Impressions: iPhone Software 3.0 [Updated]

iphone3iPhone Software 3.0 was released yesterday, as I am sure many of you know (since you’ve likely been using it on your iPhone or iPod touch). I thought I’d just quickly jot down some first impressions.

First off, I am a copying & pasting machine! I never realized how much information I’ve wanted to be able to transplant across apps. It certainly makes things a lot easier. Protip: If you have a lot of text you want to delete, rather than holding down the delete key on the keyboard, highlight the text with the cut, copy & paste selector, then just tap delete. Very handy.

I’m also enjoying the landscape keyboard that is now available in Apple’s core apps. This is great for tapping out a semi-lengthy email. Now I only wish Twitterrific supported it.

(And for you Tweetie users, yes, I know Tweetie does Landscape, but it’s an either/or in the settings. I want it to rotate based on the accelerometer’s orientation. Sometimes the compact keyboard is useful, like when you have a child in one arm and you have to type one handed.)

(And I just prefer Twitterrific’s User Interface, but I digress.)

Spotlight search is a dream. Such a super fast way to hop around the phone.

A couple super neat unadvertised features: When viewing a contact, there is now a Share Contact button that will open a new Mail message, and attach a vCard. This is great for trading your “business card.”

Also, Calendar syncing now support calendars from multiple sources. As a MobileMe user, I have enjoyed having my email, calendar, contacts, and bookmarks pushed to and from my device. The sad thing is MobileMe doesn’t support subscription calendars. In iCal on my Mac, I subscribe to a US Holidays calendar, and I also have iCal automatically pull Birthdays from Address Book. In iPhone Software 2.x, if you had MobileMe on, that was it (unless you also had Exchange. Now, in iTunes, I can have my main calendars using MobileMe, but can also select and sync US Holidays and Birthdays from my Mac when I connect the USB cable.

Friends, I should see your birthdays a lot easier now, as I check my calendar mainly from my phone.

So, speaking of MobileMe, there are a couple new features on that front. The coolest is the new Find My iPhone feature. This is live now, and I tested it by hiding my iPhone, then having my wife go and find it. The premise is that if you lose your iPhone, you can just log into MobileMe on the web, and Find My iPhone will track down your iPhone and display its approximate location on an embedded Google map. You can then send a message to the screen of the iPhone like, “I’m lost! Please call my owner at 555-555-5555.” and then phone will beep whether or not it was in silent mode.

If you truly can’t get your phone back, then you can remote wipe the data on it.

The second new MobileMe feature is an iDisk app. This is labeled as Coming Soon. Basically, it will be a free app on the App Store that allows you to view the contents of your iDisk and even send a Share link for a file to a friend or colleague .

That pretty much sums up some of the initial things that have tickled me in the past day with iPhone Software 3.0. What are your fancies? Leave a message in the comments.

Update: Here’s an important change from iPhone 2.x. In iPhone 2.x to force quit an app you had to hold down the home button for 6-8 seconds. Since the iPhone 3G S hardware uses that command for its Voice Control feature, Apple has changed the command to force quit an app on all iPhone OS 3.0 devices. Now, if an app hangs and you need to Force Quit, you have to first hold down the Sleep/Wake Button until you see the red slider, THEN release that button and hold down the Home button for 6-8 seconds to Force Quit an app.