Quick Summary: Apple iPhone OS 3.0 Event Announcements

Apple today is holding a special event to offer a preview of iPhone OS 3.0, along with an updated Software Development Kit (SDK). We will be updating this story with new announcements as they happen.

11:39 – More Q&A. Next question: Will peer to peer work with other devices? The feature is limited to Bonjour, Peer to Peer devices. Another question: Where do you stand on tethering? Forstall explains that they are building tethering support into iPhone OS 3.0, and are working with carriers to get it implemented. Will Apple make uptime promises on the push notification feature? No. Neither will users be able to move files over Bluetooth.

11:34 – Q&A session with Joswiak, Forstall, and Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior VP of worldwide product marketing. First question: Why did copy & paste take so long. Forstall claims there were security issues. Second question: Flash, and what Apple is doing about it. Execs reply that there are no announcements on that topic today, but note there are a lot of video streams the iPhone can handle, such as h.264. They also reveal that Apple’s adding HDTV streaming for audio and video.

11:28 – Release info.  iPhone OS 3.0 will be available this Summer. A free update for all iPhone customers. Due to hardware differences, features such as A2DP and MMS won’t be available on the original iPhone. It will also be available for the iPod touch for $9.95.

11:25 – The developer beta of iPhone OS 3.0 is available as of today. Apple is also adding 15 more countries to the App Store list, bringing the total to 77.

11:22 – More features. Another large graphic shows a number of other new features, including Stereo Bluetooth, shake to shuffle, Notes sync, encrypted profiles, YouTube subscriptions, VPN on demand, Auto Fill, Wi-Fi auto login, and more.

11:18 – Search. Search will be available in all Apple applications in iPhone OS 3.0, including Mail, iPod, Notes and Calendar. In addition, a new home page called Spotlight will allow users to search all of these at once; it will have its own page alongside the normal app pages, to the far left, indicated by a small magnifying glass icon.

11:17 – Calendar. iPhone OS 3.0 will support CalDAV and .ics calendars, including subscriptions.

11:16 – Voice Memos. A new app to quickly and easily record short audio messages.

11:13 – MMS support. iPhone OS 3.0 will support MMS messaging, along with forwarding/deleting multiple messages.

11:12 – Landscape keyboard. Will be available in all “key apps” in iPhone OS 3.0, including Mail.

11:04 – Cut & Paste confirmed. Double-tapping on text automatically selects it, with grab points on either end and a cut/copy/paste bubble above. When sliding a grab point, a new magnifying glass appears. Long holds in Safari automatically select large blocks of text; it will also copy HTML. Users can undo by shaking the device. The same process will work in third-party apps as long as they use the API. Users will also be able to select multiple pictures in the photo app to copy and paste, allowing for multi-picture emails.

10:30 – New APIs. In iPhone OS 3.0, Apple is offering a new API for streaming video and audio, and adding an API for in-game voice. Other APIs shown in a graphic include the battery, proximity sensor, an audio recorder, iPod library access(!), a Shake API, and text selection, which suggests that cut & paste is indeed coming in iPhone OS 3.0.

10:27 – Push notifications. Forstall said they expected to have the feature working last year, but didn’t get it done, in part because developers approached Apple wanting to use the feature in ways they hadn’t thought of, leading them to re-architect the server structure.

10:23 – Google Maps. All developers will now be able to add Google Maps capability to their application using a standard API. In addition, developers will be able to use core location to provide turn-by-turn directions, but they will need to supply their own maps when using turn-by-turn functionality due to licensing agreements.

10:21 – Accessory compatibility. With iPhone OS 3.0, accessory developers will be able to write custom applications that communicate directly with their hardware through the 30-pin Dock Connector or wirelessly over Bluetooth.

10:17 – Forstall introduces a new Peer to Peer connectivity feature, which uses Apple’s Bonjour technology to automatically find other iPod touches or iPhones running the same app and connect wirelessly over Bluetooth with no pairing necessary. The feature will be available to both games and other applications through a standard API.

10:11 – Apple’s Senior Vice President of iPhone Software Scott Forstall is now on stage for a preview of iPhone OS 3.0. Forstall claims it is a “major update” to the OS, with over 1,000 new APIs for developers. Developers have been asking for the ability to sell subscriptions, new levels, and other content from within their apps, which will be provided by a new In-App Purchase feature, which ties into the iTunes Store for authentication and purchasing. Apple will take 30% of these purchases for operating fees, as they do with standalone applications, and the feature will only be available within paid applications.

10:03 – Apple VP of Product Marketing for the iPod + iPhone Greg Joswiak is leading off the presentation. Says iPhone is now in 80 countries, with over 17 million iPhones sold, and over 30 million iPhone OS devices (iPhone + iPod touch). The company has seen over 800,000 downloads of the free iPhone SDK, with over 50,000 companies and individuals joining the dev program. Over 60%, have never developed for any Apple platform before. Gameloft has seen more than 2 million paid downloads from the App Store, with over 25,000 apps now available, over 800 million app downloads thus far. Joswiak said that 96% of apps that have been submitted were approved.

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