iPhone OS 3.0 – A personal review

In all my geekiness I installed iPhone OS 3.0 as soon as it became available on Wednesday. The update process was smooth and it doesn’t even require you to reset your phone. Which means you don’t have to re-sync your media library, saving you a lot of time. Just install the new software, reboot and you are good to go.

First impressions

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Apple did a lot of changes under the hood. The OS feels faster and snappier over all. I tested the new software on an “old” iPhone 3G, so there are no new hardware features like compass or video camera. In fact the most significant changes to the home screen are the addition of the voice memo icon (which seems – for me – a little bit dull compared to the other crisp icons used for built-in applications) and some subtle changes to the icons of the telephone, iPod and messages applications. As you can see, there is a small magnifying glass to the left of the home screen dots, indicating that Spotlight is waiting there once you flip to the left.

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Spotlight is really a great addition to iPhone OS. It’s indexing everything on your iPhone including your media library, your mails and your applications. The best thing about it? Its fast!

Cut, Copy & Paste

I don’t really know how but I managed to live without Cut, Copy & Paste on my iPhone for well over one and a half year now. iPhone OS 3.0 finally enables this user interface paradigm across the board in every application. It works in all textfields, inlcuding input fields like the Safari adress bar. It works in landscape mode and across different applications. It even works with HTML in Safari, preserving HTML formatting if you are pasting the clipping into some HTML enabled input field like a mail composition window.

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Lots of refinements

Apple did a good job in pimping what already has been great. Cut, copy and paste also works in the message applications which is subject to some interface refinements too.

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The edit mode now enables to to selectively delete or forward messages. Of course sending and composing of MMS are now supported. But honestly – who needs it?

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In iPhone OS 3.0 you are finally able to forward a contact from your adress book via MMS or e-mail.

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Selecting the e-mail option will add a .vcf file attachment to a new e-mail.

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As with all other text-oriented applications landscape mode is now also available within the mail app.

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There have been minor tweeks to the telephone application’s incoming and outgoing calls list as well as to the YouTube application which now allows you to log in with your YouTube account credentials.

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Voice memo

This new application sports some fresh interface elements for cropping and editing your sound recordings. The recording quality is astonishing and may be good enough to record small sound samples for music production. Of course you are able to share your recordings via MMS and e-mail.

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Minor tweaks

Due to the changes in key applications like the message application and the addition of “Find my iPhone” to Mobile Me there have been some tweaks in the interface of the system preferences too. Enabling and setting your prefs for push synchronisation is now hidden in the mail and contacts section and there have been some additions to the messaging preferences.

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With iPhone OS 3.0 you are finally able to edit your iTunes account information right on your iPhone.

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Conclusion

iPhone OS 3.0 adds some new features and lots of refinements to a platform that is starting to reach perfection. Whether or not you like the changes they will for sure simplify your live with iPhone. I would recommend the update to every existing iPhone user even if you are not using one of the new and shiny iPhone 3G-S models. If you have any questions feel free to ask or leave a comment.

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