Here's a rundown of what's new in the iPhone OS 3.0:
- Copy, cut and paste across all apps. Even supports copying photos into messages.
- Landscape keyboard on all apps that make use of a keyboard.
- MMS support.
- Push notification via Apple servers.
- In-App Purchase within paid apps and games.
- Core Location now supports turn-by-turn directions.
- Support for peer-to-peer connectivity.
- Apps will be able to communicate with accessories.
- New games announced (such as The Sims 3 Talk from EA).
- Across the board Spotlight search.
- Maps now accessible via API.
- In all, 1,000 new APIs.
- 100 new features.
- Loads of minor feature tweaks such as YouTube account support. iTunes account creation. VPN. Proxy support. Note sync. Meetings invite. Call log ... and much, much more.
- iPhone developers will see OS 3.0 now, general release will be "summer" - free for iPhone users, $10 for iPod touch users.
Note: No MMS and A2DP on original iPhone.
Most of the major updates here were pretty predictable (and, to be honest, long overdue). What hadn't been anticipated was the In-App Purchase which promises to be a vacuum hose in the user's pocket as far as apps go. Expect those apps that you paid for to ask you for more and more money soon!
Push notifications also seems like they could be a pain. Basically these are nessages sent to users via software that are encapsulated in a dialog box similar to the low battery warning. These dialog boxes are modal which mean that you have to deal with them there and then. That seems awfully last millenium to me and I'm surprised Apple didn't take the opportunity to revamp the entire popup mechanism. It all seems awfully clumsy to me, and it'll be made worse by apps all competing for face time.