iPhone OS 3.0 coming on June 17; Brings Movie Downloads, Faster Safari; But No MMS or Tethering in the US

iPhone OS 3.0

There were speculations that Apple will launch its iPhone OS 3.0 at WWDC today. Apple has done the next best thing, it has announced that their next generation iPhone OS will be available to users on June, 17th.

iPhone OS 3.0 will be free for the original iPhone and iPhone 3G user but will cost $9.99 for iPod Touch users. During the keynote address at WWDC, Apple provided some more details about iPhone OS 3.0

As we already knew, iPhone OS 3.0 includes 100 new features, many that we were already aware of and some that come as a pleasant surprise. Here is a run down on the features that were announced today:

Cut, Copy & Paste: Users will be able to cut, copy and paste text. The blocks of text could be selected from application and web by simply taping the content. You can check this page to find out how it works.

Landscape Mode: iPhone OS 3.0 will allow users to use iPhone's virtual keyboard in landscape mode in mails, messages, notes.

MMS: Users will be able to send and receive photos, audio, vCard (contact cards), and ‘location' with the ability to take photos and videos right inside the message.

Apple announced that MMS support for AT&T will only become available in late summer although a number of carriers across the globe will support MMS.

Note: MMS is not supported on first-generation iPhone. Sending video via MMS is not supported on iPhone 3G, since, the camera can't capture video.

Movies and TV Shows direct download: Apple announced that with iPhone OS 3.0, users will be able to rent and download movies, tv shows directly onto their iPhones.

Apple already allows users to download songs, podcasts and iPhone apps over the air using iPhone’s data connection if the file size is less than 10 MB, if the file size is more than 10 MB, users will have to download it over Wi-Fi. Thus, it is anyone's guess that Apple is indirectly stating that this feature will only work over Wi-Fi.

Tethering Capability: iPhone OS 3.0 will also bring the ability to tether the iPhone to feed a data connection to your computer and surf the internet. However it will depend on carriers to add tethering support on their networks. 

Tethering is not currently offered in the U.S. and some other countries. AT&T was absent from the list of  carriers that allow tethering. Some of the networks that allow tethering include names such as bharti, Telefonica, Hutchinson Telecom, Orange, O2, T-Mobile,Vodafone, and Chunghwa Telecom.

Safari Improvements: Safari on iPhone OS 3.0 is now 3 times faster in iPhone OS 3.0 and will have the autofill username and password feature.

Safari also brings support for HTTP streaming audio and video. It will automatically determine best quality for your connection

Find My iPhone and wipe feature: iPhone OS 3.0 will include a feature called 'Find my iPhone'. The service will obtain iPhone's location and make it available to MobileMe user on request if the unit is lost or stolen.

The users will be able to protect their privacy by sending remote wipe instructions, which will wipe off all data from lost or stolen iPhones.

Peer to Peer Connectivity: This will allow users to play multiplayer games and to share information.

In App Purchase: Apple has introduced a new business model, which adds more ways for the developers to charge users for an iPhone app. The models are Subscriptions, charging for additional content or levels.

ScrollMotion who creates ebook apps for the App Store demoed its new iPhone App that will make use of the In-app purchase to download books directly through the iPhone App.

Third-party Accessories: This feature will allow Accessory manufacturers to create applications to interface with their hardware accessories through Dock Connector or Bluetooth.

As an example, Line6 and Planet Waves demoed their app that allows you to control your guitar and Amp using your iPhone.

Push Notification Service: One of the most anticipated features of iPhone OS 3.0 and Apple's solution or workaround for the ability to run third party iPhone apps in the background especially for applications like Instant Messenger, Facebook etc.

Apart from the above features, iPhone OS 3.0 will also sport the following features:

Video Recording and Editing: With the iPhone OS 3.0 users will be able to carry out basic video editing on their iPhone 3G S. The 3-megapixel improved camera and video recording capability in iPhone 3G S are sure to be a delight.

Note: This feature will not be available to the first generation iPhone and iPhone 3G users.

Spotlight (Universal Search Feature): Spotlight for iPhone will allow the user to search contacts, emails, calendars, notes etc. Spotlight for iPhone will now be your new left-most home screen. You can just start typing in the search box which will bring up a list of everything that matches your search. Users will be able to search contacts, messages etc and will also be able to launch the searched applications.

Voice Memos: Users will be able to record notes, lectures, interviews, or any audio on the go using the built-in microphone or using the mic on their headset. Users will also to share their recorded voice files either as an email or MMS.

Bluetooth Support: iPhone OS 3.0 will support bluetooth allowing users to use bluetooth stereo headphones and speaker with their iPhone 3G.

Turn By Turn GPS: With iPhone OS 3.0, users will be able to see third party Turn by Turn GPS apps for the iPhone. However, developers will need to include their own maps due to licensing issues. TomTom demoed its turn-by-turn GPS application for the iPhone with voice navigation, which was pretty cool.

SMS App enhancements: Users will be able to forward and delete multiple text messages and will be able to use the landscape mode.

Parental Controls: With iPhone OS 3.0 Apple will introduce age-based parental control for iPhone Apps. This feature will allow users to restrict kids from accessing certain music, video and app.

Multiple Account log-in: With iPhone OS 3.0 users will be able to create and log in to multiple iTunes account on their iPhones.

Battery Indicator: With the iPhone OS 3.0, the battery indicator, in addition to the current battery bar, will display the remaining battery power in percentage.

Support for Exchange: Mail, iCal, and Address Book now all support Exchange.

Automatic Wi-Fi: Upon connection iPhone will automatically logs you in to a previously joined Wi-Fi hotspot.

Sync Note: Users will now be able to sync their notes on their PCs or Macs.

You Tube Login: Users will have an option to login to their You Tube accounts, save and sync the bookmarks and to rate favorites.

Shake to Shuffle: Shake your iPhone with OS 3.0 and it will shuffle to a different song in your music library.

New Languages: iPhone improves it multi-lingual capabilities by supporting 30 languages and more than 40 keyboard layouts.

The highlight of today's announcement was the ability to download movies directly on the iPhone and the performance improvements in Safari as most of the other features were announced at the special event to preview iPhone OS 3.0 back in March.

But the non-availability of MMS and tethering in the U.S at the time of the launch is probably the most disappointing news for iPhone users.

So are you happy with the features or do you plan to buy Apple's new iPhone 3G S, which also has some hardware improvements? Do give us your opinion in our comment section.

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