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Cellphones Communications Portables (Apple) Hardware

iPhone 3.0 Software Announced 619

Apple unveiled the iPhone 3.0 software just now in Cupertino. Here's MacWorld's live-action blow-by-blow coverage. The announcement included new features for developers and users. For developers, the big items were in-app purchasing (for example for game upgrades, map content, and subscriptions) for paid apps only; peer-to-peer connectivity via Bluetooth; giving apps access to hardware via the dock connector or Bluetooth; maps embeddable in apps; and push notifications. For users, there's finally cut-copy-paste available in all apps; search across everything in the iPhone; landscape keyboard; MMS messaging; and voice memos. Developer beta starts today and 3.0 will be available in the summer — free for all 3G phones, $10 for iPod Touch.
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iPhone 3.0 Software Announced

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  • Bluetooth Keyboard (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vertinox ( 846076 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @02:55PM (#27229819)

    I'm wondering if this means we get that bluetooth keyboard with core apps or do we need to use 3rd party apps?

  • Wow. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FictionPimp ( 712802 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @02:55PM (#27229823) Homepage

    Well that covers a list of features I really wanted as a would be dev and a iphone owner. All I can say is "fucking finally!"

    • Flash (Score:5, Interesting)

      by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @04:12PM (#27231455)

      The really interesting thing in the announcement I thought was a hint that there might possibly be some low level of bacground apps. They were not clear on what they meant but this is a big deal.

      People have complained there is no flash. At first I assumed, like most folks, this was because apple was stiffing adobe. Then after I started programming for iphone I got a glimpse of why I think there is no flash.

      Basically there can only be one app runnning and resident at a time. When you switch between apps and then come back to say safari, it comes back to where you left it so from your point of view it looks like safari was resident and running while your attention was elsewhere. But this is not the case.

      It's a clever illusion. Apps have to manage their own persistence. So to make it seem like that safari or any app has to save and restore it's complete state. And the apple iphone rules require this all has to happen in under 5 seconds or you get a kill -9 applied to your slow ass.

      Now imagine safari is also running flash under the hood. It does not have the flash internal sate that it can save and restore so how can safari persist a flash system across sessions? It could try a desperation move and try sweeping out the memory as an image. But that won't work since it won't have permission from the OS to do that. Even if it did have permission, then what if flash is storing things on disk, how is safari supposed to keep all the file handles open across sessions?

      You could probably come up with some workaround kludges but it would not be pretty.

      And then there's that 5 second problem. If safari has to load and resotre it's state almost instantly, you don't want it having to speculatively reload flash every session start just because at some point in your browsing history you opened a flash web site. You'd have a really annoying end result of delaying the application swap for everyone by a second or two every time.

      So you can see it's not as simple as it sounds due to the one-app resident at a time rule.

      since the iphone has no Virtual memory, you can't just let it be resident and not running either.

      thus you can see allowing background apps is not something to do lightly or get yourself locked into (like for example, windows CE) and have to have a task and memory management the user must control.

      • by RulerOf ( 975607 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @09:05PM (#27235817)
        ...and while you present an interesting technical argument for lack of flash on the iPhone, it's much much simpler.

        Flash games and applications bypass the app store.

        If you bypass the app store, AT&T and Apple don't get to extract [more] money out of you or out of the end user. Apple and AT&T are more interested in money than in truly unifying the mobile and fixed web browsing experiences. End of story.
    • Re:Wow. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SpryGuy ( 206254 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @05:42PM (#27233257)

      Things still inexplicably missing:

      Video recording (Cycorder on Jailbroken phones does it just fine)

      Voice Dialing

      "Try before you Buy" App Store sales model

      Flash support for the Safari Browser

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by EkriirkE ( 1075937 )
        "Lite" versions of apps exist as the enticing "Try before you buy"

        For everything else (including copying paid apps too I guess), there's jailbreaking.
  • All hail... (Score:2, Funny)

    by wandazulu ( 265281 )

    ...our new bluetooth headset overlords!

    Oh, also our cut-copy-paste overlords!

  • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @02:58PM (#27229885) Homepage

    If being forced to carry a Zune and a Windows Mobile phone wasn't enough of an insult, poor Mrs. Gates is going to be extra jealous now.

  • by American Terrorist ( 1494195 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @02:59PM (#27229897)

    10:08 PT - DM: Scott looking very hip in a black zip-up. I wonder who does his hair. 3.0 is a major update to the iPhone OS. Comes with "incredible features" for developers and customers. Here's what's on tap for developers.

    He's so dreamy! I hope the new iPhone OS has lots of his pictures pre-loaded!

    And the new iPhone works with any service provider, right?

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @02:59PM (#27229901) Journal

    WHy does apple do this kind of crap? Is the touch less expensive or subsidized or ANYTHING that would justify having to pay vs their Iphone counterparts?

    • Blame Sarbanes-Oxley (Score:2, Informative)

      by hellfire ( 86129 )

      I wish I had a reference for you, but it has to do with SOX compliance. The 3.0 software is free to iPhone users because it's part of the AT&T contract. For iPod Touch, there's no such contract. Because of some legal accounting obligation under SOX, and because there is no contract for iPod Touch users, Apple has to charge for software upgrades for the iPod touch. This was mentioned by Jobs I believe at tone of Apple's media blitzes last year.


      • Not SOX, just GAAP (Score:5, Informative)

        by JeffTL ( 667728 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:12PM (#27230213)
        It's actually a matter of generally accepted accounting principles, and I still have trouble seeing what Sarbanes has to do with it. It's revenue recognition, which is pure GAAP. The argument is basically that they'd have understated the expenses associated with generating the revenue last period, i.e. overstated net income and it's derivative numbers such as earnings per share, if they added new functionality to sales already recognized.
        • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:32PM (#27230651)

          The basic issue is that they want $.
          They could easily post estimates for continued support and development.

          There is N O T H I N G in the legal or accounting realm that prevents this. If this were the case, there would be no free support or added content for other hardware, software, etc. The fact is, there's TONS of it, from companies who don't treat their customers as bottomless teats.

        • CRAAP (Score:3, Insightful)

          by metamatic ( 202216 )

          Sony doesn't charge me for firmware upgrades for my PS3. Nintendo doesn't charge me for firmware upgrades for my Wii. BlackBerry and T-Mobile don't charge me for upgrades for my BlackBerry.

          And most tellingly, Apple doesn't charge me for firmware upgrades for my Time Capsule, even when they add functionality.

          So I don't buy the excuse.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Sandbags ( 964742 )

            Your firmware updates for your PS3 did not enable hardware that existed already but that you could not use. Now, if Sony included a Blu-Ray player originally, but sold the device advertising only "DVD playback", then later, with a magic firmware upgrade announced "all PS3s in the field with this update can now play Blu-Ray HD disks!", then they'd fall under GAAP and have to charge you for the upgrade....

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by PeeShootr ( 949875 )
      Yeah. It's because of Sarbanes Oxley. With the phone they can say that the updgrade is incorporated in the monthly fee. But, since there is no recurring fee for the touch, they have to charge for the update. Thank the accountants.
    • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) * on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:05PM (#27230037) Journal

      *EVERY* time Apple announce something new for the touch/iphone, it costs an extra $10 on the touch.

      *EVERY* time someone moans about that.

      *EVERY* time someone else points out that Apple account for iphone sales over a period of time, thus allowing them to maneuver around the ridiculous Sarbonnes-Oxley requirements. They bill the touch as a one-off, so can't add new functionality without there being a representative charge.

      Whether you agree with them or not, that's their position (presumably that of their highly-paid lawyers, too). Get over it, *every* time you add onto the touch, you're going to pay extra.


      • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:33PM (#27230677)

        Whether you agree with them or not, that's their position (presumably that of their highly-paid lawyers, too).

        Well I, for one, don't agree with them. And I see nothing wrong what-so-ever in raising a public stink about it everytime they do it. Its complete bullshit, and they deserve the backlash for being money grubbing assholes.

        My motherboards over the years have been routinely released with new firmware that adds new functionality. As have been my routers. As has my Nintendo Wii. Even my HDTV was firmware updated with new features.

        Only apple tries to charge me for firmware upgrades while trying to claim that they have to. I've downloaded all the previous firmwares via p2p and this will be no exception.

        I'd actually be inclined to pay for it though, if Apple simply charged for it, and said hey its an upgrade, we feel its worth a few bucks. But instead they've tried to raise some bullshit rationalization that they are legally obligated to charge for it.

        Its total bullshit. And I'm calling them on it. Again.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by samkass ( 174571 )

          Is it that you don't think $10 for a yearly update bringing major new functionality is worth it? Is it that you can afford the hundreds for the device, but not $10 a year for upgrades? Is it that you're not satisfied with the device as it is and feel the upgrade was promised in the first place?

          I don't understand why getting paid for your work is considered "money-grubbing". Obviously iPhone owners are paying every month, but iTouch users aren't. So you pay for the upgrade. It really sounds quite fair t

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TJamieson ( 218336 )

        Perhaps most important...

        *EVERY* time after the release, it's a simple 'strings' search on the itunes binary to find the URL used to snag all touch firmware.

    • I expect Apple sees more revenue from a product such as the iPhone, either through AT&T kickbacks (assuming they still get those) or through purchases of more apps due to the larger hardware feature set.

      iPod Touch users, though, basically just have an iPod with a pretty interface and a small subset of other features. I assume some work was required to compile and test the subset of 3.0 that will work with the iPod Touch hardware, and they want to extract as much profit from that effort as possible.


    • by Elwood P Dowd ( 16933 ) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:17PM (#27230311) Journal

      The short answer is that our financial regulatory environment forces them to do so, kinda.

      If Apple books profits for iPod Touches at the time of purchase, but then books expenses for iPod Touch development later, they are vulnerable to the accusation that they were hiding expenses on their balance sheet, which is illegal.

      After getting burnt by this once in the past (Airport basestations, I think), they started charging for feature updates. When they book expenses for the development of iPod Touch 3.0, they can account for it like a new product for sale, and either make a profit or loss on those sales.

      The other solution to this issue is that they book profits for iPhones on a "two year subscription basis". That means they only record 1/8th of the sale profit of an iPhone as profit in the quarter it was purchased. They can then charge further development costs against this same income, and they don't have to account for it like a separate product for sale.

      Whether they should account for *everything* on a subscription basis is totally open for debate. It has been suggested that this subscription accounting is one of many factors that could be depressing Apple's share price. When they have a killer quarter for iPhone sales, that profit gets smeared across 8 quarters of earnings statements.

      IMHO, it could be argued that this is a good thing, and forces shareholders to consider longer term value. So maybe they really should account for everything this way. The question is how profitable are these $9.95 iPhone OS updates & $100 Mac OS updates. Iduno.

    • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:43PM (#27230855)

      It's because they can.
      There is absolutely no legal or accounting reason they have to charge for anything. Anything any Apple employee says to the contrary is a bald-faced lie.
      Plenty of other companies give out free support, upgrades, and content for hardware and software.

      The issue is Apple doesn't want to report the costs for the development and support of updates in their reports, so they act as if they'll never happen.

      When demand reaches a point (WHERE THE FUCK IS MMS OR COPY AND PASTE?!) they can no longer ignore, they crank out the update and offset the cost by selling it. This pleases investors (and thereby keeps regulators off their backs), who would otherwise say "But you said costs were $X, and we launched last year! What the fuck is this new cost for?"

      As to why iPhone users get it free and Touch users have to pay, I suspect that carriers are eating the cost (at a much-reduced rate).

      Apple could easily report costs as $X, with an estimated $Y per year for continued support and development, for Z years.
      Apple does not like to do things this way because they prefer to hide the cost (and then recoup them by selling the update). Apple also likes to be secretive. If you saw a report stating that the iPhone support costs are $Y per year for Z years, you could figure out that Z-1 years from now we'll be seeing the next iPhone hardware. And as we all know, Apple likes to keep new products under wraps for as long as possible, so people keep buying the old one up until very the day of the conference, when they all run out and buy the new one.

      That sir, is your answer.

  • by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:02PM (#27229975) Homepage Journal

    You've now achieved what Palm devices could do ten years ago.

  • I'll use copy-paste once or twice a week, but I'd use Adobe Flash 99% of ever hour spent using Safari.
  • DLC Hell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by foo fighter ( 151863 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:04PM (#27230019) Homepage

    I, for one, am not looking forward to being spammed in my apps to pay "Only $.99 for this new widget! Click Now!". I expect everything from EA to be even worse on this platform than it has been to date.

    Did you see that FPS demo where the guy had to pay extra to get the rocket launcher? That does **not** make me want to play that game.

    • Re:DLC Hell (Score:4, Funny)

      by qoncept ( 599709 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:15PM (#27230269) Homepage

      Did you see that FPS demo where the guy had to pay extra to get the rocket launcher? That does **not** make me want to play that game.

      In that case, I have no idea what girl is ever going to want to go out with you.

    • Re:DLC Hell (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Brandee07 ( 964634 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:17PM (#27230305)

      Agreed; I am not a fan of the microtransaction model.

      I like my game purchases to be complete games, not games with huge gaping holes in them (coming soon!) or games that are really only shells for lots of nickle-and-dime DLC, which is exactly what that FPS they demoed appeared to be.

      However, buying content though apps is not without merit. Kindle for iPhone currently takes people through Safari to make purchases, which quite a few people complained about. They would be able to buy new books directly from the app. (Of course, Apple has a Free-means-free policy, so they'd probably have to start charging for the app in addition to the books- but $.99 is easier to swallow than $359). This could also work for companies like iVerse Media, who sells comic books. Rather than have each issue as a separate app complete with reader software, they could bundle them all up under an iVerse app. That way I won't have a bunch of issues of Atomic Robo all over my home screen.

      The best move Apple made was the free-means-free policy. If an app is free, you can't go charging for bits inside it. I would not be happy to download a free app and find that I had to pay $.99 per widget in order to unlock all the useful bits.

  • by snowwrestler ( 896305 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:06PM (#27230079)

    The new SDK will allow developers to control accessories attached to the dock adapter. I'm really hopeful someone will make a card reader...it would so nice to bring a 32GB iPod touch on trips instead of a MacBook Pro.

  • Copy/Paste (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CompMD ( 522020 )

    I, for one, welcome Apple to 1983 by gaining the capabilities of the Macintosh 512k.

  • Tethering (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Andy_R ( 114137 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:17PM (#27230327) Homepage Journal

    This only came up in the Q&A afterwards, but tethering is a new feature supported by OS 3.0, but Apple are not making a big thing of it yet because it's going to need to be negotiated with the phone carriers before it can be rolled out.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:24PM (#27230473)

    If there's is something you don't like about the iPhone, you have choices like the Android but if you are patient, Apple might address your issue sometime in the future. It's not a matter of life and death that Apple didn't release the feature you wanted:

    Apple: Introducting the iPod: 1000 songs in your pocket.
    Naysayers:"No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame." Seriously who's going to buy this? It is Mac only, uses Firewire, and costs $400!!

    Apple: iPod 2.0: Touch sensitive scroll wheel. Now compatible with Windows. Up to 20GB
    Naysayers: Okay, more space than a Nomad, but no wireless. Firewire only. Still expensive. Easily scratched

    Apple: iPod 3.0: UI Redesign. Now USB compatible. Up to 40GB
    Naysayers:Still waiting for wireless. Still expensive. No video or photo capability. Really I need something smaller, maybe flash based. Easily scratched. Still expensive

    Apple: iPod mini: Smaller version of iPod. 4 or 6 GB disk based. iPod 4.0. UI Redesign. Clickwheel. Up to 40GB. iPod 4.1: now with color and photo capability. Up to 60GB
    Naysayers:Still no wireless. Still expensive. No video. Maybe a phone/iPod combination would work. Easily scratched. Still expensive

    Apple:iPod Shuffle: Ultra-portable iPod. Up to 1GB. iPod mini v2: New colors. iPod nano: Flash based. Color. Replacing mini. Up to 4GB. iPod 5.0: Now with video. Up to 80GB
    Naysayers:No screen on the shuffle. Small video screen on the iPod. And it's not a touch screen. Replace the profitable mini, are they insane? The nano scraches too easily! Still no wireless. When is Apple going to make an iPhone? Still expensive

    Apple:iPod Shuffle: Even smaller. Metallic shell. Up to 2GB. iPod nano: New scratch-resistant metallic shell. More battery life. Up to 8GB.
    Naysayers:I can't use the new shuffle as a USB stick! Still no wireless or widescreen or touchscreen. No iPhone. Easily scratched. Still expensive

    January 2007:
    Apple:iPhone: multi-touch, widescreen iPod + mobile phone + internet browser + wireless
    Naysayers:I wanted the phone part to be separate. It's only on AT&T. It's not 3G. I can't buy music wirelessly. It's frickin' expensive.

    September 2007:
    Apple:iPod Touch: iPhone without the phone. iTunes Music Store built in. iPod nano: New form factor. Video. Up to 8GB. iPod Classic: Metallic shell. Up to 160GB
    Naysayers:iPhone is still only AT&T and not 3G. iPod touch is only 8GB and 16GB. And it's frickin' expensive.

    February 2008:
    Apple:iPod nano: new colors: iPod shuffle: new colors. iPouch Touch: 32GB available
    Naysayers:iPhone is still only AT&T and not 3G. iPod Touch and iPhone are still expensive

    June 2008:
    Apple:iPhone 2.0: 3G. Slimmer, faster, more apps, cheaper. 8GB $199. 16GB $299
    Naysayers:iPhone is still only AT&T. No cut and paste. The camera is 1.3MP and not video. Not cheaper: AT&T 3G plan costs me more than 2.5G plan. I blame Apple for this.

    March 2009:
    Apple:iPhone 3.0 software: Cut and paste. Bluetooth peer-to-peer connectivity. Complete iPhone search. landscape keyboard. MMS messaging. and voice memos.
    Naysayers:Where's my total Exchange interoperability? No printing. No email filtering. No video recording.

    Fast forward to the future . . .
    Apple:iPod femto: Size of a business card, but thinner. Direct neural interface. No charging, uranium battery last 5,000 years. Up to 500TB. iPhone X: Instantaneous, realtime language translation. Up to 20PB
    Naysayers:Still no ogg. Should be 1PB. Neural interface is only in HD and not Extreme-HD. Should have used plutonium batteries that last 10,000 years. iPho

  • iEverything (Score:4, Funny)

    by brianez21 ( 945805 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:48PM (#27230987) Journal

    Thank you! Thank you all for coming! It is I, Steve Jobs, the Chief Imagination Officer of Apple, also known to many as Your Leader and Overlord of All Things Shiny, Desirable, and Expensive.

    Today we're going to make some history together! So...welcome to Macworld. It was just a decade ago that I was up here, announcing that we were going to revolutionize the world--a huge endeavor, I admit. I said we were going to do it over the coming twelve years--we did it in seven years. We couldn't have done this alone; we did it with the help of a lot of folks: Our new colleagues in scientific agencies around the world, our devoted imagineers of more than just hardware and software, but of minds and vision. Thank you very much. Now as you know, our retail stores have for a while been selling half of our Apple iProducts to people who have never owned an Apple iProduct before. For this, I would like to thank our custom--err--loyal members of the Apple Family for spreading the gospel. Without you, we would still be just another average tech company based out of California. Instead, we are now one step closer to world domination through over-priced, beautifully designed, consumer electronics. Now everyone, please gaze upon me and yearn, yearn for the secrets that only I know! The rumor channels are full of speculation and I--your balding, black-turtleneck-endowed Leader--know the iTruth. Bow before me and grovel at my iFeet! (Mwahaha!)

    Now please, before I continue, I would like to make sure that everyone present at this glorious ceremony is a true iBeliever. As a reminder, if you are not a true iBeliever you are not a member of our Apple Family, and as a result you will be cast out and sent into the Reality Distortion Field for re-education regarding our iProducts...

    This is a day I've been looking forward to ever since I realized that I would never be able to become as rich or as famous as Bill Gates currently is. Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. And one is very fortunate if they get to witness even a single one of these products in their lifetime. Apple has been very fortunate--I've been able to say myself that I've introduced a few of these into the world. In 1984, the Macintosh revolutionized the computer industry with its graphical interface stolen from Xerox Corporation. In 1998, the iMac built upon the success of our other computers that were still playing catch-up with Microsoft Windows. In 2001, the iPod changed the entire music industry (thus ensuring high sales for one of our planned iProducts, the iHearingAid). In 2007, the iPhone transfigured the mobile phone industry, forcing innovation upon all other lesser mobile phone manufacturers. And today, we are going to introduce an infinite number of products of this elite class.

    Because infinity is such a large number, I am going to introduce just three of these iProducts today. The first one is a newly developed iPod. But not just any iPod as you will soon see. The second is a breakthrough communications device featuring not just audio and video, but even more as you will witness in just a minute. And the third device is an amazingly advanced supercomputer. An iPod. A communicator. A supercomputer. ... Are you getting it? These are not infinitely many different devices--this is one all encompassing device--and we are calling it iEverything! Today Apple is going to reinvent the world! ... And here it is. Can you see it? Do you know what it looks like? No! It's inside me...

    Now let me talk about a category of things... The most "personal" computers are the ones we carry around with us all the time: our cell phone, our portable music player, our PDA, and for some people a two-way communicator. For many people, these are all separate devices, with distinct interfaces, discrete components, and different screens, keyboards, and batteries all to deal with. The iEverything aims to leapfrog this problem.

    We're going to start with a revolutionary user interfa

  • About time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ajjfk ( 11756 ) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:54PM (#27231133)

    Very nice and welcome additions, though all of this should have been in from the get-go. And of course, now that they are, the self-deceivers can finally stop saying how unnecessary these things were. Throw in SMB networking (not WebDav), Bluetooth file transfers, and decent video recording and we're there.

  • by doofusclam ( 528746 ) <slash@seanyseansean.com> on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @04:01PM (#27231265) Homepage

    Our management have been chomping at the bit to get iphones.

    Unfortunately they've also mandated we s/mime encrypt all intra-company email, which doesn't work on the thing as you can't install a certificate.

    Does anyone with access to the new SDK know if certs have been added to the thing?

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard