I never really had a problem with the maps that other apps embedded in their interface, but we’ll see. I don’t have a 3G iPhone so turn by turn doesn’t do much for me.
- Cut, Copy and Paste – whoop di doo… This should make a lot of people happy (for some reason). Personally I cannot think of one instance where I really needed to be able to copy and paste something on my phone. I guess I could see it being used in the corporate world for stuff, but personally I don’t feel I’ll ever use this feature and I really don’t understand what all the hoopla over it was. But anyways, people cried and Apple heard them. It works pretty much how Kevin Rose told us it did a few days ago, you double tap or something, a menu comes up with 2 little draggy bars, drag the bars around what you want to copy, hit copy… goto other app, double tap, paste…. seems easy enough and should make people quit bitching.
- Send Multiple Pictures – You can now copy multiple pictures and send them in an email instead of just one. Again, I can’t think of any time I’ve actually needed to send more than one picture, but this is definitely something I can see having a use for in the future. Good show Apple, good show.
- Landscape Keyboard – Again another thing I don’t understand people getting so pissed about not having. personally I get annoyed with the landscape keyboard since it takes up so much of the screen, if I want to go back and re-read what I’ve written, I always end up hitting other buttons, or I’m only able to scroll up like 1 line because my finger moves off the screen. And I know you’re probably thinking I have huge gorilla hands or something, and you would be completely wrong… I actually have fingers that are usually found on annorexic women… yeah… exactly. So I don’t know, I guess I don’t see the draw of this, but people were asking for it and Apple gave it to them. It will work in Mail and SMS and possibly more.
- MMS (with a catch) – Another one of those pointless things people were bitching about the iPhone not having… Do people really send MMS messages? Maybe it’s because I’m not as young and hip as I used to be, but I have never once sent or been sent an MMS message. Maybe it’s cause most of my friends have Blackberrys or iPhones and we just email pictures to each other, but I don’t really get the point of this and why there was such an uproar of people hating on Apple for not including it. Anyways, you can stop bitching now, because you’ll have it in 3.0…. that is as long as you have a 3G iPhone. MMS will not work on the original model iPhone due to a few hardware changes they made in the 3G model (that’s the catch, and it’s only really a catch because i don’t have a 3G iPhone).
- Voice Memos – Sure… leave yourself voice notes… awesome, next!
- Spotlight and Search – Basically global search for the iPhone similar to Spotlight on the Mac computers. They also implemented seach in Mail and calendars.
- Stereo Bluetooth – Self explainatory I think.
And that’s pretty much it, there were a few other little things like being able to delete certain messages from SMS, and .ics support and probably a lot more functionality built into the new 3.0 SDK that they developers will get to use. So I’m sure we’ll start seeing some really cool apps and stuff once this upgrade is rolled out to consumers, which will be “this summer”… awesome. I just hope they release a new iPhone this summer so I can finally migrate over for my really old At&t Wireless plan and upgrade phones, but we’ll see. I’m guessing July if any time, we’ll get some sort of announcement on that, at which time we should see the 3.0 software. I just hope it doesn’t keep getting pushed back….
So what did you guys think of the announcements? Were you happy? Did you want more? What are you most looking forward to?