Apple Dishes Up iPhone OS 3.0 to Developers at WWDC

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-06-08 Print this article Print

In addition to announcing new versions of the Mac OS and the Safari Web browser and a new handset, among other things, Apple also announced iPhone OS 3.0, the next version of its iPhone operating system, at the company's World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference June 8 in San Francisco, in addition to announcing a new version of its Mac OS, a new version of its Safari browser and a new iPhone handset, among other things, Apple also showed off iPhone OS 3.0, the next version of its iPhone operating system.

According to several reports and attendees live-blogging from the June 8 event, Apple executives demonstrated new features of the iPhone operating system and several Apple partners demonstrated applications built to run on iPhone OS 3.0.

The new iPhone OS, which has been being beta tested for several months, features cut, copy and paste capabilities, not present on the iPhone up to now.

ZDNet's Ed Burnette, who was live-blogging the event, delivered a solid play-by-play of the keynote and remarked on the polish of some of the applications and games demonstrated:

Looks like the time for developers working out of their garage on little or no budget has come and gone (again). Games like Asphalt 5 are highly polished, very expensive to make. We're talking millions of dollars here, folks.

The New York Times had a duo of reporters live-blogging the WWDC keynote who mentioned the new iPhone OS features, including, "Landscape mode: In 3.0, it will be available for all the phone's applications such as Mail, Notes and IM client messages. Messages will also get support for MMS [Multimedia Messaging Service], which lets users easily send multimedia over wireless networks."

In addition, iPhone OS 3.0 includes what Apple calls Spotlight Search, which enables users to search through e-mail, contacts, and other content and applications on their phones and to conduct Internet searches. This also is a feature in the upcoming "Donut" version of the Google Android operating system, known as Android 2.0.

Apple also is adding support for additional languages-Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Korean and Thai-to the iPhone OS, bringing the number of supported languages to 30.

In addition, the New York Times said Apple has delivered a "new SDK [software development kit] API, including in-app purchases, which allow developers to sell new levels or game packs, and magazines, newspapers and blogs to sell subscriptions."

And Engadget wrote of a few surprises Apple delivered with the new iPhone OS:

??Ç Users will now be able to rent and purchase movies from the phone, along with audiobooks.

??Ç MMS will be available from 29 carriers at launch, with AT&T lagging behind into the summer.

??Ç Tethering over Bluetooth and USB for Macs and PCs is also enabled, with 22 carriers announcing support, but AT&T wasn't mentioned among them-we're not holding our breath.

??Ç New and improved Safari does JavaScript 3X faster, and supports QuickTime X-style HTTP streaming of audio and video. There's also AutoFill for forms, and improved HTML 5 support including audio and video tags.

??Ç Find My iPhone tracks down your phone using MobileMe from any browser. It locates the phone on a map, and also allows you to remote wipe the device, or even play a sound on the phone for locating it around the house-even when it's on vibrate.

??Ç New dev features have been detailed at length, but they're still around. Features include in-app purchases (but only for apps that were paid to start out with), Bluetooth and dock connector communication with other devices, including other iPhones. Embedded Google Maps in third party apps, including turn by turn apps. Push notifications of text alerts, number badges and sound alerts.

And according to Apple's press release describing the new technology, the new iPhone OS 3.0 software contains more than 100 new features including:

Cut, Copy and Paste; MMS; Spotlight Search to search across iPhone or within Mail, Contacts, Calendar and iPod; landscape keyboard for Mail, Messages, Notes and Safari(R); expanded parental controls for TV shows, movies and apps from the App Store; and the ability to capture and send audio recordings on the go with the new Voice Memo app. iPhone 3.0 software also includes a new Find My iPhone feature that works together with MobileMe so you can locate your lost iPhone on a map, send a message that will appear on the screen or play a sound to help you find it even if your phone is set to silent. If you cannot find your iPhone, you can erase all data and content on your iPhone with the new Remote Wipe feature. New iTunes features available with iPhone 3.0 software include wirelessly downloading movies, TV and audio programs as well as iTunes U so students can download learning materials on the go.

Apple said the iPhone OS 3.0 software will be available on June 17 as a free software update via iTunes 8.2 or later for all iPhone customers. iPod touch customers will be able to purchase a software update for $9.95.

Barg Upender, co-founder and CEO of Mobomo, a startup building applications for the iPhone, told eWEEK: "We have been using iPhone OS 3.0 beta for couple of months. Very stable, lot of cool features. In particular, we have been using Google Map APIs to directly embed traffic events to our traffic app. With this the user can interact with the maps directly inside the application, without leaving our traffic app. So the iPhone 3.0 is going to allow users to do more inside the apps (e.g. interact with maps, e-mail, music, etc ... )." 

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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