Apple iPhone OS 3.0 – A Major Upgrade

Apple iPhone 3G Today, Apple previewed the upcoming update to the iPhone and iPod Touch software – iPhone OS 3.0.

It includes over 1,000 new APIs for iPhone developers to work with, including support for new features as well as older features that were considered off-limits to developers.

More importantly, at least from the consumer/end-user perspective, it offers some really additions that consumers have been asking for, including official tethering (although Apple is still working with mobile providers on how to handle tethering) as well as Copy and Paste between applications, and MMS support.

Phil Schiller described the iPhone software updates:

“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.”

New features for consumers/end-users:
– Official support for tethering (important for those of us wanting to tether our laptops to our iPhones)
– Copy & Paste between applications
– MMS/Multimedia messaging
– Landscape mode added for built-in applications such as Mail, Notes, and Text Edit.
– Push notification
– Search/spotlight functionality increased (search Mail, notes, text, iPod library)
– Voice memo capabiltilies

New features for developers:
– Access to 3rd party hardware accessories
– Updates for working with the internal mapping functions
– Purchase/subscription content from within an application (rather than exiting to the App Store)
– Peer-to-peer connections based on Bonjour
– Access to iPod music library

Apple also announced that they’ve now sold 17 million iPhones, as well as over 13 million iPod Touch units. The App Store now has more than 25,000 applications available for download/purchase, and the number of countries available for the App Store has been raised to 77 countries.

You can watch the presentation here:

AppleInsider has a good summary of the changes. They’ve also posted their first impressions.