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Native lansdscape email support  (Source: Apple Insider)

In-App purchases, will enable shareware and subscription applications on the iPhone for the first time.  (Source: Engadget/Apple)

Push notifications will allow users to interact with non-running iPhone Apps, while preserving battery life.  (Source: Engadget/Apple)

One picture says it all -- iPhone copy and paste is here at last!  (Source: Engadget/Apple)
OS v3.0 coming in June, will bring MMS, Copy Cut and Paste, turn by turn directions (third party), FM radio (third party, hardware), push notifications, and landscape email

Apple, struggling amid a rough economy continues to look to the iPhone as its brightest sales star.  Today Apple announced the new version of its iPhone OS, version 3.0 at a special presentation to the press.

At the start of the presentation, Apple lauded the iPhone's performance pointing out that it is now sold in 80 countries.  Stated presenter, Greg Joswiak, "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.  We've sold 17m altogether, you can see how people have accepted the 3G. But the touch also runs the same OS, and if you look at the time period, we've sold over 30m units of iPhones and iPod touch."

Apple also plugged the development community, saying that it has received 800,000 SDK download requests and has 50,000 companies and individuals working on developing Apps.  Apple defended its track record of approvals, which has received a lot of attention of late, saying that it approved 96 percent of submitted Apps, rejecting a mere 4 percent.

Scott Forstall, Apple's SVP of iPhone software was on hand to demo the new v3.0 OS and new SDK.  He started by announcing 1,000 new APIs in the new SDK.  He states, "Let me tell you what we're doing for developers. Our goal was to make devs successful, we gave them the best tools ever. It blew us away what they did. We've spent the last year working hard to make the SDK even better."

In a major announcement he revealed that developers will now have the ability to create Apps with so-called "in App purchases."  This means that subscription Apps like magazines or shareware should now be possible.  The purchase is tied to iTunes just like a standard App download and like downloads, Apple gets a 30 percent cut, including fees, and hands the rest to the developer.

More SDK announcements include the addition of Bluetooth and automatic discovery APIs.  This should allow multiplayer Apps.  Also new, developers will have new APIs to talk to hardware peripherals -- like attached speakers.  The APIs will likely bring one feature the iPods have long lacked -- FM radio -- to the iPhone and the iPod Touch via third part hardware, says Apple.  Apple also says that medical device makers like blood pressure cuff makers are interested in using the iPhone as a readout for their devices.

Apple is including a Maps API in the new OS/SDK for use with creating turn-by-turn directions. 

One of the biggest pieces of news, though, was that Apple has revised its server setup to support push notification, a feature the presenters admitted was "overdue".  Push notifications are a means for non-running Apps like IM clients to receive and display alerts to the user while they're using another program -- say Safari.  Apple says in testing push notifications only dropped battery life 20 percents, versus full background (running multiple Apps at once), which dropped batter life 80 percent or more.

EA was on hand to announce The Sims for the iPhone.  At the original SDK launch they had announced Spore for the iPhone.  In a decidedly different application announcement, Johnson and Johnson announced an iPhone blood sugar reade.

Oh, and after about an hour and five minutes of other stuff, Apple announced that the OS v3.0 is bring cut, copy, and paste, as rumored, to the iPhone. Copy and paste is accomplished by double clicking words to copy them and then sliding your finger to select a block of text.  Shaking undoes paste jobs.  The feature will work in SMS messages, Safari and more.

Speaking of "more" -- Apple announced MMS support as well.  Support for landscape email was also announced.

The SDK is available in beta form today, while the new OS will be released to customers in June as a free iPhone update.  Disappointing for some is that iPod Touch owners will have to shill out $9.95 for the new OS.  Also iPhone first generation customers won't have access to MMS.

In all Apple has delivered on many rumors -- push notifications, copy and paste, turn by turn, FM radio support (via third party), MMS messaging, and landscape email.  It has failed to deliver on others, though -- Flash, new hardware, officials plans for tethering, and background applications.  As with the iPhone itself, the new OS is still a work in progress, but one with a lot of attractive features at least.


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Flash
By schrodog on 3/17/2009 5:10:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It has failed to deliver on others, though -- Flash, new hardware, tethering, and background applications.


Since many websites use Flash, wouldn't it make since for the iPhone to include flash in Safari? Did I miss something? Did Apple explain why they are not including Flash?




RE: Flash
By Pirks on 3/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: Flash
By omnicronx on 3/17/2009 5:47:02 PM , Rating: 5
Funny.. WinMo and Nokia phones have no problem with Flashlite 3. In fact there is no noticeable battery life loss at all, i mean 0% to the user.

What do I think? They don't want competition for the games in the app store, but I may just be crazy ;)


RE: Flash
By psychobriggsy on 3/18/2009 8:22:10 AM , Rating: 1
Flash Lite is about as useful as a nutty turd in a bowl of corn flakes.

Why do we need Flash? For adverts, some with embedded video that will eat loads of bandwidth? I'd prefer AdBlock to save that bandwidth actually.

Video can move to HTML5 video tag.

Flash games ... I assume Apple would rather that they were rewritten as AppStore games.

I've never cried about not getting Flash by having Flashblock installed. It's a complete and utter PITA. Maybe it could be made available, but only with Flashblock by default, so you can click to play certain flash content if you really desire it.


RE: Flash
By Shadowself on 3/18/2009 9:59:59 AM , Rating: 1
If a Flash laden web site loads all that Flash crap and takes a minute to load versus not loading and taking five seconds that sounds like a battery impact to me. The battery has to run the phone (probably at peak performance) to load and display all that Flash crap (and as said elsewhere here, most of that Flash crap is just that -- ads I have no intention to ever read or even view).

This is both an annoyance and a battery drain due to longer load times to view the useful information on a given web page.

And, to me, it is not a matter of the iPhone OS versus Windows Mobile. It is a matter of optimized software to show things on web sites that I actually want to see. I have not visited a web site in quite a while that uses Flash for something I feel I truly need to see.


RE: Flash
By TomZ on 3/17/2009 5:57:50 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Eats the battery too much and introduces another unneeded layer of runtime on top of OS X. Basically the same reasons as for Java or .Net
Why would a flash player consume more battery compared with anything else that might be running? That's silly.

And omni is right - by keeping Flash (and Java and .NET) off the iPhone, it allows them to control the platform, and more importantly, the revenue streams.

I love how people criticize Microsoft, Intel, and others...but then give Apple a pass when they are highly anti-open and anti-competitive with t-heir platforms.


RE: Flash
By Shadowself on 3/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: Flash
By TomZ on 3/17/2009 8:09:00 PM , Rating: 4
Let's see, Apple has 100% control over the hardware platform, operating system, browser, development tools, and distribution channel. There is no question that if Apple wanted to keep Flash off the iPhone, it would be able to do that easily.

And I wouldn't expect Adobe to complain too loudly, except that as the iPhone gains more market share, I would guess they would want to run their software on that platform.

And for Apple, clearly their motive is they don't want people programming Flash on the iPhone, since that is no longer Apple's tools and Apple's platform. After all, a Flash app could be played on any number of platforms.

Really, Apple wants lots and lots of developers - but it just wants really small developers that it can easily control - those that will play by Apple's rules and not make a fuss.


RE: Flash
By Pirks on 3/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: Flash
By Pirks on 3/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: Flash
By TomZ on 3/17/2009 8:03:18 PM , Rating: 4
I'm well aware of the market share of these products, but the market share is irrelevant. Their behavior is still anti-competitive. Sure, there is no anti-trust prosecution because they have not achieved a monopoly in the relevant markets. But my point really is that consumers and techies don't seem to mind the way they strictly control their platforms.

If Microsoft did the same, there would be an OUTRAGE.


RE: Flash
By Pirks on 3/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: Flash
By Whaaambulance on 3/18/2009 3:08:26 PM , Rating: 1
I think it is rather clear that nobody that posts on DT really takes what you say seriously. As soon as you post something, you are immediately rated down to -1. It's definitely entertaining though, keep up the good work!


RE: Flash
By Pirks on 3/18/09, Rating: 0
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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