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Review: iPhone 3.0 OS – Jump the gun edition

The time has come. On the 17th of June we get the next version of the iPhone OS. But thanks to the MobileinJapan community, I was able to get my hands on the OS a bit early. So here is a preview of the new iPhone 3.0 OS, running on an iPhone 3G on Softbank Japans 3G network. This is the full version of 3.0, but there are a few features like push and MMS that we are waiting for the network to activate.

iPhone 3.0 - 01
This review is also cross-posted to MobileinJapan here.

In a Nutshell:
The long wait is over. OS 3.0 brings a lot of overdue functionality to the iPhone and a few neat tricks to boot. Still this is nothing like the bump from 1.0 to 2.0. In fact, the overall feel to the phone is exactly the same. Only a few small graphical changes give away the upgrade at first glance. Also, I don’t credit for push apps since this was promised as part of the 2.0 upgrade. I still haven’t seen how that works, but will try it out as soon as the apps hit the store. I do see why the new hardware has a faster processor though as I felt that the interface is a bit sluggish since the upgrade. I asked a few other people to try out my phone though and they say that it feels the same, so I guess no definite call there yet.

Batteries not included:
So what is not in the upgrade? Obviously, hardware related features are out. No new 3MP autofocus camera. No macro lens. no digital compass, no Nike+iPod integration. Additionally there are really no new features. Most of the changes that are available to iPhone 3G owners are merely enhancements and upgrades to existing functionality. In typical fashion, for new features, you gotta show the dough. So this means no video recording, no voice control, no turn based navigation in Maps, And of course there is the didyourcarrierscrewya feature, tethering. in Softbanks case the answer is an expected “Not a chance you freeloading bum.” No tethering in Japan. Finally, while Softbank has promised to turn on MMS support on the 17th, it’s not on now so I wasn’t able to test it out.
So that’s what is not inside. What did we get then?

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