My favorite iPhone OS 3.0 features

A lot has been written about the new iPhone OS 3.0 that was released yesterday. So much so that I hadn't expected to come across anything that I didn't already know about. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was wrong!

A lot has been written about the new iPhone OS 3.0 that was released yesterday. So much so that I hadn't expected to come across anything that I didn't already know about. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was wrong!

Note: Regular readers will know that I don't own an iPhone, but I do own an iPod touch that I use a lot (if you email me, chances are that I'll reply to you using my iPod ...). The features looked at here work for both the iPod touch and iPhone.

I'm a big audiobook fan, and have amassed a huge Audible library, so I'm pleased to find that Apple has added a number of new features to make the iPod touch audiobook experience a better one.

Here are a few audiobook features that I've already found useful: 

  • 30 second rewind button ... handy when you want a quick recap or your mind wandered. 
  • Being able to adjust the playback speed is also handy ... some audiobooks (especially educational ones) work well when played at faster speeds.

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  • Adjusting where you were in a long audiobook was hit and miss before. Now Apple makes it easier for you to move through the book at a slower pace. 

  • There are several levels of scrubbing. Fine means large finger movements translate into small jumps through the audio file. 

  • Multi-part audiobooks are now grouped together. 

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In addition to audiobook improvements, there are a myriad other tweaks.

  • YouTube account support ... finally! 

  • Search ... nice. 

  • Cut/Copy/Paste ... this feature has taken a long time to appear but is surprisingly well thought out. 

  • Refining the text you've selected is easy. 

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  • Took me a while to figure out how to access the search feature ... you have to swipe your finger across the screen.

  • Managing photos is also much easier ... 

  • Oh, and finally, you can hover your finger over hyperlinks in Safari to get a set of options ... this is a sweet feature.

Do I feel like I got $9.95 worth of value? Well, since my first-gen iPod touch doesn't include a hidden Bluetooth feature for the update to activate, no, I think that $9.95 is a rip. Still, it breathed some new life into the old device, which means I can put off buying a new one for a while (probably once the battery wears out).

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