Coverage of Apple’s Special Event to Preview iPhone firmware 3.0

BY Jason

Published 17 Mar 2009

iPhone firmware 3.0 event

Apple's special event to preview iPhone firmware 3.0 should be underway shortly. It is being held at the Town Hall auditorium on the Apple's campus in Cupertino, CA.

We are closely following the event and will keep updating this post with the details as soon as they are announced.

Updates are being posted from top to bottom (bottom newest) so stay tuned.

We will keep track of our super iPhone Firmware 3.0 Wish list that you all had contributed towards.

The event has just started so fasten your seat belts.

iPhone software vice president Scott Forstall and iPhone product marketing chief Greg Joswiak will be the ones presenting today.

Greg Joswiak giving some figures which we are really not interested about:

"Before we shipped our first phone, we set an aggressive goal — we
said we'd sell 10 million phones. And we sold 13.7m. We blew it away."

"This has been great for devs. In one year's time we've had over
800,000 downloads of the free SDK. We've had over 50,000 companies and
individuals join our dev program. And most of them, over 60%, have
never developed for any Apple platform before."

Okay, we are now getting into details of iPhone Firmware 3.0. Scott says iPhone firmware 3.0 software is a major update to all iPhones and iPod Touches.

He starts of with changes from a developer point of view such as:

  • 1000 new APIs
  • Interesting, Apple has announced they will support different business models on the App Store such as Subscriptions, Additional Level, New Content. Apple is calling it the In-App Purchase. The payment terms remains the same as the cost of an app, Apple will charge 30% as commission.
  • Support for peer-to-peer connectivity over Bluetooth. Great, so does that mean Full Bluetooth support is finally coming to the iPhone.
  • Allowing accessory manufacturers to create applications to interface with their hardware accessories.
  • Developers can now embed Google Maps directly into their application.
  • Developers can now use CoreLocation to make Turn by Turn applications, finally we should True GPS applications on the App Store.
  • New APIs added for streaming video and audio, in-game voice.

Some developers have been called on stage to show their iPhone apps running on firmware 3.0 such as:

  • Meebo's Instant Messaging App.
  • Electronic Arts, the game developer demoing SIM 3 where they show the In-App Purchase feature.
  • Oracle demoed an app that tracked supply line.
  • ESPN shows their iPhone app making using of the new video streaming and Push Notification APIs. Its pretty cool, it downloads the video based on your connection speed.
  • Johnson and Johnson is showing off their medical iPhone app which works with a small dock connector over Bluetooth serving as a finger pricking device for glucose testing. Cool idea!
  • ngmoco, the developer of popular game Rolando is giving a sneak peak at new games they are developing using firmware 3.0 features: Touch Pets, a social pet simulator. second is LiveFire, a multiplayer first person shooter over 3G or Wi-Fi.
  • Smule showing their new app Leaf Trombone (World Stage) which is a multiplayer music app. Crazy stuff!

Scott is now talking about the features for iPhone users, what we have all be waiting for. So here we go:

  • Copy and Paste is finally coming!

          Here is how it works:

Double tap on text, and it automatically selects it — then puts grab
points at the end of the selection, with a cut/copy/paste bubble above

To select a whole block, you double tap, slide with your finger or
thumb (you get a new magnifying glass), and pull across what you want
to grab.

You can use Copy and Paste across apps.

  • You will be able to send multiple photos at a time.
  • Landscape mode in Mail, SMS and Notes. Finally!
  • SMS app gets a few more enhancements in addition to landscape mode; you can now forward and delete multiple messages –individual messages or multiple messages.
  • Calendar app will support for CalDAV.
  • YouTube subscriptions.
  • MMS is coming to iPhone firmware 3.0.
  • You can now record, edit and send voice memos via email or MMS.
  • Some improvements to the Stocks app such as new stories in the bottom of the app and plus details like highs and lows and PEs are now within the app and also works in landscape mode.
  • We will also have the Spotlight for the iPhone in iPhone firmware 3.0, that is Apple's Universal Search feature. You will be able to search for information across mails in the Mail app, appointments in the Calendar app, songs in your iPod app's music library and also search for notes in the Notes app. This is brilliant!!!

iPhone firmware 3.0 will be available this summer. It will be available for free to iPhone 3G customers and will also work on 1st generation iPhone as well.

However the bad news is that features like A2DP (read stereo Bluetooth) and MMS will not be available on 1st gen iPhone due to hardware limitations. iPod Touch users will have to pay $9.95 for the update.

The beta version of iPhone Firmware 3.0 SDK will be available to developers starting today.

Some more details from the question and answer session:

  • Apple is building support for tethering in iPhone Firmware 3.0, however it will depend on carriers to add tethering support on their networks.
  • Its confirmed that the lack of MMS and Sterao Bluetooth support for 1st gen iPhone is due to a hardware limitation and not software.

We missed mentioning while talking about Spotlight for the iPhone and its pretty cool, iPhone firmware 3.0 will have a new Home screen called Spotlight. Here are some of the details:

You can scroll to the Spotlight homescreen. It lives in your pages of
apps as its own page. It works as you'd expect, a keyboard is present
and allows you pop up anything you're looking for in a list below a
search box.

Spotlight lives far left in your pages.

The other good thing to note is that these are only a few of the hundred new features. So we will let you as soon as we get to know about the features that were not mentioned today so don't forget to stay tuned by subscribing to iPhone Hacks RSS feed.

That's all folks, the event has come to an end. We would like to thank Engadget and Gizmodo for live blogging the event. Thanks for following our coverage.

Please let us know which you thought was the best feature from today's announcement.