Apple iPhone 3.0 Impresses with Further Use

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2009-06-19 Print this article Print

REVIEW: On Day 2 of testing the iPhone 3.0 software updgrade, eWEEK Labs is finding itself falling in love all over again with the iPhone. This has everything to do with the updated software's search, new landscape mode capabilities and call history improvements.

The iPhone 3.0 upgrade's new Spotlight search, along with myriad refinements to apps I use every day, is making me fall in love all over again with my second-generation Apple smartphone.

Search isn't new to mobile devices; it's not even new to the iPhone. However, nothing provided by third-party apps comes close to the Spotlight search now available with iPhone software Version 3.0 Flick the screen from left to right, and the search interface appears. Spotlight searches everywhere on the phone, including e-mail messages, the calendar and contact information. When contact name searching was added in Version 2.0 of the iPhone software I was happy; the addition of Spotlight in Version 3.0 is really what I, and many others, have wanted for some time.

Check out these images of the iPhone 3.0's new features in action. 

Another great addition to the iPhone software is the ability to use e-mail in landscape mode. I get a lot of e-mail that is forwarded from a Yahoo group. The format of these messages makes the font unusually small, and double-tapping the screen to maximize it doesn't work because of other format elements in the message. Landscape mode does away with these problems and gives me a bigger keyboard on which to type.

More details in the call history record make it easier for me to get back to people. Before, if a contact called me I would tap his or her name to return the call--never quite sure if I was calling the person at home, on his or her mobile number or at work. That level of specificity has been added to the call history screen. When the number isn't known, the call history now displays the city and state associated with the area code of the caller. In previous versions of the iPhone software, call history used black text to indicate placed calls and red to indicate missed calls. An icon has been added to make the "all recent calls" view clearer.

Voice recording is now a built-in feature. I wrote previously about how I used a voice recorder app that I got from the App Store. This morning I deleted that app and will be using the built-in recorder for my taping needs.

One thing I'm not happy with is the battery drain placed on my iPhone to support the Find My iPhone and remote wipe capabilities. Before enabling the "push" feature that is required to let MobileMe interact with my iPhone, I could easily go all day without thinking of charging up. When using my iPhone with push enabled after an overnight charge, the battery indicator falls to the halfway mark by lunchtime.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

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