Cut and paste, MMS highlight iPhone 3.0 improvements

Aayush Arya
18 March, 2009
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At long last, iPhone and iPod touch users gain cut, copy and paste features, thanks to the forthcoming iPhone 3.0 update. That led off more than 100 new features introduced overnight during Apple’s iPhone 3.0 event in Cupertino, California. The new software will be in developer’s hands starting today, and is expected to be released this autumn for users.

Copying and selecting is accomplished using a double-tap technique, and you can drag to select a block of text or other content. You can also copy and paste between applications. The feature works for blocks of HTML and photos, also. As Apple demonstrated it Tuesday, cut, copy and paste only works in Apple applications, but the features will be available to all applications.

Landscape orientation is coming to all key applications. Already available in Safari, when you rotate the iPod touch or iPhone sideways, the new functionality will enable you to input using a larger keyboard in Mail, Notes and SMS. It’s also good for viewing widescreen attachments.

Another big win for long-suffering iPhone users: MMS, or Multimedia Messaging Service, support. This enables you to send and receive photos, contact information (using the vCard standard, which will automatically add it to your Contact list), audio files and locations. The new Messages application not only supports MMS, but it can also forward and delete messages, either individually or multiply.

Voice Memos is a new application that enables you to use to record audio files. You can use the built-in microphone or an external microphone, edit the memo and share it by e-mail or MMS.

New calendar format support will be added in iPhone 3.0’s release — CalDAV, the format supported by Yahoo, Google, Oracle, OS X Server and others, as well as .ics, commonly used for sports schedules, national holiday lists, movies and more.

Search capabilities are being added to key applications, starting with Mail. You’ll be able to search messages, From, To and Subject and all other headers, and you can continue your search on the mail server if it’s not on the iPhone — at least for Exchange and most IMAP servers, according to Apple. You can also search in your Calendar and iPod, and search in Notes.

Spotlight search capabilities are also being added to the iPhone, so you can search iPhone-wide for a word or phrase you need to find.

Other new features include Note sync with the Mac (or PC) through iTunes, the ability to shake to shuffle your music (a feature previously seen on the newest iPod nano), Wi-Fi automatic login, stereo Bluetooth support (for devices that support the A2DP profile), YouTube account log-in, enhanced support with better keyboards for different languages, auto-fill, anti-phishing, and extended parental controls.

The new release will be a free update for all iPhone 3G users, and will also work on the original iPhone — though Apple cautions that certain features, such as MMS and stereo Bluetooth support, will not work on the original model. A software update for the iPod touch will cost $US10, much as the 2.0 release did.

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