Apple today has dragged the iPhone kicking and screaming into the 21st century bringing with it a host of new features as it prepares to stave off the competition coming this summer from the likes of Toshiba, Palm, Samsung, Nokia and LG.
Here are just some of the features iPhone users will be getting when the 3.0 OS launches later this year that should make a difference when it comes to improving your phone:Cut and Paste
It's only taken Apple 2 years to do what every other smartphone seems to have been able to do from day one, but at least from this summer the age old argument of "It can't do cut and paste" has been banished. Users will be able to copy, cut and paste to their hearts content in the new update from and to virtually any part or application on the phone.
Your phone doesn't have email? You mean to say you aren’t using a smartphone - gasp. Well now iPhone users can send pictures to other phones via MMS. Shame the software update hasn't improved the cameras capabilities though.
Clearly an attempt to stave off any excuse to move over to the Palm Pre and its "All-powerful" search feature that lets you search anywhere on the phone in an instant. Apple will roll out its own search feature based on its rather good Spotlight search app on the Mac. A quick swipe to the left on the home screen will give you a search box that lets you search any part of the phone except the contents of an email - probably the only bit you would want to search - still you can search the metadata of your emails to find senders so it's almost useful.
You'll now be able to connect wireless headphones or speakers to your iPhone or iPod touch (yes it had Bluetooth all along) to pump out all those iTunes songs to your mates without wires. The Bluetooth chip gets a further boost elsewhere in the new 3.0 update, as well.
You can spend even more money
If you can't be bothered with one of those USB dongles - and why would you if you've got a Mac (it will eat up too many of your USB slots due to the fact they are all too close together) - then Apple has now made it possible to "Tether" your iPhone to your PC/Mac and use it as a modem. In the US, operators have to let you do this (normally at a price) while in the UK O2 is keeping quiet at the moment.
Connecting to other gadgets
Not content with letting you spend your money on plenty of apps on the go, Apple has now made it possible to spend even more money on extras within apps. Think outfits in the Sims, more songs in Guitar Hero, or weekly content in a "Newspaper" app. The hope for companies like EA is that a 99p app will open the door to getting you to spend plenty more over the lifetime of that app with extra downloadable content.
The Bluetooth chip is no longer just for connecting a headset anymore, now you can connect loads of stuff and control it. Applications can now communicate with "Made for iPod" hardware accessories and suggestions include speakers, measurement instruments or lets hope a printer or keyboard so you can carry it around with you to turn it into a netbook (Q3 launch perhaps) although Apple has yet to confirm the keyboard option. You'll also be able to connect to devices via the iPhone's 30-pin dock connector.
Background apps is a no-go, as Apple claim they use too much battery, however it has introduced the ability to receive messages from apps as long as the developer of the app uses Apple's system to deliver the message. Of course push notifications are all welcome, however what might not be is that judging by the implementation, it will dominate and disturb whatever you happen to be doing at the time making it not very "background" at all.
Peer to Peer
Finding that keyboard too difficult to type in portrait mode (even the demo'ers at the SDK event struggled), Apple has now said that the iPhone 3.0 OS update will include a landscape keyboard that can be used in all “in all key applications" including Mail.
Pushing the gaming element even further the new iPhone 3.0 OS will allow you to play head to head against other iPhone users just as you would with the Nintendo DS.
And here is what users won't be getting based on Tuesday's 2009 SDK announcement:Search email
The ability to record video
That's right users still won't be able to search the content of email to find that elusive address or phone number they've been sent.
Yep, Apple's Final Cut software might be the software of choice for the movie industry, but the iPhone still can't record video.
While it supports lots of file formats you still won't be able to watch flash videos on the web.
You might be able to share files or connect to other iPhones via the Peer to Peer feature but you aren't going to be able to start pirating songs. Apple has confirmed this isn't going to be possible.