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iPhone OS 3.0 is here. Where to Start and Changes to check out

Apple released iPhone OS 3.0 for iPhone today, creating lost work productivity accross the globe as untold numbers of fanbois eagerly update their iPhones and iPod Touches.  The update brings many new enhancements to all generations of iPhones and iPod Touches and we’ll start breaking these down over the next day.  However, there’s been no shortage of information about OS 3.0 since it was seeded to app developers some months ago.

So where do you start, you ask?  Well, here’s just a few of the much desired enhancements that iPhone OS 3.0 brings and how to use them:

1. Spotlight searches.  Similarly to Spotlight on you Mac computer the new iPhone OS features search across all of the apps on your iPhone.  What’s also very nice is that it’s FAST, just like what you’re used to with Spotlight on your main computer.  To try it out, unlock your device.  Press the home button to make sure you’re at the home screen, now you will notice that there is another “dot” (ok, spotlight) left of the left-most screen indicator.  This is the Spotlight screen.  Just swipe right (move the screen left) and voila! Start your searches.  Touching a result will launch that application and open what you selected.  Very nice.

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2. Voice Memos.  iPhone OS 3.0 introduces and new application: Voice Memos.  Apple’s impementation of Voice Memos is clean and concise and works great.  After launching the app you have a record button and VU meter.  Press record -> speak -> press stop and you’re done.  Listenning to voice memos is easy, just select the menu button on the right and you’ll get a listing of all of your voice memos. Touch one to listen to it.

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3. Landscape Keyboards.  Finally!  All of the Apple applications now support landscape keyboards for easier typing.  This includes Notes, Mail App, and Messages App.  This has been one of those frustrating omissions for the past two years and we are happy to see it finally arrive. To try it out, just launch any of these apps and tilt your device into landscape mode (that was probably obvious, but ah-well!).

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4. Notes Syncing. Yep, no more worries about losing those notes, you can now sync them with Mail.app using iTunes on your desktop.  Nice.

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5. Cut, Copy & Paste.  Yes, I’m sure you were as giddy as a little school girl knowing that today would bring Cut, Copy and Paste to your beloved device.  So now that you have it, try it out!  Copy/Paste is easy to use and works across all applications.  Just touch in the text area, get the magnify and then lift your finger (or double-tap the text area).  The cut/copy markers and buttons will appear.  Drag the two ends to include the text you want then touch one of the actions.  Now head on over to another application, repeat above steps but now touch paste.  Done. Easy. Beautiful. Sigh.

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6. Push Notifications. Ah, the famous push notifications have arrived.  If you don’t know what these are then let me explain quickly: push notifications is Apples answer to background running applications.  Since Apple does not permit apps to run in the background (ie: chat apps that would check for chats) they have come up with this system to appease developers.  How it works is that if you have an app installed that uses push notification, the app developer can “push” content or messages to your device and you will be notified, regardless if the app is open or not.  Eg: AP news app can push you breaking news headlines.

7. YouTube enahancements.  Even YouTube saw some enhancement love today.  The new YouTube app allows you to sign in to your YouTube account where you can view our uploaded videos, subscriptions, favorites, history, playlists, most recent, and top rated vids.

8. iTunes and App Store.  iTunes and App Store now have more purchasing options, such as movies, TV shows and the capability to redeem codes via your device.

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9. Others.  A few other enhancements worth mentioning are: Stereo Bluetooth, Internet Tethering (not yet for AT&T), MMS messaging (note yet for AT&T), shake to shuffle and oh so much more.

Since the new OS includes over 100 enhancements and changes we can’t possibly list them all, but as you find more of them – share the knowledge and please let us know in the comments.

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