iPhone 3.0 Thoughts

Yesterday, as was splashed all over the web, Apple announced the iPhone OS 3.0. The key features in my view that were announced are cut and paste, push services and the possibility of turn by turn navigation.

I was a bit skeptical over being able to copy and paste. I imagined that it would only be useful if your were using the iPhone for business, which I don’t. Apple’s implementation seems to be highly impressive though, and I’m suitably impressed. Rather than just being limited to copying text between the inbuilt application it appears that you will be able to copy HTML, images and more between both the inbuilt applications and more. If you want to send more than one photo in an email just copy it from the photo app and paste it straight into an email. Sweet.

Recently my iPhone has been suffering from a strange problem where the battery goes from full to empty in just a few hours and feels warm to the touch. I suspect that the problem maybe due to the mail app so it is excellent news that the much delayed push services will be coming this summer. Rather than applications needing to poll for information developers can ‘push’ updates out to your phone automatically. This has the dual benefit of saving battery power and giving some applications a fake running in the background mode. The facebook app could keep you logged into facebook chat all the time and alert you whenever someone sends you a message. The same is true for email and other chat applications.

Apple are also opening up the iPhone’s mapping capabilities to give developers the possibility of creating sat-nav beating turn-by-turn navigation systems. There are some caveats, such as that developers will need to negotiate their own licenses with Google to use Google Maps or use Open Street Map to provide the mapping data. They will also need to come up with a way to cache maps on the phone so if you’re out of mobile range then you’re not lost as well. I expect that both problems will be quickly overcome and this could prove to be a killer application for the iPhone. I just a need a car…

Other applications include a landscape keyboard, greatly improve SMS support and MMS so you can text photos around. Unfortunately there is no date for release yet, but it will be released by this summer. It’s a free update for iPhone users but iPod touch uses will need to shell out a small amount of cash to get it.


Author: Andrew Wilkinson

I'm a computer programmer and team leader working at the UK grocer and tech company, Ocado Technology. I mostly write multithreaded real time systems in Java, but in the past I've worked with C#, C++ and Python.

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