Monday, June 8, 2009

iPhone 3G S & iPhone OS 3.0

iPhone 3G S

Another year, another iPhone. The 3rd-generation iPhone is the iPhone 3G S. Apple says the "S" stands for speed. Whatever.

Here's the laundry list of features that will ONLY be found on the 3G S:

  • Faster processor - Quicker overall OS speed. Apps launch faster, web pages render quicker and games perform better. Apple says it's 2x faster but I'd take that with a grain of salt until I see a real demo.
  • Video recording - VGA video recording up to 30 fps with audio. Simple trimming program for minor edits.
  • Better Camera - 3 MP camera (which is an odd number; I usually see 3.2 MP) with autofocus and a tap to focus feature. Sorry, no flash.
  • Built-In Voice Control - Sure there are free apps available right now that do something similar. But it is nice to have this feature built into the OS. So, you can control your phone and iPod with simple voice commands.
  • Increased Memory - Onboard RAM now tops out 32GB instead of 16GB.
  • Digital Compass - A compass is a compass. However, it is really useful when using Google Maps. The map will reorient itself when you turn so it is easier to use.
  • Marginally Better Battery - The Apple website compares the battery life between the 3G and the 3G S. Better is always better but it's not a dealbreaker.
Here's a video of how the iPhone 3G S works:

iPhone OS 3.0

Now, the operating system that comes with the 3G S is iPhone OS 3.0. Current iPhone 3G users can get the upgrade for FREE. iPod Touch users can get the upgrade for $9.99.

Here's what 3.0 offers:
  • Cut, Copy & Paste Between Applications - Finally! A feature that should have been there since day one is now a reality. Watch the video above for a really cool demo of the this function.
  • Landscape Keyboard - You can now use the landscape keyboard in e-mail, SMS, and notes as well as Safari. Again, this should have been in the OS last year.
  • Spotlight Search - One search function looks through your contacts, email, calendars, and notes, as well as your iPod.
  • Voice Memos - Hey! You didn't need to buy that voice recording app. It's free in 3.0!
  • Improved Calendar & Stocks - Seems to be more cosmetic than anything but we'll find out next week Wednesday.
  • Buy Movies, TV Shows & Audiobooks Straight From Your iPhone - I never had the need to do this but it's nice to have the flexibility. You never know when you all of a sudden want to watch "Fanboys" at your local Starbucks.
  • Stereo Bluetooth - Thank you! This will allow me to play songs on my car stereo straight from my iPhone. It would be cool to get stereo Bluetooth headphones as well but I'm in no hurry.
  • Push Notifications - Again, thank you! This feature would makes running multiple applications virtually obsolete and it would actually make IM apps usable now. Here's a video explaining how push notifications work.
  • Peer-To-Peer Networking - You no longer need a Wi-Fi network to communicate with another iPhone. You can do it over Bluetooth. Here's a video on how peer-to-peer works.
  • Upgraded Notes & YouTube - Notes will now sync with your computer. You can also now login to YouTube in the native app.
  • MMS & Tethering - MMS will be available on AT&T in the late summer. Tethering will be available "later."

I'm sure there's more features I'm missing, but those are the major ones.

I currently have a 16GB iPhone 3G and I will NOT be upgrading to the 3G S. I'll explain my rationale in my next article.

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