At the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) today, Apple showed new features coming up in iPhone OS 3.0, which will be free for iPhone users, and $9.95 for iPod touch, and available on June 17. That's two days before the iPhone 3GS is released, giving us a couple of days to decide if the software upgrade will be enough, or to go with the newer, faster hardware. In addition to the new operating system, look for lots more creative apps, adding to the existing 50,000 now available.
As mentioned a few months ago, the new iPhone OS 3.0 finally introduces lots of features that should have been in the software from the beginning, including cut/copy/paste, a landscape keyboard that works in e-mail, notes, and messages, and multimedia messaging service (MMS), giving you the ability to attach pictures and video to text messages. A disappointment was that the U.S. carrier of the iPhone, AT&T, won't be ready to support MMS until "later this summer."
Another innovation is Spotlight, adding the ability to search across the iPhone, including inside apps and email. Another favorite feature of the jailbreakers is tethering, finally making its way to the iPhone, and letting you hook up your iPhone's mobile broadband connection to a PC. Unfortunately, laggard cellphone provider AT&T won't support this at launch, either.
We were impressed with the newly announced "find my iPhone" capability, but were disenchanted to find out it would only be offered to Apple's $99/year "Mobile Me" customers. It's a great idea, though, with a web browser showing you where your lost phone is on a map. You can get your phone to make a noise, even if you left it in silent mode. If you can't find it after all that helpful technology, you can nuke all the data on that phone with a "remote wipe" command. Lucky enough to find it? Then you can restore it from a backup in iTunes.