Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iPhone OS 3.0 | iLounge Article


Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iPhone OS 3.0

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iPhone OS 3.0 also brings a number of enhancements to the Safari browsing experience, with general speed and performance being the most noticeable improvements, as well as a few other new features.


An AutoFill feature is now available in Safari to automatically fill in web pages with information such as user and password logins and contact info. Safari will prompt the user when it detects AutoFill information that can be saved for future logins, and then automatically fill that information in when revisiting the page. An AutoFill button also appears on text entry screens in Safari to manually trigger the AutoFill process.


AutoFill settings can be adjusted from the Safari section in the iPhone or iPod touch Settings app. From here, you can choose to use AutoFill for contact info and/or names and passwords, and choose which address book entry you would like to use for your contact info.


Open in New Window

Tapping and holding a link in Safari will now provide the option to open that link in a new browser window, in addition to the options for copying the link to the clipboard or opening it normally.


Access to Location Information

iPhone OS 3.0 will now allow web-based applications to access the location services on your device to help provide relevant location-based information. Although Google demonstrated this a couple of weeks ago with their Google Latitude web app, there are not yet any iPhone web apps publicly available to take advantage of this. Presumably, Safari will prompt users for permission before using location information in the same way that the iPhone presently does for other applications.

Mail, Contacts, Calendars

In addition to the search features, widescreen view and landscape keyboard support that we discussed earlier in Mail and Contacts, iPhone OS 3.0 provides a few other changes in the mail, contacts, and calendar applications.

Disable Loading of Images in Mail

Other than landscape keyboard support and searching, the Mail app itself is largely unchanged from the prior iPhone OS release. A new Mail settings option, however, found under Mail, Contacts, Calendars in the Settings application, allows you to disable the loading of remote images in HTML e-mail messages.


When this setting is turned off, external images linked in e-mail messages will not be displayed when reading the message in the Mail app. Note that Mail does not provide any means to load these images on-the-fly—you must go back to Settings and re-enable the options to see the images in an e-mail message.

Fetch New Mail Settings

While nothing has changed in the push e-mail settings options, these have been moved from the top level in the Settings application to a sub-menu under the Mail, Contacts, Calendars section.


Quote Specific Text for Replying/Forwarding

If you select specific text in an e-mail message before selecting the reply or forward options, only that specific text will be quoted in the reply or forwarded e-mail message. This works for both plain text and rich-text e-mail messages, and can even be used to include specific images.

Share Contacts

Contacts can now be shared via e-mail or MMS from within the Contacts or Phone apps. A “Share Contact” button appears when viewing a specific contact record, allowing the displayed contact to be send out via e-mail or MMS (if enabled) as a vCard file attachment.


Importing of vCard attachments into your contact list works in much the same manner as it did in previous iPhone OS versions, although it’s worth noting that vCards can now be received via MMS and imported directly from the Messages app.

Address Book and Calendar Subscriptions

Users can now set up links to external LDAP address books, CalDAV calendars and subscribed iCal (.ics) calendars directly from the iPhone or iPod touch. These are added by selecting “Other” from the “Add Account…” option in the Mail, Contacts, Calendars settings.


Multiple Calendars and Address Books

iPhone OS 3.0 now supports multiple distinct calendar and address book sources, and separates these out within the Contact and Calendar applications. Calendars and Contacts can be synchronized from MobileMe, Exchange and from a local data source via iTunes, and you can subscribe to LDAP address books and CalDAV or iCal calendars, as noted above. Each address book or calendar source is listed separately within the Contact and Calendar applications.


Further, since iPhone OS 3.0 stores each set of calendar and contact data separately, deleting a contact/calendar source or configuring a new one no longer erases any of the data from the other sources. Further, when disabling a calendar or contact source for an existing MobileMe or Exchange account, you’re given the option to keep the data or remove it from your device.


Note that you can still only have one of each type of data source. You are still limited to one Exchange account, and only one MobileMe account can configured for calendar and contact syncing, although secondary MobileMe accounts can still be created for Mail only.

Users with more than one contact source can choose their default from the Mail, Contacts, Calendars settings to be used by default. You will also be prompted for which contact store you want to use when importing SIM contacts or vCard files.


Exchange Meeting Requests

Expanding upon the Microsoft Exchange support introduced in last year’s iPhone OS 2.0 release, iPhone OS 3.0 has added the ability to schedule appointments from within the Calendar app and invite other attendees. Creating a new appointment while viewing your Microsoft Exchange calendar now provides an Invitation field that can be filled in to send invitations to other attendees, as well as an Availability field to set your status for the new appointment to Busy, Free, Tentative or Out of Office.


When entering attendees, your on-device contacts and your Exchange Global Address List on the server are searched for name completion as you type.


Find My iPhone (or iPod touch)

iPhone OS 3.0 introduces a new feature for MobileMe subscribers that has been mostly limited to corporate smartphone users in the past—the ability to locate and/or remotely erase your iPhone or iPod touch device.

If you’re a MobileMe user, you can enable the “Find my iPhone” or “Find my iPod touch” feature on your device simply by toggling it on under your MobileMe account settings, found in Mail, Contacts, Calendars under the Settings application.


Once enabled, simply log on to your MobileMe Account page with your browser of choice and select the “Find My iPhone” tab from the left-hand menu. The last known location of your iPhone or iPod touch will be shown on an active Google Map applet which can be zoomed and panned like any other Google Map page. Satellite and Hybrid views are also available from here.


From here, you can send a request for the device to update its location, display a message and optionally play a sound on the device, or send a command to remotely wipe the device entirely. These options only work, of course, if your device is still connected to the Internet.

The Display a Message option will bring up another window in which you can enter a message you would like displayed on the device screen and optionally play a sound for two minutes. Your display message will appear as a pop-up message in the same way as new text messages and push notifications are shown, and if requested, the sound will play regardless of whether the ringer is turned off or not.



The Remote Wipe command will permanently delete all of the data on your device, returning it to factory settings. This option performs a secure erase in the same manner as the “Erase All Content and Settings” option does in the device’s setting app, so you can be assured that your data will be gone for good, but also that the device will be rendered inaccessible for at least a couple of hours while the secure wipe completes.


Although the feature is called “Find my iPhone” it works on iPod touch devices as well, but will be of more limited usefulness due the Wi-Fi only Internet connection.

Phone (iPhone only)

The Phone app in iPhone OS 3.0 remains mostly the same as in prior versions, although there are a few small changes.

The recent calls listing now includes additional text for each entry, displaying an icon indicating whether the call was outgoing or incoming and the specific phone number from which the call was received for existing contacts (ie, mobile/work/home/etc) or the general geographic location for non-contact numbers.


Call history is now more clearly broken down within recent call records, particularly those which represent more than a single call. In addition to the date and time, the duration of the call is displayed, and incoming and outgoing calls are displayed separately for multiple-call records.


As an added bonus, contact records can now be edited directly from the Favorites or Recent views - an “Edit” button appears prominently in the top-right corner when viewing a contact record, allowing it to be edited in the same way as it would be from the normal Contacts listing. Previous iPhone versions did not allow editing from these views, requiring the user to locate the contact within the actual Contacts application if they wanted to update or change any information.


Notes Sync

Except for the addition of the in-app search bar at the top and support for landscape mode, the Notes app on the iPhone and iPod touch remains largely identical to the version found back in iPhone OS 1.0. One significant improvement, however, is that Notes can now be synchronized with your computer via iTunes. The setting for this can be found within iTunes 8.2 on the “Info” tab; there are no specific settings for Notes on the device itself.


Notes synchronize with Apple Mail for Mac users and Microsoft Outlook for Windows users. Mac users require OS X 10.5.7 to enable Notes sync, while Windows users need Outlook 2003 or later installed on their computers. As highlighted in our review of iTunes 8.2, the ability to select alternate sources for Notes sync in iTunes 8.2 for Windows implies that other sync sources may be coming in the future.

Notes can only be synced via iTunes over a USB connection—there is presently no wireless sync option for Notes, despite the fact that these may be stored on the server side by Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook.


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“There is a downside, however: the search only includes message headers; a full-text search of message content is not performed, either locally on your device or on the server. “

Other reviews (such as on Ars) have specifically shown that it did include emails with the results in the body (when choosing the “All” search in email.

So what’s the deal; does it search message bodies or not?  Just from the screenshots on the Ars review alone it seems clear it did, as it included search results where the search term was not in the headers.

Posted by TomHandy on June 17, 2009 at 3:15 PM (CDT)


Great guide! I found something I thought I would share: when trying to select 6 pictures or more on my iPod disabled the email button; this may be to keep the size down or something. However, you can always just select as many as you want and copy and paste them into a new email.

Posted by mikeman118 on June 17, 2009 at 3:20 PM (CDT)


#1: It definitely does not search full message content, either locally or on the server. This is easily tested just by pulling up an e-mail, picking an obscure word that wouldn’t otherwise appear and then searching on that word.

Bear in mind that just because a word doesn’t visibly appear in the search results listing doesn’t mean that it may not form part of the header that isn’t displayed. The message list doesn’t necessarily display full subject lines, for instance.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on June 17, 2009 at 3:33 PM (CDT)


Nice guide. Very clear.

I have not upgraded to 3.0 (maybe tomorrow if I have the time) but I have been noticing the sliding blue location dot in Maps for awhile now (when outside). If I open maps in the house, I get the location compass and five red dots spread out around the city. I assume because I cannot be pinpointed.

I was hoping for an audible click when tapping the stopwatch on. Alas. If that’s all I will have to complain about, then Apple has done well.

Posted by MidNorthCanuck on June 17, 2009 at 4:51 PM (CDT)


When 3.0 was released to developers there were rumors that it would enable Bluetooth via the Nike+ chip in the 2nd gen iPod touch. This was to allow stereo Bluetooth headphones like the iPhone now supports. Is this actually the case?

Posted by Neil on June 17, 2009 at 5:11 PM (CDT)


#4: The blue location dot has been appearing in Maps on the iPhone since the 3G added GPS capabilities. However, prior to v3.0, it only appeared *after* GPS coordinates were obtained. With 3.0 it appears immediately on both the iPhone and iPod touch.

#5: Yes, as noted above in the section on Bluetooth Enhancements, the 2G iPod touch now gets full Bluetooth support that is basically on-par with the iPhone. The only difference between the iPhone and iPod touch 2G Bluetooth is support for hands-free headsets, since this is a phone-specific feature.  Note that the original iPod touch does not contain any Bluetooth hardware.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on June 17, 2009 at 5:36 PM (CDT)


Can’t seem to copy a phone number in the Contacts without dialing it.  Could go into Edit and grab it fine.  Click and hold as described above doesn’t seem to work in this context.

Posted by Dave Williams on June 17, 2009 at 7:53 PM (CDT)


I don’t know why the email search doesn’t seem to work for you guys..

I just took a very specific text “XXPDK” from an email where it appeared towards the very bottom of the message.

Search found it in both the Mail app search under ALL, and the spotlight search on the home page.

Maybe your phone hasn’t finished indexing yet…

Full Mail search DOES work

Posted by Brian on June 17, 2009 at 8:08 PM (CDT)


I just did a similar test and searching the body of emails does NOT appear to work. I’m on an original first-gen iPhone (two more days till I get my 3G-S).

Posted by icruise on June 17, 2009 at 8:58 PM (CDT)


I think I’ve already found a bug.  For whatever reason, my playlists on my iPhone are not sorting correctly.  Typically I sort all playlists by album; this is carried over to the iPhone.  However, when I check my playlist on the iPhone, it’s all out of order - I have no idea what criteria Apple is actually using.  In iTunes for both the editable playlist and the playlist on the iPhone as seen by iTunes, the sort order is as expected.  Looks like the testers didn’t test thoroughly enough.

Plus, is anyone else getting the “Updating library” graphic on their iPhone when accessing the iPod app right after syncing?

Posted by Jay on June 17, 2009 at 9:15 PM (CDT)


Thanks for the info Jesse! Great read while waiting for the download of OS3.0 to finish.  Definitely making me salivate all that much more!

Posted by Michel Savoie on June 17, 2009 at 9:30 PM (CDT)


So I installed 3.0 on my Ipod Touch 2G and everything went great. The only thing that I noticed that now holding down the home button to close Safari, or mail or music no longer works. I used to do this all the time to free up memory. I anyone else experiencing this. Is there some reason that this no longer works? It’s not the end of the world. I’m just curious why Apple would turn this off.

Posted by Tyler Laird on June 17, 2009 at 11:20 PM (CDT)


Bacause holding down the Home key triggers Voice Control on the 3GS, so Apple removed this from the 3G and 2G.

Posted by Idomilliomos on June 17, 2009 at 11:39 PM (CDT)


On the subject on full mail search, I’m guessing that Spotlight indexes at intervals and hence that is a disparity in findings.

Posted by Young on June 18, 2009 at 12:10 AM (CDT)


The Mailsearch does Fulltext since the early betas - it just has to index first.

Anyone noticed the bug:
Compose a new SMS, add another recipient = title changes to “group-SMS” (only if you have mms configured on your device) - quite costly to send an mms, compared to sending multiple SMS, where you have free quotas in most contracts.

Posted by Josh on June 18, 2009 at 12:52 AM (CDT)


I am having the same two problems as Jay.  The orders of songs in my smart playlists do not transfer—no matter how I sort them in iTunes, the order on my iPhone stays the same.  Also, the “Updating Library…” message appears every time (for a couple minutes) every time I open the iPod app after syncing.

Posted by Mike on June 18, 2009 at 2:11 AM (CDT)


@12: Hold down the power key until you get the “slide to power off” message.  Then instead of sliding, hold down the Home key for 6 seconds.  This will force quit the open app.

#13 I believe is correct as to why this has changed.  Sure your old phone doesn’t do voice control, but I’m sure Apple wants to keep the mechanism uniform across all devices with the new OS.

Posted by Dyvim on June 18, 2009 at 10:04 AM (CDT)


@Tyler Laird
“The only thing that I noticed that now holding down the home button to close Safari, or mail or music no longer works…”

It’s still working this function. Apple has just changed the buttons.
Now, you have to press 2 buttons instead of one.
Hold down the on/off power button till you see the slider,
Then hold down the square button(the only button under the screen till your application closed.
It’s working very good for me.
hope it helps.

Posted by jaovao on June 18, 2009 at 10:06 AM (CDT)


Any confirmation if Apple improved the audio quality w/ the 3.0 update? I swear playback of music via the iPod mode sounds clearer, warmer and far less brittle than in earlier device OS releases.

Posted by Scott on June 18, 2009 at 12:21 PM (CDT)


Resetting home screen layout resets application alphabetically.

Posted by Name: on June 18, 2009 at 12:29 PM (CDT)


Search in Calendars produces just one result despite multiple entries, the nearest to “todays” date.

For instance I had two Dentist appointments, one on the 2nd June (done)and the next on 1st September. Only the June appointment shows up.

I can understand repeat appointments need to be curtailed in Search but similar irregular appointments need to work I feel?

Posted by Joni on June 18, 2009 at 1:20 PM (CDT)


Im having a hard time trying to connect the bluetooth to my car…
When I go to the Ipod icon in my iphone it doesnt have the connect the bluetooth button thing…Can anyone please help me.

Posted by Elvis on June 18, 2009 at 3:47 PM (CDT)


I’m not really sure what people who think they are getting full-text search results are actually seeing, but the Mail search does NOT do full-text searching. Not only have we tested this very specifically for some time on multiple devices, but Apple’s own iPhone User Guide for iPhone 3.0 explicitly states this on page 37:

Mail:  To, From, and Subject fields of all accounts (the text of messages isn’t searched)

...and further on page 65:

Tap From, To, Subject, or All (From, To, and Subject) to choose which fields you want to search.

It’s also worth nothing that Calendar item notes are not searched either.

Now, to be fair, when continuing your search on the server side, it’s entirely possibly that you may get full-text results. This would depend on the server implementation and whether it extends that search to message bodies. However, none of the IMAP services that we have tried, including both GMail and MobileMe, have provided any results beyond those found in the message headers.  Further, even if your IMAP provider supported this, it would only apply to the second-tier search on the server itself—once you have already finished searching the local device.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on June 18, 2009 at 5:57 PM (CDT)


@Dyvim & @javvao thanks for your help!

Posted by Tyler Laird on June 18, 2009 at 7:41 PM (CDT)


Just spotted a new feature that everyone else missed!

Double-tapping the home button to bring up Music/iPod playback controls now works even if the screen is locked (the controls will appear below the current time).


Posted by oboewan on June 18, 2009 at 8:14 PM (CDT)


That was actually there in v2.x.  I’m not sure if it was introduced in a specific sub-version, but it was definitely there in v2.2.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on June 18, 2009 at 9:54 PM (CDT)


#25: That always worked for me on my iPod Touch long before the 3.0 update.

Posted by Ned Scott on June 19, 2009 at 12:23 AM (CDT)


To #‘s 12, 13 & 18
Apple has altered this function.
Force quit an application : Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button on top of iPhone for a few seconds until a red slider appears, and then press and hold the Home button until the application quits.
One thing tho - don’t hold down both buttons at the same time as this will do a hard reset of the iPhone which is not desireable - especially every day.

Posted by Joe B on June 19, 2009 at 7:17 AM (CDT)


my beef, picky beef for sure

Why no enable the ipod controls from the lock screen on a single click, or at least have the option?

Still no option for music alarm clocks in the built in clock app? Why?? Sure 3rd party works if you plug in and run the app all night.

Very limited Bluetooth Remote support. I can’t pause or skip. Still love the a2dp but that’s half the equation.

super picky
Allowing choice between headphone or speaker without making me unplug would be nice. Also a quicker way to get to bluetooth than 4 menu items deep.

Posted by cdlenfert on June 19, 2009 at 7:56 AM (CDT)


One new feature of 3.0 that I had not seen reported that I experienced this morning was how it deals with entering a WIFI location that requires you to go through a splash page to accept terms.  Previously if you entered a new WIFI location (like when I enter a hospital) my phone would kick over to it, but I had to open Safari to go through the authentication splash page and accept the terms…ie had to jump out of mail or whatever else.  this morning when I entered the hospital while checking email a new splash screen popped up within the email App and allowed me to accept the terms without jumping off and starting Safari.  Quite a time saver.  I didn’t test it out with other 3rd party Apps to see if it works like that for all of them.

Also used the auto-login at Starbucks this AM, much quicker!

Posted by TosaDeac on June 19, 2009 at 10:46 AM (CDT)


“Live Updating” of smart playlists is broken, now have to re-sync for playlists to update.  Also broken—factory Honda and BMW iPod integration. Really, really bummed :(

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on June 19, 2009 at 8:04 PM (CDT)


will the Dock Connector Access allow 3rd party apps to provide video-out?  Currently only apple native apps provide this.

Posted by Ladd on June 22, 2009 at 1:41 PM (CDT)


#7 There is a great little app called copycontacts that allows you to do this quickly, check the app store, pity Apple didn’t think of this though…

Posted by Marcus King on June 26, 2009 at 8:35 AM (CDT)


Where’s the hidden To-Do list sync with OS X’s iCal? Oh that’s right,  IT’S STILL NON-EXISTENT after 3 major versions of the iPhone OS.

Apple incompatibility with itself v3.0.

Posted by Herr Doktor on July 2, 2009 at 11:34 AM (CDT)


I have an iPod Touch 2G.  Great article and I’m enjoy 3.0 on my 2G even more!

My tip for for any iTouch 2G owners - get the 3.0 OS.

Posted by Tim on July 11, 2009 at 11:51 PM (CDT)

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