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March 18, 2009

iPhone 3.0: heaven in your hand

It's taken too long, but at last the iPhone will have cut and paste and MMS messaging! But they're just a couple of more than 100 new features that Apple's iPhone 3.0 operating system brings to the device. Set your Twitter search to iPhone and you'll be swamped by news and reactions to the [Northern] summer release that will bring other goodies like stereo A2DP Bluetooth, system-wide Spotlight searches, the ability to use it as a wireless modem, turn-by-turn GPS directions et alia.

The new software not only addresses pretty well all our reservations, with more than 1000 new APIs for developers, it's going to provide a heap of new application features and, with the ability for apps to interface with hardware accessories, other gadgets. Top of our wish list: a foldup external keypad like the much-missed Stowaway range. The downside is that new features like Voice Memo are probably going to create headaches for app providers like ReQall.

We can feel a new benevolence towards Apple. Yes, they should have had push notifications ages ago, but by taking the time to re-architect the server application, battery life will be diminished by only 23 per cent, rather than up to 80 per cent for Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices that use background processes.

Of course, some of the cute features like shake to undo aren't exactly original - Etch a Sketch for one had that way back in '06 - but it's good, isn't it, to know that Apple isn't going to be tethered by the "Not Invented Here" syndrome.

Unfortunately the other big item on our wish list - full compatibility with Telstra's NextG network- will require new hardware. We don't know if the next version will have Nokia's multi-band capabilities, but doubtless we won't have to wait too long to find out.

Posted by cw at March 18, 2009 07:30 AM

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The third generation of anything in the tech world usually brings the best functionality and here with the iphone, it's no surprise they waited till this iteration to bring in all the good stuff.

It's a good thing they worked out a few things first before adding some of the features we take for granted on other phones. And good that with things like push notification, they work out battery life, too. Done wrongly, we'd have had an iphone that would have given out after only a few hours.

Whether this will make the need for jailbroken apps less necessary remains to be seen. But there again, some of the more recent jailbreak stuff is usually only themes, with only a rare amount of good apps you can use for really important or handy stuff. I haven't exactly seen too many good Twitter-related apps turning up on the Cydia list.

I like jailbreak functionality, but I also want to see non-Apple developers come up with something more than just themes or ringtones.

I'm looking forward to iphone O.S. 3.0 regardless.

Posted by: George Hall at March 21, 2009 02:34 PM