As promised, Apple on Wednesday officially released iPhone OS 3.0 to the masses. After spending some time with new operating system, I can safely say that users are getting a steal by getting this update free. We all have our iPhone wish list. Whether it’s the ability to copy and paste or increased security, we’ve all found something lacking with the first two generations of the iPhone. Not so much with 3.0.
You have to remember how Apple does things. They put out a piece of competent software that is very cool, update it fixing some glaring errors and then settle down to pack it full of features. We are now in the third stage of that process.
The iPhone isn’t the only thing they’ve done this with. Mac OS X was the same way, as was GarageBand. It’s how they do things and it’s smart. Get a solid foundation, and build on it.
There are some very cool things in iPhone OS 3.0. My favorite so far is Spotlight integration.
Spotlight is a Mac OS X technology that searches your entire system for documents and files based on keywords entered into the search box. It’s a very intelligent technology and one that I use constantly. I was thrilled to see it come to the iPhone.
You access Spotlight by going to the homepage and then going one more page to the left. Normally, the homepage is as far as you can go to the left, but now you can access Spotlight.
There’s a cool way to get there quicker too. On iPhone OS 2.0 if you pressed the home button, it would take you to the home page. On the new OS, if you press the home button once, wait a second and press it again, it will take you directly into Spotlight. A clean and easy way to get into searching.
Remember not to press the button twice too fast or you’ll end up at whatever preference you have set for that.
Copy and paste must be one of the most sought after features in the iPhone. At least it’s the feature that most people screamed about the loudest. Typical of how Apple does things, they have a beautiful implementation of copy and paste in the iPhone.
Put your finger on some text, hold and release when the magnifying glass comes up and you are presented with a pop-up menu asking you to select the text (or select all) you want to copy. The blue adjusters allow you to fine-tune you selection and then you click copy. It really couldn’t be any easier.
You can then go into any app on the iPhone and paste the text or image you chose.
Apple improved texting with the new release too. Now when you send a text, the iPhone releases the interface so you can begin typing another text instead of waiting for the first one to send. It actually looks and feels a lot like iChat now.
Of course, there is MMS and tethering, but we have no idea when that will be enabled by AT&T.
A very nice safety feature of the operating system is Find My iPhone, a new way to find lost or stolen phones. Find My iPhone works in conjunction with MobileMe to help people locate their phone.
Using the MobileMe Web site, Find My iPhone will display the location of your phone on a map. You can update your location if your phone happens to be on the move and display a message on the screen, even if the phone is locked.
If you tend to misplace your iPhone instead of losing it, Find My iPhone will let you play a sound on the device that will override the iPhone’s silent setting. Personally, I think I’ll be using this one a lot.
Other features include improvements to Safari, Stereo Bluetooth, and Parental Controls that allow you to block access to apps downloaded from the App Store.
Overall, iPhone OS 3.0 is a tremendous update for iPhone users. I updated my 3G iPhone without any issues at all.