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Operating systems software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Apple iPhone OS 3.0 review

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Manufacturer: Apple

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Offering copy-and-paste, Bluetooth tethering and A2DP - as well as performance improvements and MMS capability - the 250MB Apple iPhone OS 3.0 Software Update is the biggest update yet for the Apple iPhone 3G and first-generation iPhone.

Offering copy-and-paste, Bluetooth tethering and A2DP - as well as performance improvements and MMS capability - the 250MB Apple iPhone OS 3.0 Software Update is the biggest update yet for the Apple iPhone 3G and first-generation Apple iPhone.

Named after its Mac OS X counterpart, Spotlight is the iPhone's new universal search function. It allows you to search through contacts, messages, mail, applications and your iPod library. Simply flick to the left of the Home Screen to reach Spotlight, type in your desired keyword and it will dynamically show results sorted by category.

iPhone 3.0 search

Unlike its Mac OS X namesake, iPhone's Spotlight won't search through the actual content of emails or SMS messages, but it does search recipients and subject lines. You can also place restrictions on which content Spotlight searches using the Settings menu.

Voice Memos is the only new first-party app in the software update. The ability to record sound clips and share them via email or MMS replicates the functionality of numerous third-party apps. There isn't too much to this app but the interface is attractive and simple to use.

Bluetooth on the iPhone has traditionally been restricted to streaming audio to mono headsets but Apple has added A2DP (stereo) audio streaming and internet tethering in the iPhone OS 3.0 Software Update. We witnessed some audio stuttering initially when connecting an iPhone 3G to the Sony Ericsson MBS-200 Bluetooth speaker but after a short time streamed audio was flawless.

Internet tethering can be done by Bluetooth or USB cable. Provided your carrier supports tethering, an internet tethering menu guides you through connecting. The iPhone's status area flashes blue to notify you when tethering.

A landscape keyboard mode, previously the realm of MobileSafari and third-party Mail apps, has been introduced to all of the iPhone's first-party apps that use a keyboard. You will no longer need another icon on your Home Screen to type your SMS messages and emails in landscape mode.

iPhone landscape keyboard

We have found ourselves using this constantly, as the landscape keyboard is much more comfortable way to type, even if it does take up more screen real estate.

NEXT PAGE: iPhone 3.0 security >>

Apple iPhone OS 3.0 Expert Verdict »

Apple iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3G S, iPod touch
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The latest update to the iPhone's operating system provides many of the changes users have asked for since the smartphone's launch. There are still some missing, but those features that have been added are implemented well. The iPhone OS 3.0 Software Update will certainly breathe new life into your iPhone or iPhone 3G, reducing the need to fork out for the iPhone 3G S.

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