• The iPhone OS 3.0 release is a huge jump for Apple. They’ve thrown a ton of updates into this one release and most of the pain points have been addressed.
  • Apple had their iPhone OS 3.0 announcement today. Quite a few changes with the platform, but first some interesting stats:
  • 17,000,000 phones
  • 13,000,000 iPod Touch
  • 800,000 downloaded SDK
  • 50,000 signed up for developer program
  • 60% had never developed anything for mobile before
  • 800,000,000 app downloads from the App Store (that’s about 27 apps per device)
  • 98% of apps are approved within 7 days

New phone features

  • App Store now supports purchase of content from within an application (this was verboten before). You can purchase additional levels for a game, additional books for a book reader, etc. It goes through Apple and they take 30% just like the original app sale. EA demonstrated a Sims game that let’s you buy sims clothing/items in-game.
  • Device-to-device communication with Bonjour over bluetooth. Looks like you now have full, open bluetooth stack access.
  • Direct hardware access to accessories, e.g., FM transmitter accessory controlled on-screen, external speaker volume controlled programmatically, etc.
  • Map control embeddable in apps (you need your own application license for Google map data)
  • GPS/Location API now supports turn-by-turn (GPS driving) applications
  • Push notifications (badge icons, text messages and sounds)
  • Email “sheet” (send/receive email without exiting applications)
  • Game “rumble” API
  • Streaming audio and video API (enhanced version of existing media player). You can do streaming audio/video with the iPhone now. But you have to roll your own. The new API allows you to use the API w/o additional programming.
  • Proximity sensors API (the ones that tell the phone when you put it next to your ear)
  • Access to media (iPod) library API (this was prevented by security before)
  • VoIP API (In game voice chat)
  • Audio recording API
  • Copy and paste (I know, I know, it didn’t have this already?)
  • MMS (like above, hard to believe it wasn’t there already)
  • Landscape mode in all Apple apps (email in landscape)
  • New voice recording app
  • Improved calendar (subscribe to caldav)
  • Improved stocks app
  • Search all apps (email, etc.) - Spotlight has come to the iPhone
  • Anti-phishing in mobile Safari
  • Tethering support in the OS (needs the carrier to provide support in your market as well)

The OS beta is available to developers today. The general release is this summer and will be available for all phone models.

It’s interesting that they spent time describing why they refuse to do background applications. According to an internal review of background apps for Blackberry and Windows Mobile, the standby battery life drops by 80% when the apps have free rein in the background. Of course, the down side is that you can’t have streaming music playing in the background until the iPod app supports it. And, more importantly, the notifications have to come from external servers. Want to get push notifications if a device in your network dies? Your monitoring app will have to send out notifications, the phone can’t poll them.

Apple hit the major pain points for most pundits. The big things left undone are background processes, video recording, Flash in Safari and voice dialing. And video recording in jail-broken iPhones is lousy because of the hardware they’re using for current phone models.