Yesterday at 10:00 PST, Apple released iPhone OS 3.0 and of course their servers went to a crawl most of the day. I happened to get a copy of the OS a little early 🙂 , so I didn’t have any problems with updating mine. I thought I would post a few screenshots showing the new features and some of the subtle things that might be easy to miss. I’ll start with the big ones first.
System wide spotlight search
OS 3.0 adds a new search feature that allows you to search your entire phone. There is a new page to the left of the first app page. You just swipe to the left and your presented with a search bar. On my phone I searched the term ebay and it brought up my ebay app, the Weird Al Ebay song, and some email that I have received from ebay. I can tap on any of those and it will bring up the item.
You can customize what items the search brings up by going to settings/general/home/search results The screenshot below shows all the searchable items on the phone.
A search bar has also been added to many of the built in apps where as before it was only in the contacts screen. Below shows the search now in the email app and the notes app. You can also search within the iPod app I just forgot to take a screenshot.
I love the new search especially the system wide search. I think this will come in handy for users that have many pages of apps. Sometimes I find myself hunting around the pages trying to find a certain app, but now as long as I know the name I can just go to the search and launch it that way.
Copy and Paste
Copy and Paste is finally on the iPhone. Probably one of the features that should have been there in the beginning. I got to the point where I didn’t mind having it as an option, but now that it is here I find myself using it quite a bit. Basically you just hold your finger at the area you want to copy, a bubble comes up asking if you want to select or select all. Then you can adjust the selection with the little holders and choose from cut, copy, and paste. You then move the insertion point to where you would like to paste and then the bubble comes back up again and select paste. Hopefully that made some sense. 🙂 If you want to undo the paste you just shake the iPhone and then it will come up with that option.
The messaging app now does text messaging and mms. Unfortunately, AT&T does not support mms at the moment, but has said it will be available later this summer, so I have not been able to try out that feature. However, there are some new tweaks in the messaging app. One of them being it now supports the landscape mode keyboard. The keyboard has also been applied to the notes app and has always been available in the email app. I thought I was decent with the normal keyboard, but I do find my accuracy is a little better with the landscape mode. Here is a pic of it in action.
Another new feature is now you can now also delete individual messages. Where as before you could only delete the whole conversation deleting all the messages you had received from that person up to that point.
There is now a new voice memos app which allows you to take voice notes and even share them by email. Before this app there were some 3rd party ones on the app store, but this one seems to do a decent job for basic stuff.
The stocks app has been updated to a new landscape mode. Here is an example showing Apple’s stock.
With the photos app you can now email up to 5 photos where as before you were limited to just one. You can even copy and paste the photos. You just tap on the icon in the lower left hand corner and then it allows you to start selecting photos. Then hit share to email them.
The youtube app now allows you to log in with your youtube account, so you can rate videos and leave comments now. Here is mine logged in showing the videos I have uploaded to youtube.
In Safari now if you hold your finger on a link it give you some new options which include: Open, Open in New Page, and copy the link, so you can paste it somewhere else like an email.
In contacts you can now email that contact as a vcf file. Just bring up the contact on your phone and tap on share contact. It will them open up an email with the vcf file attached. Here is an example with the store Cobwebs in Salt Lake. This is almost similar now to back in the old palm days when you could beam contacts between devices with IR.
Incoming Calls/Call History
This is one little touch that I like. Now when you have an incoming call or check your call history below the name it tells you where they were calling from based on the info in your contacts. Now I know if someone called me from there home phone or mobile. Also, now an unknown number shows what city/state the number is registered in.
Another new feature, that was available on some iPods, is the ability to shuffle to the next song by shaking your iPhone. Finally, the iPhone now supports stereo bluetooth headphones. I’ve been looking at getting some of those as that will eliminate the cord while I mow the lawn this summer.
I believe that covers most of the changes. I’m sure there are more that haven’t been discovered yet. Overall a great update that adds many features that users have wanted since the release of the first iPhone two years ago. For me it has been very stable and the whole OS seems a little faster than it was before which is pretty good for a .0 release. The main feature I’ve been wanting to try is push notification. Apple seems to be taking their time to approve apps that use it. As of right now no instant messaging apps have been approved. I’m wondering if they are beefing up their servers for it. I read on the Beejive support forums that they submitted their app a little over a week ago and are just waiting for it to be approved. I’ll do an update once I am able to try that out.