So Apple had a big day yesterday announcing new computers, the new iPhone 3G S, and of course the long awaited software upgrade to 3.0 with Copy & Paste, MMS, and the new Video Recorder (3G S only). As great as these features are though, I think they’ve completely over shadowed some other great additions, many of which, on a daily basis are going to be far more useful than being able to receive that picture message of my parents dog in a pig costume, scary...I know. I’ve gone through all of the information I could find directly from Apple’s website (these aren’t rumors) and pooled together some of the new features that have slipped through the cracks.
MobileMe got some major revision with the “Locate My Phone” feature and the “Remote whipe” but there is also a free application coming out called iDisk. Yup, you will now be able to remotely view you iDisk content straight from your phone, sorry MobileDisk and Air Sharing Pro. An added bonus is that through this app you can send a direct link to any file on your iDisk via e-mail so that anyone you like can view it, this is especially useful for content that is just too large to be sent through an e-mail itself.
More good news for MobileMe and Exchange users are the new advances in over the air contact and calendar syncing. Right now turning on syncing from a cloud to a phone will erase all information currently on the phone and replace it with the new info. With 3.0 though users will get the choice between erasing, merging all data, or creating separate profiles.
Apple also states that on top of MoibleMe and Exchange the phone will be able to sync contacts and calendars from Yahoo!, Google, iCal, and Microsoft Outlook. At this point it’s unclear if these are going to be new over the air features or more likely ones that need to be synced through iTunes. We do know though that you’ll be able to add subscription based calendars directly from the phone over the air, this is great for some one like me who needs an alert every time the Cubs are going to play a game or Special Holidays are coming up.
A feature I’ve been begging for since the first generation iPhone is finally being released, the ability to sync you notes with a computer. You can still e-mail them to anyone you like straight from the phone, but now through an iTunes preference they can be synced directly with Mail in OS X (10.5.7 or higher) or with Outlook (XP or Vista). Now I feel like I can actually use them to keep track of my life instead of using the napkins and sharpies that I’ve been carrying in my pocket.
This is a feature that was mentioned by Stevie J. himself a while back and was failed to be implemented until the App store came out. After a year of letting 3rd party developers have a run at it Apple has finally put out it’s own version. With support for both the internal and external microphones (must be approved to work with the iPhone) and the capabilities to adjust mic sensitivity, Apple seems to have done it right. Built in is also the ability for editing and sharing the memos via e-mail. MMS is also supported on the 3G or later as long your carrier supports it...*cough cough*... AT&T.
We’ve known this is coming for a while but some other additions to the MMS is that it not only supports picture messaging from those stored on you phone or voice memos as mentioned above, but you can also send video (3G S only) and even pictures directly from a webpage without saving it to your camera roll first.
Safari is adding the much needed Auto Fill functionality. All information will be based on your address card in your contacts list. Remember Names & Passwords can also be activated to save you from needing to remember all 20 password variations you have.
Music and iTunes Store
A new Shake to Shuffle feature has been added to the iPod app and in a very Urban Spoon like style will play a random song for you with the flick of a wrist. Podcast playback has been revamped as well adding the ability to “Replay the last 30 seconds” with a quick finger tap. In addition the ability to speed up the play back from 1-2x as fast and directly e-mailing the podcast link to a friend has been added. A big one for iPhone users who have multiple iTunes Accounts is the new addition of iTunes Store Preference Pane in Settings. Here you are finally able to log in and out of an account or even create a new one without needing to sync with iTunes itself. The Stereo Bluetooth addition is a great feature for the phone as well, not only for music and movie playback but for games too, I’m sure we’ll see a bunch of nice headphones on the market very quickly.
3G S Only Features
Amazingly Apple is somehow turning a phone with no tactile feedback into one of the most Universal Access friendly devices out there. The same great options to help those with disabilites from Mac OS X have been brought over to the iPhone.
Voice Over can be turned on and set to speak what application your finger is scrolling over, read whole paragraphs of text in any app or even read items character by character. Voice Over is capable of speaking back to you in 21 different languages and gestures can be set to suit your direct needs.
Zoom can also be activated, although not at the same time as Voice Over. Currently in different applications you’re able to zoom in by pinching on certain aspects like photos or sections of web pages. In Universal Access however Zoom can be used to magnify the very thing being seen on the screen by default up to 200%. This will be done by placing 3 fingers at the bottom of the screen and scrolling up, then you can move the screen around to zoom on different sections. If the concept is confusing you can try it on your Mac, simply hold down control and scroll two fingers up on your track pad or up with the trackball on your mouse.
White on Black can also be turned on which inverts the colors of the screen, similar to a photo negative. This is much easier on the eyes when reading text then on an all white screen
Mono Audio can be activated for the hearing impaired so that when headphones are on both channels are pumped through both sides.
Speak Auto-Text is a feature that will say any words that need to be corrected and speak what the suggested word should be.
For all of you power mongers out there not only is the the 3G S adding a stronger battery to the picture but there is even a new preference that will show the actual percentage of remaining life instead of just a picture. You’ll be able to see more clearly how much turning 3G on and off actually effects your battery.
Not only does an iPhone finally have a video camera but Apple added built-in editing tools so you can quickly share it with the world via MMS, e-mail, and even directly to YouTube. All you’ll need for this is an account set up with YouTube first and then you can begin posting right from your phone
All and all there are some really cool things coming and these are just a few of the best features I was able to find, I’m sure more will be surfacing very very soon. Let me pose this question though, now with Copy & Paste, MMS (kinda), Video, and all the other stuff... what do you feel like you’re still missing?