12 things you need to know about iPhone 3.0

So if you're sure that you saw someone's name somewhere in the phone... you'll be able to find it now. And if you have a trillion Apps on there and countless home screens to scroll through you can now move straight there rather than straining your finger.

7. Localised search

As well as being able to search over the whole thing in Spotlight, you now have the option to search specifically in certain areas, like the upgrade that came in the iPhone 2.0 firmware allowing you to search through contacts.

And if there's nothing on the phone itself, users will also have the option to take things further afield by looking on a registered server to find the information there too (ie your corporate web server if you use the iPhone on a work-style tip).

8. Push notification

While we all wanted to see background applications running on the iPhone, in a similar way to the forthcoming Palm Pre, the truth is it's likely that the handset simply can't handle it.

So push notifications are the next best thing, with the phone keeping a constant connection to email servers and IM applications, with similar functionality available for other applications to make use of as they so wish, which at least keeps the things you need to tick over... well, ticking over.

9. Turn by turn directions

The problem with using the iPhone as a GPS navigation device in a car is, well, you can't really, unless you want to keep taking your eyes off the road to look where you are on the map, so the addition of turn-by-turn directions is a big plus in that department.

However, thanks to the big wide world of licensing agreements, you can't use Google Maps for the application, so if you want to make a turn-by-turn effort, you best bring your own maps.

On that front TomTom has made use of the new App hardware integration and brought out a dock for the iPhone, which will allow turn by turn directions, have a loudspeaker and power connection, as well as support for both portrait and landscape modes.

10. In-App purchase

This is another App-changer for iPhone-ites, allowing you to pay for things inside a program. What this essentially means is you'll be able to customise Apps as you want them, ie a magazine can be offered for free and you choose to subscribe from within the App, with the standard iTunes purchase interface popping up to confirm.

The newly announced Sims 3 game allows you to do this to purchase items for around 60p, and other games will allow you to buy weapons or power-ups in exchange for cold, hard cash (well, the transaction's electronic, so there's no cash actually, but you get the picture).

By the way, you can also get in-game rumbling too... it's not important enough for its own point on this list, but it's pretty cool too.

11. Landscape QWERTY keyboard, A2DP and shake to shuffle

Apple has finally dripped out a couple of things that iPhone users the world over have been asking for, like being able to use something else other than the QWERTY portrait keyboard. So the addition of a landscape option for all text input is a real plus, though we can't see why it has taken so long.

And A2DP - it might not sound like much to most people, but being able to use Bluetooth headphones with full stereo surround sound is certainly Sir Swish-a-lot in our opinion, and something that Apple badly needed to include.

And while we're on music playback, the new iPhone 3.0 upgrade also includes support for shake to shuffle, meaning if you're bored of the current song and want a new one, you can randomly pick it by shaking the device. Sweet.

12. Best of the rest

Of course, there's a lot more to come from the iPhone 3.0 upgrade with some pretty big additions and some incremental ones, and while we think you'll want to have a poke around yourself to see what's new, here's a run down on all the other changes:

  • Voice memo - Basically, the iPhone is now a dictaphone too, with an old-school sound meter to find out how loud things are getting when you're trying to record your partner sleeping to prove just how noisy their snoring is.
  • More content direct to the iPhone - Buy films, TV programmes and audiobooks via the iTunes store, and download films direct from the internets to your iPhone.
  • Improves Stocks App - Get more easy to read information and view your important money charts in landscape.
  • Find My iPhone and Remote Wipe - Locate your phone on a map, send a message to the person that has it asking for it back and if that fails, wipe the phone from your computer.
  • New Safari features - New bits and pieces for the browser like faster performance, autofill user names and passwords.

As you probably remember, the software will be available for download from Apple's website, so hot foot it over there to get it as soon as you can.

It's funny to note that Apple's strategy with the 3.0 firmware update was the same as 2.0 - release a new firmware set, unleash the iPhone 3G. And then this year, we get 3.0 and we get the 3G S.

When iPhone 4.0 firmware comes out next year, nobody will believe Apple when it says there's no new iPhone on the cards...

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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.