AAPL Stock: 111.31 ( + 0.53 )

Printed from

iPhone 3.0 provides 100 new features, 1000 new APIs

updated 09:35 pm EDT, Tue March 17, 2009

iPhone 3 OS details

Apple's preview of the upcoming operating system for the iPhone and iPod touch, version 3.0, was aimed at both developers and end-users, with claims of over 100 new features and over 1000 new APIs. The company has finally integrated a number of long-awaited functions, notably copy-and-paste. Users will be able to copy text, blocks of HTML and even images, with support to migrate content between apps. Developers also will be able to integrate the function into third-party apps.

The App Store's inflexible pricing policies have drawn criticism for limiting potential profits and restricting content providers from utilizing subscription-based business models for ongoing revenue streams. Apple addressed several concerns by allowing subscriptions and enabling purchases from within the app. The system would work using existing iTunes accounts and the credential panel for verification.

The shift might prove attractive to companies such as magazine publishers seeking profit from updated content. Gamers could potentially buy additional levels or features without ever leaving the interface. Instead of offering a different app for each book, e-book developers could provide a bookstore form within the app or even allow readers to purchase physical copies. The in-app purchases will not be permitted with free apps, however.

Peer-to-peer connectivity is also coming to the operating system. The API will allow the devices to communicate with each other via Bluetooth, with automatic discovery and no pairing. The function likely will be used for multiplayer games or sharing information such as contacts.

The presentation included good news for third-party accessory makers as well. With the upcoming OS, applications will be able to communicate directly with the accessories. Apple suggested the functionality provides opportunity for medical applications, such as blood pressure tracking, along with speaker equalization or automatic frequency optimization when using FM transmitters.

Core Location will be opened for developers to create navigation apps with turn-by-turn directions. Due to licensing issues, Apple will not allow the turn-by-turn capabilities when using built-in map tiles, although developers can integrate their own maps. Google Maps can still be embedded into an application, however, with support for CocoaTouch controls, satellite views, Wi-Fi location and geocoding.

Push notification is finally confirmed after a long wait, with three different types including badges, audio alerts and text alerts. The company blamed the delays on the initial volume of applications, requiring the technology to be reworked. The system is now scalable to accommodate high demand.

Other new APIs include in-app e-mail, proximity sensor data, shake, data detectors and in-game voice. Apps can also access the built-in iPod library or stream audio and video. Landscape view has been extended to all of the key applications, and MMS support is finally on its way.

Background processes will not be supported with the upcoming operating system. Several issues could not be resolved, including an 80 percent reduction in standby time and unacceptable usage of CPU cycles. Push notifications are claimed to permit faster performance of foreground apps, while only dropping standby time by around 23 percent.

Apple brushed aside criticisms of its App Store submission policies, claiming that 96 percent of apps are approved and 98 percent make it through the process in seven days or less. The company has been accused of leaving apps in the review process for months, without ever notifying the developers of specific issues or problems.

During the question-and-answer session following the preview, Greg Joswiak suggested the second-generation iPod touch may gain Bluetooth compatibility. Although the device is thought to already included the necessary components, the company has not yet enabled the functionality. iPhone 3.0 will also support tethering, enabling the iPhone to be used as a cellular modem. The services will be negotiated separately with each carrier.

The iPhone 3.0 operating system will be available sometime this summer. The download will be free for iPhone owners, while the iPod touch upgrade will cost $10. Apple typically blames accounting laws on the upgrade charge. Developers can download the OS beta and SDK beta starting today.

by MacNN Staff





  1. midtoad

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Will the new bluetooth capabilities extend to allowing the use of the Apple bluetooth keyboard with the iPhone? That's what I want to know!

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It should....

    I don't see why it wouldn't work with any BT device. Printer, keyboard etc. Printer usb bluetooth, and bluetooth keyboard = wireless office.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Version 3 transforms the iphone/Touch to a real computer, it paves the way for a usable small tablet with the same OS.

    Apple wanted a closed OS-hardware model from the start, it didn't work out that way back then but it seems they did 25 years later. :/

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: keyboard?

    From the Q&A yesterday:

    Q: Bluetooth human input device profile for external keyboards.
    A: We have nothing to announce.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: It should...

    I don't see why it should. Apple would have to specifically add support for devices for them to work. If the iPhone OS doesn't have any type of keyboard support, it doesn't matter whether its bluetooth or whatever, it isn't going to work.

    And printing? Um, wouldn't that require the entire printing frameworks to work? Not just seeing the device.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: impressive

    Apple wanted a closed OS-hardware model from the start, it didn't work out that way back then but it seems they did 25 years later. :/

    Ah, now its all becoming clear. This is all part of the bigger Apple plan.

    Apple's going to open OS X onto clones, and let anyone use it on any machine.

    But they'll also make OS X the ugly step-sister of Apple. Or, to put in a better way, OS X is to iPhone OS as OS 9 is to OS 10.0/10.1. (yeah, yeah, iPhone OS is based on OS X, but it isn't OS X. It's a separate tree with separate stuff in it).

    So while people start buying clones and OS X, Apple stops focusing on the PC, and starts focusing on the handheld/tablet/iPhone platform. It becomes their focus. And it becomes their revenue stream, as they now control everything (as you say, like they've always wanted). Not only is the OS tied to the hardware (so much more than OS X, such that you couldn't get iPhone OS on a 'clone'), but even the apps are managed by Apple.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: impressive

    That about sums it up, Apple will manage the OS, computer plus all software and hardware extensions. Personally i own just enough Apple stock to not care, they deserve every penny.

    We still have the choice to move to another platform that is less restrictive but for me its clear that Apple is winning the battle, the iPhone OS will dominate mobile computing.

  1. Dark Goob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Totally unrelated to Mac

    Why is this story in MacNN's top stories? It has nothing to do with the Mac. Please remove it from the MacNN site.

    I fail to see how phones that are on the worst carrier of all time (AT&T SUCKS!) has anything to do with Mac. Can we please focus on the Mac, on MacNN? Thanks!!!

  1. mmorris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    P2P photo share here now!

    No need to wait for the peer to peer support in OS3.0!

    PhotoUpLink for iPhone and iPod Touch is a free, peer to peer photo sharing tool with a unique ability to pick multiple photos to send. Just click on each image you want to send across all your albums and they get added to the list to send.

    The app is free, so no problem installing it on your friend's device to receive them. Select your photos, touch WiShare and then any device that is also running PhotoUpLink on the same WiFi network will show up, touch the device name and transfer begins automatically.

    Obligatory demo video is here:

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Polk Hinge Wireless headphones

Polk, a company well-established in the audio market, recently released a new set of headphones aimed at the lifestyle market. The Hin ...

Blue Yeti Studio

Despite being very familiar with Blue Microphones' lower-end products -- we've long recommended the company's Snowball line of mics ...

ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector

Home theaters are becoming more and more accessible these days, but maybe you've been a bit wary about buying a home projector. And h ...


Most Commented