Today, as expected, Apple announced a slew of improvements to existing iPhones with the third major release of the iPhone operating system, a new iPhone: the 3GS, and a new entry-level price for the iPhone 3G 8GB.
Though the announcements were all welcome tidings, Apple hasn't delivered any knock-out punches today.
Here's the low-down on what Phil Schiller and the rest of the Cupertino gang had to say:
iPhone OS 3.0
- Faster, multi-threaded performance
- Copy & paste available universally between apps
- MMS capability on carriers that support it
- Universal search through almost all data on the phone
- Movie purchase or rent, TV show purchase, audio books and iTunes U courses on the phone
- Parental controls on TV/Movie content, website access, and app control by age group
- Tethering: your iPhone can now connect your PC or Mac to the internet via USB or Bluetooth
- Landscape typing in email, text messages, browser
- Find my iPhone: a new app that lets you locate a lost iPhone via MobileMe, and even wipe the data remotely if it looks like it has fallen into the wrong hands
- Faster processor: 2x faster than the 3G, with double the RAM
- Support for HSDPA, the latest and greatest 3G platform which every major Canadian carrier should have by next year.
- Stills and Video: Now users can select between two different modes when using the built-in camera. The video is captured at 30fps at VGA resolution, with the ability to edit the clips on the phone. The still camera now lets you tap on the screen to select which area of the image you want in focus if you're not happy with the auto-focus selection. It can also handle macro-focus as close as 10 cm from the lens. Oh, still resolution is now at 3 megapixels.
- Voice Control: speak into the phone to dial contacts, activate iPod playlists or certain artists, or to have the phone speak back the track information for the song that is currently playing. Just like the new iPod Shuffle.
- Compass: The 3Gs comes with an on-board compass that will show you your orientation, and allow apps like Google Maps re-orient their map displays according to the way you are facing.
The original iPhone 3G with 8GB of storage now sells for $99 USD on a contract with AT&T. No word yet on what Canadian pricing will be, but I would imagine it will be in the $120-130 range.
Update June 11, 2009: Canadian pricing has just been announced: The phones will retail at Rogers & Fido for the same dollar value in $CDN as the U.S. pricing. Rogers will continue locking in new customers to 3-year contracts, which is 1 year longer than with AT&T.