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NEW iPhone 3.0 Firmware is out! Here is the review

Apple's first-generation iPhone OS was revolutionary. Its second-generation version introduced iPhone and iPod touch users to the App Store, which unquestionably was a much bigger hit than even Apple expected, as well as adding Microsoft Exchange support for enterprise users. By comparison, the brand new iPhone OS 3.0 doesn't initially seem to have a single home run feature -- many users will remember it as a consistent base hitter, or "the version that should have shipped with the first iPhone" -- but it actually packs extremely significant under-the-hood improvements, some of which won't be fully appreciated for weeks or months to come.



We’re highlighting many of iPhone OS 3.0’s new features in depth through two extensive iLounge articles—the Complete Guide to iPhone OS 3.0, and Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iPhone 3.0—so we’re not going to rehash their content all here. Instead, this review looks at the 10 key changes iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPod touch users can expect from iPhone OS 3.0, as well as issuing a recommendation to iPod touch owners regarding its current value for Apple’s $10 asking price; iPhone and iPhone 3G users will get the new OS for free and thus have little reason to skip it. We also note iPhone 3G S-only features at the bottom of this review; though they’re implemented in software, they will be discussed in our separate iPhone 3G S hardware review since they’re specific to that device.

Please note that the list below is not in rank order; it is merely designed to highlight features of special interest to our editors and readership.

1. Spotlight and Search

Though the iPhone’s Home screen remains virtually untouched from earlier versions of the OS, a tiny magnifying glass option at the bottom of the screen clues you in to a new screen that sits off to the left of the main page: swipe over to it and you activate Spotlight, a feature that can search your iPhone’s database—everything from e-mail headers to apps to iPod media—for words you enter into a search field. Spotlight works quickly to show you multiple types of content that are all available to you from a single touch of any of the listing buttons; you can limit the parts of the device it searches using Settings.

[via iLounge]

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