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Apple just announced their iPhone 3.0 software update. This is a major update for Apple that adds fundamental building blocks for the future of the platform. The In-App purchase is the change that will have the most effects for the developer community and Apple itself as it could bring billions of dollars in extra revenues a few years down the road. As for the rest, there are nice incremental changes, but nothing “groundbreaking”. Some of the demos were nice, like the Sims, but other games like Livefire (a first-person shooter) remind us that the touch screen remains a difficult control interface. Here are the top changes:

iPhone 3.0 is a free update

Coming this summer…

In App Purchases

This is a huge business opportunity for Apple and for developers. The market for add-ons in games, social network and applications might be worth billions. Similar business models in Asia have already proven to be great. This will also enable subscription-based businesses like ebooks and newspapers.


Peer to Peer Connectivity

Peer to Peer communication is something that we expect from a communications device, but it is added only now and to be honest we had not missed it before. This could lead to networked games and simple apps to send your business card.

Accessories Control

This will take accessories to the next level. Accessories and iPhone can now communicate both ways, enabling the phone to analyze incoming data and reacting, thus making the accessory effectively smarter. Let’s see what comes out of this.

Maps for all Apps

This is convenient for developers: now they can use parts or all of Google maps – except if they want to do turn by turn directions (for maps licensing reasons). However, they can still use their own maps and retrieve the GPS location via Google Maps, saving a lot of time and code on the way.

Copy/Paste

Better late than never: this third time around, Apple has managed to pull Copy/Paste off, one of the (sadly) most anticipated feature. You won’t have to type in your WEP key from now on! You can select a block of text and double tap to display the copy/cut/paste menu. It kind of works like you would expect it to.

Landscape QWERTY keyboard

This was long overdue – good stuff.

MMS

Finally, MMS is here! Some people don’t care because they have email, other feel really strongly about having it. The bottom line is that any dumb phone can do it, so there’s no reason why the iPhone couldn’t

Voice memo

Send voice memos to yourself…

CalDAV

Makes the iPhone compatible with other services calendars such as Yahoo or Google.

Search

Searches in “key” apps like email, apps, contacts, music… that’s nice for people who do have a lot of contacts or music. We like this.

And a bunch more…

Head to the Apple website to check ALL the new features and updates, but there you go, you know what matters the most.

Filed in Apple >Cellphones >Featured >Top Stories.
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