The long awaiting new features of the iPhone operation system 3.0 have been met with much excitement. Those who have been converted to this user friendly phone have patiently waiting for the new operating system for some time now and it looks like the light at the end of the tunnel is fast approaching.
Many in the industry have suggested and even prompted the type of updates Apple should make, but in true Apple style they have taken their time, assessed all thoughts and decided upon their own direction. Although not all suggested features have been addressed, Apple has tried to improve the offering on the device in terms of usability, its key feature.
When iPhone OS 3.0 arrives later this year, it will introduce over 100 new features. I've picked my favourites to share with you:
o Copy & paste photos. Now you will be able to select multiple photos by tapping the action button, copying the ones you want and pasting them into an email, ready to send to all your friends. This feature has been asked for ever since the first version on the iPhone came out. Finally Apple have created this long awaited add-on.
o New Spotlight. iPhone OS 3.0 will allow you to search across all information contained within your device, no matter where you are (Application or otherwise). If an application is written to support the new Spotlight, its data will also be available in the search tool.
o Search in Mail, Calendar, and iPod. These Apple applications have specific search interfaces. The search in Mail doesn't go so far as to support the message content yet, but it supports searching in IMAP servers--that will save a lot of time logging into Gmail if that is what you have set-up.
o 3G Tethering. This feature will allow you to connect your iPhone 3G to a laptop and use it as a modem to access the internet. Local Carriers are still to sign-off on it, and will probably end up charging more for this service, but none have announced anything as yet. Stay tuned.......
o Landscape keyboard. Apple has added the landscape keyboard mode to other applications, like Mail, SMS, and Notes. This is another feature that has been long awaited since the first version was released. Those of us who have slightly 'Fat' fingers will now be able to write e-mails without the need for corrections (Hopefully!)
o Support for new calendar types. In iPhone OS 3.0 you will be able to subscribe to calendars on the web using two protocols: CalDAV--supported by Google and Yahoo--and subscriptions via the .ics format--which is what Apple uses in iCal.
o Improved stocks application. The stocks application now allows you to read related news, so you can enjoy yourself learning about the latest market scandals, stock crashes, and executives getting bonus packages from government aid while their companies sink into hell. Thank you, Apple.
o Automatic login in Safari. The new version of Safari will remember login credentials, so you won't need to introduce your username and password again. Surprising that this was not thought of initially when they developed the device.
o Shake to shuffle music. If you are in your iPod application, you just need to shake it to start the shuffling mode. Hopefully this will be optional for sports people out there. This is one feature that has come from the development of other phone devices, but shows that Apple do not always come up with all the best phone features for users.
o Wi-Fi auto-login. In case you have a subscription to a paid hotspot, your iPhone or iPod touch will auto-log into it.
o Anti-phishing. Mobile Safari can now warn you against malicious sites trying to scam you. A great security feature in these days of e-mail spamming. As the users of the iPhone increase year by year, so will the people trying to spam it.
o Extended parental controls. Adult content filters can now be applied to movies, TV shows, and applications, in addition to web sites and music. One for the parents, as more and more underage children are now using this device it was paramount for Apple to be on the front foot in developing this feature. This really shows the power of this device in the youth market, as when I was a child, having a mobile phone was a pipe dream. Now you see school children with them every day.
So, to sum up...... It looks as if Apple, while addressing many outstanding user issues, have not gone too far forward in developing over and above what is needed right now. One suspects this falls in line with how Apple has marketed most of their products over time. Give them what they are begging for, but leave the rest for a latter time.
As a user myself, I can't say I am disappointed. I am still going through the honeymoon period of this device, still too early for petty bickering at this stage.
Until next time........