updated 01:45 pm EDT, Tue March 17, 2009
iPhone 3.0 revealed
(Update with release info) Apple on Tuesday unveiled iPhone 3.0, described as a "major update" to the iPhone operating system. Prominent among the new features is the overdue addition of push notification, which Apple says required a rearchitecting of its servers to accommodate. Companies can use the technology to deliver signals such as sounds and text alerts, which are pushed from third-party sources to Apple, and then to iPhones.
Apple has additionally expanded the business models available at the App Store, by allowing users to buy content from within an app, so long as users have signed in within their iTunes account; material can include items like books, regional content or extra game levels. The inclusion of some 1,000 new APIs will meanwhile give developers access to features such as iPod libraries, embedded e-mail, audio/video streaming and Google Maps integration. Core Location should enable turn-by-turn navigation, allowing practical driving applications.
The firmware is also said to support all standard Bluetooth protocols, including Bonjour, which iPhones will be able to use for automatic device detection and peer-to-peer gaming sessions. Accessory makers have been given direct hardware control, permitting functions such as tuning an FM transmitter from the iPhone interface.
Update: The beta version of the code is now available to all participants in the iPhone Developer Program.