iPhone Firmware 3.0 Reveals More Details About Spotlight, Podcast Limits & “Find My iPhone” Feature

iPhone firmware 3.0 event

When Apple gave us a preview of iPhone Firmware 3.0 which includes more than 100 new features; they also released iPhone firmware 3.0 beta which is available only to developers of the iPhone Developer program.

But during Apple's special event, they showcased only some of the features out of the 100 new features. So it was expected that iPhone firmware 3.0 beta would reveal some interesting details that were not announced. 

The beta version of iPhone firmware 3.0 has already revealed the screenshot which suggests that we could
see video capabilities in the next generation iPhone
and then code
references to new iPhones and iPod Touch

Here are some more details about the new features in iPhone firmware 3.0.

More details about Spotlight for iPhone:

One of the best features that Apple introduced in iPhone firmware 3.0 is Spotlight for iPhone which addresses one of the most painful things about the iPhone which is lack of a search feature.

Spotlight is essentially the iPhone version of the universal search feature that is available on Macs. Spotlight for iPhone will now be your new left-most home screen. You
can just start typing in the search box which brings up a list of
everything that matches your search.

Using Spotlight for the iPhone you will be able to search:

  • iPhone Apps
  • Contacts
  • Calendar
  • Email (To, From, Subject but not message content)
  • iPod (Music, Video, Podcasts, Audiobooks)
  • Notes
  • Messaging (SMS / MMS)

Below is the video clip of how it works from Apple's special event:

However, I had mentioned earlier that I preferred the QuickGold way of invoking the Search screen (clicking on the Home button when you are on the first home screen launches QuickGold). The photos from iLounge's first impression revealed that Apple has added Spotlight/Search as an option for the Home Button. So double-clicking on the Home button from the Home screen or while using any other iPhone app will directly take you to the Spotlight home screen.

iPhone firmware 3.0 - Spotlight

In addition to this setting, as you can see in the screenshot on the right, you can also customize the type of items you would like to search for.

Double-Click to Launch Camera App:

Along with Spotlight, Apple has also added Camera app to the Home button settings (Settings > General > Home Button) in iPhone fimrware 3.0 so if the Camera application is your favorite iPhone; you can quickly launch it from your iPhone's home screen or any other iPhone app by double-clicking on the Home button.

Podcast download limits removed:

The screenshot from iPhone Firmware 3.0 beta (courtesy Mac Rumors forum member ‘getinline1’) indicates that Apple might lift the 10 MB download limit on podcasts that is currently applicable if you are trying to download them via cellular networks.

iPhone firmware 3.0 - Podcast Limits

Unfortunately, the 10MB limit while downloading iPhone apps from cellular networks still seems to be in place even in iPhone firmware 3.0.

Find My iPhone:

Another screenshot from iPhone firmware 3.0 has revealed a new feature called "Find my iPhone".

iPhone firmware 3.0 - Find My iPhone

AppleInsider speculates:

"It would appear that the service obtains the iPhone's location and makes it available to the MobileMe user on request if the unit is lost or stolen."

Though I'm not sure how effective it will be when the iPhone gets stolen as the feature can easily be disabled by turning off the iPhone.

It's also important to note that these features were seen in beta version of iPhone firmware 3.0 so Apple could decide to make further changes to them by the time the final version is available to iPhone users in summer.

We would love to hear your thoughts on these new features in the comments section below.