iPhone 3.0 Brings New Features for Games and Apps

Today, Apple confirms the features in iPhone 3.0 and the list includes some surprises and even a few disappointments. The press conference began with some amazing numbers, then went into the new features. And then came the worst news of all, we have to wait until summer to get the new features. Oh well.

iPhone 3.0 will finally have cut-and-paste. Glory be. It will also feature global search using Spotlight. Landscape mode will be available in all Apple native apps, which means a wider keyboard for Mail and SMS. And Safari gets an autofill feature so typing should be easier all around.

This update also includes support for MMS, home screen changes, and usability improvements that will give the iPhone a better “feel” when you use it.

However, the new OS will not have video recording. Nor will it have tethering, advanced Bluetooth features, or Adobe Flash.

Although we don’t get to play with the new features yet, iPhone developers will get their hands on the new SDK immediately. This will give developers time to have apps ready focus that take advantage of all the new functionality by the time we get the new OS this summer. Read on to see the incredible growth numbers reported by Apple today, and how some of the new features could create new kinds of apps and games.

Here are a few stats from Apple:

13.7 million iPhones sold in ‘08.
25,000 apps available in the App Store.
Apps have been downloaded over 800 million times. That is not a typo, eight hundred million!
Not surprisingly, the most popular apps are games which has already created a gold rush for developers getting new games into the App Store. Today, Apple announces two new features in iPhone 3.0 that will push the platform even further. The first feature supports peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connectivity which means two iPhones can pass data between them, without needing to be connected to a Wi-Fi network. Bluetooth makes the handshake between the devices which then make a network connection. This is ideal for file and music sharing, as well as head-to-head multiplayer gaming.

The other great new iPhone feature for gamers is the support for downloadable content, otherwise known as DLC. This means game apps can get updated with new content like new levels, new characters, new music, almost anything. DLC creates games that have long shelf lives and have high replay value. It’s great for gamers, and profitable for the developers.

The new OS also adds 1,000 new APIs so that apps can tap into the iPhone’s features in new, interesting ways. Maps and audio can now be used inside any iPhone app which means GPS with turn-by-turn directions is finally achievable. Push notifications will arrive as well, giving apps the ability to send messages to you when the app is not even running.

All in all, we like the list of features that were announced today and can’t wait to see the new apps that show up this summer, especially the games.


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