Apple today previewed its iPhone OS 3.0 software and announced the immediate availability of a beta software release to registered developers. The iPhone OS 3.0 beta release includes an updated Software Development Kit (SDK) with over 1,000 new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) including In-App Purchases; Peer-to-Peer connections; an app interface for accessories; access to the iPod music library; a new Maps API and Push Notifications. Apple also announced over 100 new features that will be available to iPhone and iPod touch users this summer including cut, copy and paste; MMS; landscape view for Mail, Text and Notes; stereo Bluetooth; syncing Notes to the Mac and PC; shake to shuffle; parental controls for TV shows, movies and apps from the App Store; and automatic login at Wi-Fi hot spots. The iPhone OS 3.0 beta release will also include a new Voice Memo app and expanded search capability for all key iPhone apps, as well as Spotlight? search across the iPhone or iPod touch. More on the new iPhone OS 3.0:
?The new iPhone OS 3.0 is a major software release packed with incredible new features and innovations for iPhone customers and developers alike. It will keep us years ahead of the competition,? said Philip Schiller, Apple?s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.
The iPhone OS 3.0 beta software and SDK include over 1,000 new APIs and are available today for all iPhone Developer Program members to use for development and testing of their apps for iPhone and iPod touch. Included in these APIs is the ability to leverage the incredible purchase model of the App Store within apps. In-App Purchases will allow developers to offer subscription content and provide the ability to sell new content and features in a simple and secure process. Developers can also more easily create peer-to-peer games for iPhone and iPod touch by using Bluetooth.
Another key developer feature in the iPhone OS 3.0 beta software is the ability for apps to interface with hardware accessories, creating a whole new element of control for iPhone and iPod touch accessory developers as well as a new ecosystem of solutions for customers. Developers will also be able to use Apple?s new Maps API to integrate Google Mobile Maps services within their apps which will offer Google Map tiles, current location, custom annotations and geocoding. The iPhone OS 3.0 beta software includes the Apple Push Notification service which provides developers with a mechanism to alert users with sounds, text or a badge.
The new iPhone OS 3.0 software will be available to iPhone and iPod touch users this summer with over 100 new features including cut, copy and paste which can be done within or across applications; MMS to send and receive photos, contacts, audio files and locations with the Messages app; and the ability to capture and send audio recordings on the go with the new Voice Memo app. Landscape view will be available for Mail, Text and Notes. Search capabilities will be expanded, allowing customers to search within Mail, iPod and Notes or search across all key apps by typing a key word or phrase into the new Spotlight search, conveniently accessed from the Home screen.
The updated Stock app will add the ability to display recent company news and current trading information like opening or average price, trading volume or Market Cap, and will offer a landscape view to see a full screen of any stock chart. Customers will also be able to view shared calendars right on their iPhone with CalDAV support and sync their calendars with iCal?, Yahoo, Google and Oracle.
Today, the groundbreaking App Store has more than 25,000 applications available to consumers, and 15 more countries have been added so the App Store is now available in 77 countries, allowing developers to reach more than 30 million iPhone and iPod touch users around the world. Developers set the price for their applications and retain 70 percent of all sales revenue. Apple covers all credit card, web hosting and infrastructure costs associated with offering applications on the App Store.
Pricing & Availability The iPhone OS 3.0 beta software and SDK will be available for registered developers to download starting today from developer.apple.com. iPhone customers will be able to download the new iPhone OS 3.0 software for free this summer and iPod touch customers will be able to purchase a software update for $9.95 (US).
I think Apple has really hit a home run this time!
Often with updates, there's a bit of a tradeoff where some people get the features they wanted, but others don't... but in this case, with the exceptions of a Flash player and a video recorder, they have seriously packed in all the features that EVERYBODY wanted! Many people were starting to think A2DP and MMS would never show up, but we get those plus the push notifier and a CLIPBOARD!! They have also started fleshing out a lot of those "we'll get to it eventually" features - more search commands, more landscape support, etc.
Some of the SDK enhancements may not have sounded all that exciting when they were announced, but they could have some really cool implications down the road. Removing the "wall" between apps and iPod music could be really sweet for games like the Tap Tap series, and for other apps too. And allowing access to the sync connector could mean someone could write a driver app for the iPod radio remote, and also maybe some of those accessories like TV and gamepad adaptors, which have been shown as "proof of concept" models but didn't really materialize, will finally be available to consumers.
It's also pretty cool that the iPhone's Bluetooth, which has been notorious for being very limited, will also become much more powerful.
So when can I start downloading, Apple?
-------------------- Chief iPod Correspondent
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