As Apple’s senior vice-president of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller introduced the third iteration of the iPhone, the 3G S, he labelled it “the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet”. However, this was the least of the news; with a brand-new 3-megapixel autofocus camera, video-recording and the ability to send multimedia text messages plus cut-and-paste text, iPhone fans have finally (mostly) got what they were looking for.
The new OS 3.0, which Apple says is the world’s most advanced mobile operating system (OS), has over 100 new features including Spotlight search, landscape keyboard and hands-free voice control.
Aside from all these changes, the actual iPhone 3G S itself is on average up to twice as fast as its predecessor, making for quicker loading of webpages and faster launching of apps.
The autofocus camera has a feature similar to the LG Renoir – ‘tap to focus’ – which means that touching the screen where you see your subject will automatically adjust for optimal focus and exposure.
Video-recording also comes with in-phone editing abilities and the option to upload video clips to YouTube or MobileMe with one tap, or email or MMS them if you wish.
Voice control has some command recognition; this is a nice twist as you can activate the iTunes Genius recommendation feature by saying ‘Play more songs like this’ or ask your iPhone to pause, play the next song or shuffle. You can even query what song is currently playing.
One of the most interesting features of the iPhone 3.0 software has got to be the new Find My iPhone security feature. Working with your laptop or desktop through MobileMe, you can use the feature to find out where your iPhone is on a map, and if it is lost or has been stolen you have the ability to send a message that will appear onscreen (for example, ‘This phone has been locked. Please return for reward’), and, best of all, if the blasted thief appears to be uncooperative, you can remotely erase all your private data and content with Remote Wipe.
Should it be the case that you simply misplaced your iPhone while on silent (I do this all the time), using the Find My iPhone feature you can ‘ask’ your iPhone to play a sound anyway.
The iPhone 3G S will be available in Ireland on 26 June with pricing available at launch, and the OS 3.0 software will be available on 17 June as a free software update via iTunes 8.2 or later for all iPhone customers. iPod touch customers will be required to purchase a software update for €7.99 (inc VAT).