Major Announcements from Apple

August 08, 2009 in #news #apple #iOS #iPhone #Safari #Siri #Voice Control #SatNav

Apple has made some huge announcements at it’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC 2009) and this article will cover most of them!

iPhone 3.0 to be released on June 17th

In true fashion GearGadget pipped me to the post on this one, but yes the iPhone 3.0 software will be available to download through iTunes on that date! If you happen to have paid Apple $99, own a Mac and have joined their developer scheme then you should have an image already (to make sure your apps definitely work!).
There are various important new features, including:

  • Cut, Copy and Paste between native & third party apps
  • Undo action by ’shaking’
  • Landscape on all apps
  • MMS support (With most operators)
  • The ability to rent/purchase video
  • Audio & Video Streaming via HTTP (With bit rates altered depending on your connection)
  • Peer-to-peer networking support over bluetooth
  • Tethering (the ability to use your iPhone to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) without extra apps on your PC/Mac

However, if you’re after movie capture you’ll need to shell out for the iPhone 3GS. More on this shortly!

Top Apps to Look Out For

Several apps were on display at WWDC 09 which take advantage of the latest Apple iPhone OS and the extras added to the iPhone SDK.


Everyone in the know has been waiting a while for TomTom to enter the fray and now they have with the latest iPhone OS. It uses voice-cues as before and provides a seamless experience on the iPhone. You can even buy a dock for it to strap to your windscreen. This could give Sat Nav manufacturers some issues for a while but could well sell iPhones on its own!

Additional MobileMe functionality

Ok, it’s not really an app – but Apple have now added new functionality which actually makes MobileMe useful. If you lose your phone you can login to your mobileme account and you’ll be shown it’s location via GPS. It will then play a sound (regardless of whether it’s on silent or not) so you can find it. If it’s been stolen, you can remotely wipe the data (and in the event you find it again, just use iTunes’ restore functionality). This feature alone will sell MobileMe subscriptions, and finally gives people an incentive to buy into it!
New eBookstore
I was unable to find out the name for this app but ScrollMotion have produced an app which allows you to download electronic versions millions of magazines, newspapers, and books, and can navigate the documents in much the same way as web pages in Safari. You can even produce citations and write out email forms with those in!

There are many more apps beyond this, but I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise!

iPhone 3GS

The iPhone 3GS will be released in US, UK, Canada and Western Europe on July 19th and will be a major improvement. However, pricing is surprisingly attractive:

  • iPhone 3G (8GB) – $99 (£44)
  • iPhone 3GS (16GB) – $199 (£94)
  • iPhone 3GS (32GB) – $299 (£144)

Yes, the former is the original iPhone 3G (hence the low price tag). However, before we get too excited these are the confirmed prices for the US. They have not yet been confirmed for the various other places the iPhone 3GS will be sold!

Big features for the new iPhone 3GS:

  • Support for Video Capture on a 3MP camera
  • Support for Voice Control
  • Up to 3 times faster than iPhone 3G due to increased hardware spec
  • Possibility for HD playback

In short, there is incentive for new customers to buy an iPhone 3GS but for those on a budget or looking to upgrade the iPhone 3G will be supported for a good long while yet! (iPod Touch users will have to pay for the upgrade to the latest 3.0 firmware).

Safari 4

As you can see in the screenshot the use of ‘top posts’ in thumbnail view is excellent. The default pages probably won’t be to your taste, so you’ll probably remove most of them and fire up tabs. To add a new entry you just click ‘+’ next to the URL (as though you’re adding a bookmark). You can then set bookmarks to be permanently on there with a drawing pin icon in ‘Edit’ mode (this is because there is a limit to the number of thumbnails you can show at any one time). This is an interesting take on bookmarks and I haven’t seen anything this innovative with them since Opera introduced Speed Dial.

Other than that Safari 4 is noticably faster than Google Chrome, Firefox 3.0 and Internet Explorer 8. The browser wars are really hotting up, with javascript speeds being the major battleground.

We got there!

Those were the major announcements in the conference. There are several additional features added to Quicktime Player and iTunes, but no doubt these will be covered elsewhere in future. The not-so-subtle hints about AT&T’s future involvement will no doubt see plenty of coverage also! (I don’t dedicate much article space to Apple, but today it deserves just that!). Look out for a feature on the Palm Pre coming soon!

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