We all know about iPhone OS 3.0’s flashy new features like cut, copy, and paste, landscape view, and peer-to-peer gaming and file sharing. But what about the lesser-known features? Well, we have them for you today.
With my first generation iPod touch and the 2.2.1 software, everything was slow. The animation was jerky, there was a half second delay between tapping an app and the app actually opening, and scrolling was nowhere near smooth. I’m happy to report that with the 3.0 software, opening and closing apps is now as fast as the 1.0 release, and scrolling is very smooth and responsive. However, if I go to my sixth home screen and press the home button to go back to the first, the animation is slightly smoother but still pretty terrible. That’s one thing I’m hoping Apple will improve with the next release.
Auto-Identification of Information
This is one I’ve been hoping for. When the iPhone detects phone numbers, street addresses, and other information in Mail, Notes, and other apps, it will automatically highlight it. Clicking on the information will give you a list of actions such as calling the number or saving it to your contacts. This feature is extremely useful when trying to store a bunch of numbers into your contacts or when finding directions to an address a friend emailed you.
The Notes application identified a phone number. Tapping on it brings up a page with options.
Opening/Closing Apps Animation
When you open or close an app on the iPhone, it animates the action by growing or shrinking the app. In the 2.2.1 software, the animation pushed the home screen icons out of the way and faded them out. In the 3.0 software, the animation also fades the app’s screen in or out depending on whether you’re opening or closing the app. This is pure eye candy; it has no real purpose except to add to the effect that you’re opening an app.
Walking and Public Transportation Directions for iPod touch
Finally! What was included in the 2.2.1 software update for iPhone users has finally become available for iPod touch users.
Street View for iPod touch
If you tap a location, a bubble will pop up. Tap the icon in the bubble and you get Google Street View! Yay! But us iPod touch users had to pay $10 for it, so that kinda dampens the mood.
Google Street View on the iPod touch. This is stitching fail of Steve Jobs’ car.
Current Location to Address
Your current location in Maps can now be displayed as an address. This is a minor improvement, but it’s nice to be able to call someone and say “I’m at 2101 Waverley Place, Palo Alto, CA.”
More Descriptive “Slide to Unlock” Screen
When you play music in iPhone OS 2.2.1, it showed the name of the song instead of the date on the “Slide to Unlock” screen. Now, it shows the album and the artist, too. However, the text size is slightly smaller.
The new "Slide to Unlock" screen while playing music in iPhone OS 3.0 shows the album along with the artist.
Audio Output Display
In iPhone OS 3.0, any screen with the music controls (play, pause, etc.) will also show where the audio is going. However, this may confuse some first-time users and users upgrading from a previous version.
Anywhere there are playback controls, iPhone OS 3.0 shows where the audio is going.