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Apple Announces iPhone Software 3.0

Apple has announced plans to update the iPhone software to version 3.0 during “summer” of 2009. This update will be free for the iPhone and cost $9.95 for the touch. In the announcement, Apple noted new features reminiscent of those available on a Mac, including cross-app copy and paste, Spotlight searching, and shake to undo. Apple is also adding features that third-party software and hardware developers can use to extend how the device is used; possibilities include using the iPhone as a car GPS with turn-by-turn directions, using the iPhone as a data modem (this is called tethering and will work only if Apple can sort it out with your phone carrier), and the ability to dock the device to additional devices (think medical devices like a blood pressure cuff or insulin monitor). Apple also added an in-app purchase feature, so that developers can sell a low-cost app and then charge for more levels or features.

For more information about the many, many announced features, check out the raw news in a video of Apple’s presentation and the TidBITS write-up, Apple Previews iPhone 3.0 Software.

Those who are particularly interested in syncing data with an iPhone also took note of new support for CalDAV. CalDAV is a non-proprietary protocol used for transferring events between calendaring software, and it is supported by most major calendaring systems, including iCal 3 under Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, SOHO Organizer, Yahoo Calendar, and Google Calendar. There are already various methods of using CalDAV to move data to and from an iPhone, so presumably the built-in CalDAV support will make it easier to create CalDAV-savvy apps for the iPhone, making for still-more options in the future.

Apple also announced Bluetooth-based peer-to-peer networking, which means you’ll be able to create ad-hoc connections among nearby iPhones and iPod touches for a variety of purposes (such as multi-player gaming), but from the syncing perspective, this might also, for instance, enable users to quickly exchange contact data. —Tonya

Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)