Emerging Technology

iPhone 3.0 operating system released – here’s why you need it

Patrick Stafford /

Apple has finally released the new iPhone 3.0 operating system for public download through iTunes, with users all over the world praising the long-awaited upgrade.

While some users have experienced problems downloading the upgrade and may have to wait a few hours, iPhone and iPod Touch owners are mostly pleased with the new operating software.

The upgrade, which iPhone users can download for free and iPod Touch users for around $AU12, contains over 100 new features, including:

• The long awaited cut-copy-paste capability.
• Multimedia messaging capability.
• ‘Landscape’ mode for e-mails and notes.
• Turn-by-turn GPS capability.
• Bluetooth connectivity.
• Spotlight, which allows users to search the entire device for any file.
• ‘Push’ technology that allows users to be notified the instant they receive an e-mail, similar to functions seen on BlackBerry devices.
• The ability to control external devices through settings on the device.
• Advanced YouTube streaming.
• Shake-to-shuffle.
• The ability to sync notes with a desktop computer.
• Wi-Fi auto login.
• iTunes account creation.
• Voice memos.
• Call logging.

Perhaps one of the most anticipated and highly praised new features is the Find My Phone app available through Apple’s Mobile Me service.

If a user’s iPhone is lost, its location will appear through Google Maps on the user’s Mobile Me portal along with the ability to transmit a message to the phone with emergency contact numbers. The iPhone can even be wiped of its data remotely.

The new software also allows application developers to create dozens of new features, including in-application commerce, in-application Google Maps and the ability to use Bluetooth to play multiplayer games.

The upgrade has been widely praised across the internet, with several users and tech analysts applauding the introduction of copy-and-paste, a feature widely seen on rival smartphone devices.

PC World wrote the upgrade improves the “iPhone experience” for both casual and business users, and that it could even negate the need to purchase new iPhone hardware.

“The iPhone OS 3.0 software update will certainly breathe new life into your iPhone or iPhone 3G, reducing the need to fork out for the iPhone 3G S.”

MacWorld wrote that the update is missing some features, and does not necessarily improve the speed of the phone’s operation, but that the software is still worth downloading.

“For most iPhone users, iPhone 3.0 is a no-brainer update. The addition of cut, copy, and paste alone makes this a must-have update; and as exhaustive as we’ve tried to make this review, there are plenty of other small tweaks and enhancements not covered here.”

“Overall, iPhone 3.0 offers useful new features and refinements of existing features. It doesn’t necessarily tick every checkbox on our iPhone feature wish list, but it’s a solid step in the right direction.”

Gizmodo Australia said that the upgrade is a great one, but that some of the features are long overdue.

“With the new firmware, the iPhone’s biceps have never been bigger. Spotlight Search is a powerful, industry-leading tool. And functions like Find My iPhone – for paying MobileMe subscribers only – will surely become standard practice in the mobile-connected world of the future.”

“It’s just a shame that most other improvements feel like defensive manoeuvres rather than a true watershed software revolution – most of this stuff should have been here already. Now that the phone’s critics should be mostly silenced, we’re interested to see where Apple goes from here.”

TechRadar said the upgrade is welcome, but that “We suspect that the most interesting things about 3.0 won’t appear until third-party developers start exploring them.”

“Until third party developers really start to take advantage of the new APIs, it’s evolution rather than revolution, but it does keep your phone current without forcing you to shell out any more cash.”

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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