12 things you need to know about iPhone 3.0

All you need to know about the iPhone 3.0 upgrade
All you need to know about the iPhone 3.0 upgrade

The launch of Apple's new iPhone 3.0 firmware update was greeted with cheers and disappointment alike as some users got their wish and others... well, didn't.

Now the day of launch is finally upon us months of feverish waiting are finally over, and MMS, copy and paste and internet tethering are all now going to be possible from the iPhone.

Techradar casts its eye over the new firmware update and brings you all the changes so you can know whether it's worth upgrading to or not.

1. Copy and Paste

Oh, don't go pretending you're not excited that this is here, moaning on about how 'it's a feature available on all smartphones these days'. While you may be right, Apple has managed to make this tiny feature into a Big Deal, and the way you do it (double tap to magnify text, scrolling and grabbing the beginning and end points) is pretty darn cool too.

2. The sheer range of APIs released

Slightly hidden from the consumer eye was Apple's larger onslaught into making the iPhone the most customisable (albeit with Apple's approval) handset out on the market. We're talking thousands of APIs here, allowing things like peer to peer Bluetooth connection for multiplayer gaming or contact sending, or allowing Google Maps to be used within other applications, so finding that restaurant is suddenly going to be a lot easier.

This means that the scope of the iPhone will just continue to grow and grow, with the App Store likely to be even more popular (if that's possible).

3. Using the iPhone to control accessories

This idea is pretty big, as it allows manufacturers to make Apps specifically for their hardware. While this could mean big things for the sex toy industry (just look at the route Gizmodo took straight away) it means things like the Lifescan from Johnson & Johnson are now possible, allowing diabetes sufferers to keep a visual record of their glucose levels.

But the possibilities (and cool factor) are now seemingly endless... you could make a golf accessory that assesses your swing using motion sensors and then Bluetooth the results to the iPhone for analysis (actually, that's a good idea, if you try and copyright it, then we'll fight you for it.)

4. Internet tethering

Apple has also used this little trick to add tethering to the iPhone, meaning you can connect it to your Mac or PC via USB or Bluetooth and use it as a modem. However, the bad news is that tethering is not going to come cheap: O2 is charging users £14.68 (for 3GB) or £29.36 (10GB) per month to use their phone as a modem.

The outcry isn't just the sheer cost of the service, it's the fact that users already feel like they're being charged enough to use data on their iPhone and having to pay another £30 just to make their favourite device even more useful seems a little harsh.

5. MMS support

We all thought Apple would never do it, preferring to make sure the world thinks that email is properly where it's at for sending pictures.

But it's not just those slightly funny snaps you can ping over to your mates' phones now, it's also location info, contact sending and even audio files that can be passed to a friend's phone, so if you want to stalk someone AND listen to the same things as them, this is the upgrade for you.

6. Spotlight

Apple has found a new space within the iPhone... scrolling left from the homescreen. This new area allows you to search over the whole iPhone / iPod touch, and even finds Apps (if they're Spotlight enabled).

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.