Available June 19, the iPhone 3GS is Apple’s new iPhone hardware. Apple claims that everything on the phone is “twice as fast” at loading apps, sites, and everything else. The device will also feature a faster 3G antenna (7.2Mbps HSDPA, for those who like details), the rumored 3MP auto-focus camera, complete with an API for developers, and a 30 FPS video camera with an associated app to allow for video and photo editing. Another rumor to come true is an internal compass that will orient the maps app depending on which direction you’re facing.
The iPhone also features a new voice control UI, allowing users to make vocal commands such as “Call Mom” or “What song is playing?” all in a live transcripted interface. Snazzy? Sure. Necessary? Probably not. ‚ The phone also features hardware encryption and an improved battery life which should come as a relief to iPhone users everywhere.
The form factor for the iPhone 3GS is staying exactly the same, available in black and white (sorry, no flaming orange iPhones). Storage will also increase–$299 for the 32GB model or $199 for the 16GB model. Still too pricey for you? Pick up the older iPhone 3G for just $99 (yay recessionomics!).
The iPhone OS 3.0, which will ship June 17 to other iPhone users contains many new improvements, most of which have been announced before, but we’ll summarize them anyway: the iPhone is finally getting copy/paste, MMS messaging, system-wide Spotlight that will index your email, contacts, and apps, and a landscape oriented keyboard.
A cool new feature will allow users with MobileMe to locate their phones should they go missing and you’re not in enough hysterics from losing your iPhone to be able to use a computer. Apple announced support for data tethering, but AT&T was notably missing from the list, most likely indicating that iPhone users in the US will be SOL. Safari will be updated to run faster and will auto-fill contact and stored login info.
Push notifications (including text, sound, and “badge”) will finally go live in this release, after much delay. Apps will also be able to access the dock connector, allowing you to use you iPhone with external gadgets, such as TomTom’s new GPS driving device. Peer-to-peer interfacing will allow you to connect to other users to play games or send information such as contacts.
Overall, only Apple could drum up so much publicity for something that is ostensibly just an evolutionary change rather than a revolutionary change. Nevertheless, these developments are still exciting, even if they’re overdue. We’ll let you know what we think when we get our hands on a new iPhone 3GS in just a couple weeks.