iPhone OS 3.0– First Take

iphone os 3.0 pic 2

IMG_0108

The new iPhone OS 3.0

Ok, as we saw from a lot of comments today, a lot of you are really pumped for iPhone OS 3.0 for the iPhone and iPod Touch that came out today. And you know us by now, we’re ones who hate to disappoint. We got 3.0 up and running (on an iPhone 3G), and we gotta say: in the first couple hours with it– it’s awesome. We got a full first take after the more link, but seeing is really believing, so go on, click here for info on how to get your iPhone update, and here for info on how to get it for the iPod Touch  (NOTE: iPod Touch owners– your gonna need to spend the $10 to upgrade– sorry to have to remind you of the bad news).

So, without further adieu, our first take on the all new iPhone OS 3.0

Install

Ok, so this is probably the most annoying part– downloading from iTunes, and if you got an iPhone, getting AT&T activation on your iPhone. Why do I say this? Well, like all other iPhone related releases, the demand has greatly exceeded Apple and AT&T’s servers causing MAJOR slow downs (if you remember, the first iPhone and the iPhone 3G and 2.0 update also crashed their servers, leading to major delays). I was lucky, getting my update to download and install at about 5:30, though your luck will vary. We wish you of course the best of luck, and we have a solid feeling you’ll be really happy with the new software. The download file itself  also is massive (about 230 megabyte), so your internet speed also will play a big factor in getting the update once the servers are back up at Apple.

After you get the download, things seem to go by pretty smoothly and easily in terms of install, with it all going for me in under 5-10  min (though it felt shorter, and I didn’t really keep time, so that just an estimate and your time again, may vary).

New Features:

Ok, here we go. How do all those new features (which we so elegantly covered in our 3.0 wrap up post) hold up? Seeing as I’ve head this for only a couple of hours, and therefore haven’t been able to go through everything, we’ll go through some of the big ones that we think you’ll be interested in. Let’s start with the new widescreen keyboard in email and text messaging. I’m really happy about this, and have wished Apple put this in since day one. I really love using the bigger keyboard for texting, and that is even after I’ve become used to using the standard vertical keyboard (it really makes things much easier). This should definitly make a lot of people really happy.

iphone 3.0 texting landscape

iPhone 3.0 landscape keyboard for texting and email

Next up: new iPod and iTunes features. For the iPod, the new major feature is what the new Shuffle has had– Shake to Shuffle. This works just like the Shuffle’s, with shaking your iPhone or iPod Touch in your hand leading to changing of the song. Basically, works as advertised. As we covered in our WWDC post, there is a new iTunes Movie and TV Show store on the iTunes app. Apple has made some orginizational changes since we first mentioned it in the WWDC post (such as having a music tab and then a video tab, nothing really major), but with regards to performance– we couldn’t actually test that because of the iTunes store being down.

Apple also added Spotlight, which basically gives you search for everything on your iPhone or iPod Touch, kinda like Finder on a Mac or Windows search in Vista or Windows 7. It goes through everything– contacts, apps, music, browsing history, and is really quite nice and easy to use. I just wish they’d add a dedicated iPod search in the iPod part for just going through your music.

IMG_0099

Spotlight in iPhone 3.0

Now let’s move to the new Voice Memo, and updated stocks and email apps. All three work as expected, and I really like the simple design of the Voice Memo’s app, which also gave off some really solid recordings (surprisingly, the Voice Memo app DOES work in the background of other apps, which I find to be just a little odd considering Apple’s stance on background apps). The major changes to the stock and email apps was that they can now be used in landscape (the text messaging app, now known as just Messages, also can be used like this), with stock graphs coming in much nicer and with even a little more detailed info (you can now drag your finger over the chart and landscape mode to view the exact stock prices at that given time). A nice update for the future Wall St. Readers in the audience (though for really detailed info I’d say go with an app like Bloomberg, which gives you a whole lot more info). The email app not only now includes the landscape keyboard mentioned above, but you can also finally search through mail. Also a very nice update.

iphone 3.0 record in background

See text in the pic above

There are also updates to Safari like being now able to open links from one site into another window (something I personally have been really waiting for), and a little thing called Cut, Copy and Paste. Yeah, a big fuss has been made about this, and Apple has finally put it into version 3 of the iPhone OS. It works as it should, and actually is pretty cool– tap on text to highlight and bring up options, drag the highlighted box to what you want to cover, then hit either Cut or Copy to, well, cut or copy it. To paste you just go to another text box (either in the same app or in another app– works throughout, so you can for example, copy something in Safari and paste it into a text), wait a second, and a little bubble saying  paste will appear. Tap that paste bubble, and done! Simple and hopefully will quiet all those people who have been begging for it and making such a big deal (I see that Apple should’ve put it in, and it really is a simple feature, but seriously, I can’t find it so big that people will use it as a reason NOT to buy an iPhone– I’m sure there are plenty of better ones than that if your looking for them).

Summary:

The new 3.0 update seems to be working great in it’s first couple of hours since it’s public release, and will only get better with all the little bug fixes and fine tuning that come with time  as this update isn’t yet perfect (for one, I really would love the new battery meter which displays your battery in percent left in addition to the icon, to be included in all 3.0 updates, not just in the 3G S). Still, iPhone OS 3.0 is great and will only get better because there are a ton of more features in iPhone 3.0 that are out there for developers to use, though seeing as the iTunes store is down, we can’t really test those at the moment. If you got an iPhone, the 3.0 upgrade in my opinion is a no brainier, and if your an iPod Touch user who would need to pay the $10 to upgrade? I’d also recommend it, as think about it– your gonna want to use all the cool new apps that really put 3.0 into full use, and will probably upgrade sooner or later, so why bother holding off (oh, and if you are an iPod Touch 2G owner– the newer version released last year, you even get Bluetooth!)?

Before we sign off, for all you iPhone 3G owners who bout your iPhone 3G, we got some real good news for you. No, it’s not word on when AT&T will allow you to send MMS from your iPhone or tether your iPhone to your computer, but rather some info regarding upgrading to that shiny new 3G S. As you know, if you wanted to upgrade, you’d previously have needed to pay either $399 or $499 to upgrade your exsisting iPhone to the 3G S. Today, AT&T out of the kindness of their hearts, have decided to lower that barrier for iPhone 3G owners who hit their 11 month since purchasing the 3G in either June, July, Auguast or September, to upgrade on the 3G S’s launch day (this Friday, June 19th) for the subsidized price of $199 for the 16 GB model, or $299 for the 32 GB model! And yes, we say kindness because AT&T in all seriousness would have been perfectly ok to just leave the early upgrade price as is and not lower it for existing 3G owners, something which we know a lot of other carriers don’t do for their phones (it’s like a 1 year contract for 3G owners if you think about it, getting the discounted price 2 years in a row for new devices, and something that we’re sure was hard for AT&T to actually do considering the price of the iPhone unsubzidized– think well over the early upgrade price of $500). Full details on that announcement can be found at AT&T’s site here.

So there you have it. Enjoy your new 3.0 upgrade iPhone and iPod Touch users, and remember to feel free to share your thoughts on it in the comments.

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Posted on June 18, 2009, in Apple, Cell Phones, First Look/Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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