Sunday, July 5, 2009

iPhone OS 3.0: A Personal Review

Updated Belle to OS 3.0 recently and have been spending some time to testdrive it ever since. First impression wise, it's much faster than 2.2 before this (I didn't upgrade to 2.2.1). And most of all, not sure if I'm the only one with this experience, the battery lasts longer too, not that much, maybe bout 10% or so (that's 1-2 hours in my chart). But hey, it's better than nothing, rite? :-)

I think the first thing that you would notice on the Springboard of OS 3.0 is the new app called 'Voice Memos'. Basically, those voice recorders that are being sold on the AppStore can close shop now that Apple had made an official one being part of the core apps offered as default in OS 3.0.

The Voice Memos app on the Springboard with a very nice Mic icon

The main interface of the app

Tap the button on the left to record and the right button to view all saved voice clips. With your audio memos, there are few things that you can do. For instance, tapping onto the blue arrow beside your recording gives you options to trim your clip, throwing away the parts that you don't want.

The collection of saved memos

And of course, you can even share your audio clip, via email.

Not bad given that sometimes, it's faster and more efficient having voice memos rather than typing them out using Notes. Comes in real useful especially to record the minutes of a meeting. the core applications now. First thing that you might notice is the landscape view support for the core apps, i.e. Mail, Stocks, Notes and SMS. Remember the time when almost every user find the landscape keyboard in Safari is so much easier to tap on compared to the portrait one? Well, now you got it. You can now key in your SMS-es, notes and emails on the landscape keyboard in 3.0.

A nice touch really. Not only that, Stocks can now be viewed in landscape mode, showing a fullscreen of the graph. And in Stocks too (portrait view), you can now access more info about the company of interest via the new section where the graph used to be. Swiping left or right now reveals more stats values as well as the latest news about the company.

New info at the bottom of the Stocks app

As for the camera app, there's a slight change in the interface, most notably is the thumbnail of the latest photo taken, located at the bottom left of the app. However, since Belle is an iPhone 2G, there's no video recording support :-( This looks quite ridiculous to me as I personally think that it's more of a software matter than a hardware one. If I could record video using Cycorder from Cydia, I don't see any reason why Apple can't make one for the 2G version as well.

OK...I shall rant no more. Now let's look at another upgrade found in OS 3.0, one that should have existed since 1.x IMHO - Cut, Copy and Paste (nope, I'm not ranting :-p).

Basically, this function lets you to cut, copy and paste text on the iPhone, and it's not just limited to one app at a time. You can copy a string of text in Safari and paste them into Mail, for example. So, it's applicable across all platforms, supposedly. Haven't tested it on all Cydia apps that I have yet.

But now that it has finally arrived on 3.0, I shall complain no more. To undo the changes, just give your iPhone a shake. That's it.

The other upgrades that I welcome with open arms were SMS forwarding and individual SMS deleting. In the SMS app, just tap onto the 'Edit' button on the top right and you can select whichever SMS that you would like to delete/forward. Again, these functions should have been there from the start, so I'm quite happy that they are here now at last.

And for those who make use of the Push notification on their apps, i.e. IM+ or Beejive, you can now access the setting under Settings > Notifications. Was testing with IM+ the other day, but the Push notifications didn't work for me. Maybe I was trying to Push through Gmail and not YahooMail...not sure. Gotta experiment further and see how it goes :-/

And lastly, the implementation of the famous Spotlight on Leopard into iPhone. On the Springboard, just swipe to the left of Page 1 and you'll find a page for the Spotlight. Tapping in the keywords to search for will return the results from all possible resources, i.e. Contacts, Mail, Notes, iPod etc. Not that you'll use it often, but then it does come in useful when you need it.

On top of that, not sure if this has been there since 2.x, whenever you scroll up in Mail or Notes, it has a Search spot for that particular app.

So what are my final verdict on the iPhone OS 3.0? Although the upgrades should've been there since the beginning of the birth of the iPhone, but I do welcome them happily and that has set my foot deeper into the Belle, just gotta love her more now :-p The only thing that can separate us at this moment would be none other than the iPhone 3GS hehehehe


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