• iPhone 3 looks fantastic
  • iPhone 3 looks fantastic
    Written by battye
    Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:42 pm
     


    So Apple have announced the next generation of the iPhone - albeit only a software update, this is still pretty big news among the iPhone loving community. Put simply, it looks great. There are a couple of fantastic new features which will no doubt be crowd favourites; perhaps implemented by popular demand! There is a great iPhone 3.0 guide at Gizmodo, but I will post my take of the new features here.

    iPhone 3.0 will be a free upgrade to all iPhone users. Anyone using an iPod Touch wishing to use 3.0 will need to pay USD$9.99. iPod Touch and iPhone v1 users might not be able to make use of all of the new features however, due to hardware limitations.

    Next to each feature I have rated how useful I think it will be out of 10.

    Copy and paste (10/10)

    This has been a long time coming and has been the one major flaw in the iPhone software. Often when writing emails I have wished I could quote a very small section of an email, which is impossible without holding down the backspace key for prolonged periods and maneouvering the cursor a bit. Just yesterday I had a very long web address in Safari that I wanted to copy, so this new feature will come in very handy. It works by double tapping text, which will give a prompt to either cut, copy or paste.

    It is not just limited to text either, photos can be copied also - very useful for sending multiple photos in an email.

    Push notification (10/10)

    It is finally here. It has been promised for years, and now it is here. At the moment it is only Mail, Phone, SMS and App Store (these are the only ones I have seen it in) with Push - which is essentially receiving an automatic update over the cellular network. Having Push means there is no need for running apps in the background (which is best for saving battery life), and applications like instant messaging can still run efficiently.

    Spotlight (8/10)

    It's one of the greatest assets of the Mac operating system, and now it is coming to the iPhone. From iPhone OS 3.0 you will be able to search for information from anywhere on the phone. Finally, this means functionality to search for songs in the iPod app - something which has been sorely lacking from versions 1.0 and 2.0 of the iPhone software.

    Shake-to-shuffle (8/10)

    Small in the scheme of things, but this is something I have been hoping for for quite a while. Since trying out the latest iPod Nano in the Apple Store's and being impressed with their shake-to-shuffle mechanisms I have been hoping it would come to the iPhone. For most people this probably wouldn't be an 8/10, but I expect to use this feature a lot - so many times I have quickly wanted to hear a song at random.

    Un-cripped Bluetooth (8/10)

    Finally the Bluetooth functionality can be used for something. You can now send and receive files to other phones. Also, there is peer-to-peer functionality (apparantly without pairing, with other iPhone's it will be automatic) which will be useful for multi-player gaming.

    Landscape mode (7/10)

    Until now it's really only been Safari with the ability to use the keyboard in landscape mode. From now on this can be used in other popular applications such as Mail and SMS.

    Tethering (7/10)

    You can use wireless broadband on your laptop by connecting it to your iPhone 3G through what is known as tethering. This is a good addition, but in practice it might not be straight forward. The cellular carriers will in all likelihood charge extra to use this function because of course the data will all be going through their network. With small data allowances in many countries, often under a gigabyte, it might have limited applications besides the occasional web browsing session. Probably not recommended for downloading movies.

    Audio recording (5/10)

    App developers can now use an Apple API to take voice recordings within their programs. Additionally, Apple will be including a new App altogether with the iPhone to take voice memos.

    Turn-by-turn maps directions (5/10)

    Google Maps can't be used for turn-by-turn due to copyright reasons, but App developers (through releasing their Apps in the iTunes App Store) can use other maps to implement turn-by-turn. I don't know too much about this feature yet, but it will be interesting to see how these develop and whether the main GPS directions companies like TomTom will be quick to release their own iPhone apps. It's not a feature I would use locally, but perhaps in a foreign city there would be some real advantages to having a turn-by-turn app at my fingertips.

    MMS (4/10)

    Perhaps a step backwards for Apple? I have always been under the impression that MMS was left out of the first iPhone in order to push people towards email-on-the-go. Alas, by popular demand Apple have decided to include it after all. Besides pictures, audio files and vcards (contact information) can be sent through the cellular network. This could come in handy if you quickly want to send a snapshot to a mates mobile, but as far as the mobile phone industry goes it is a step backwards as it makes mobile email further away from becoming commonplace.

    Revamped SMS client (3/10)

    In addition to the new MMS feature - which will be integrated with the SMS app, so any photos sent to you appear within the "conversation" - the standard SMS features have been modified. It is now possible to delete individual messages (not only entire conversations like currently) which is a welcome addition I think.

    Changes in Safari (3/10)

    You can now let Safari remember your login (username/password) details for certain sites. This will be a time saver if you continually log into forums or social networking sites and don't want to use cookies. Also, there will be anti-phishing filters within Safari to warn you of any suspicious websites.

    -----------------------------------

    There are a couple of other minor new features which can be read about on the Gismodo link given above, or on the various Mac and Apple related websites.
     
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