Mix: Best Buy, Push Notifications, MapQuest, DataViz

Best Buy will begin selling the iPhone 3GS at its retail locations beginning at 10:00 a.m. Friday morning, and will also offer an accident insurance plan for the handset, AppleInsider reports. Customers will be able to purchase the retailer’s Geek Squad Black Tie Protection for the iPhone 3G S, albeit at a rate of $15 per month, or $180 a year, substantially higher than the normal $7-$10/month for other mobile phones. According to the report, the Black Tie service covers both traditional technical problems and problems resulting from physical damage such as drops, spills, or other accidents.

Apple’s AppleCare for iPhone specifically denies service for devices that have been damaged in such a manner, and since AT&T has chosen not to offer its traditional insurance to iPhone owners, users with accidental damage have in the past had to either pay for repairs or purchase all new devices.

iPhone developers running the final release of iPhone OS 3.0 have noticed that Apple’s Push Notification system appears to have gone live, just days before its scheduled official launch alongside iPhone OS 3.0. A number of Mac Rumors forum members report that the Notifications menu has appeared within the Settings application; notably, only a single Push-ready application—Tap Tap Revenge 2—appears to have made its way through Apple’s approval process at this point, with challenges from friends triggering the alerts. iPhone OS 3.0 is slated for a Wednesday release.

AOL has released its MapQuest 4 Mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Billed as an alternative to the built-in Maps application, MapQuest 4 Mobile features the ability to save maps and routes on mapquest.com for retrieval through the application, an oversized display and landscape mode orientation for driving directions, a “place carousel” that allows users to easily display points of interest such as hotels, movie theaters, and gas stations, location awareness, and more. MapQuest 4 Mobile is available now as a free download from the App Store.

DataViz has introduced its Documents To Go productivity application for the iPhone and iPod touch.