Hands on: iPhone 3.0 review

Other goodies in iPhone 3.0

Maps and Safari boast improvements under the hood that make a big improvement to page rendering times - Maps in particular is dramatically faster - and the browser now warns you of fraudulent sites. It also gets autofill, so it can populate forms with data from your Address Book entry, and you can use Settings > General > Restrictions to stop the kids going online.


FASTER RENDERING: Maps goes like lightning

If you have a MobileMe account you'll also be able to remotely wipe your phone if it gets nicked, and Calendar now supports Exchange ActiveSync and the CalDAV calendar standard.

iTunes now enables you to download audiobooks, movies and iTunes U content directly to your phone, and you can also redeem gift cards without rushing home to your PC.


ITUNES: You can now redeem gift cards from your phone

The new Voice Memos application enables you to record - yes! - voice memos. We're not sure why it doesn't have the voice control features of the iPhone 3G S, however: we can't think of any technical reason why it couldn't work on an iPhone 3G.

Voice memo

VOICE MEMOS: 3.0 delivers voice recording, but not voice control features available to iPhone 3G S users

Last and probably least, you can shake your iPhone to undo the most recent action or to change the currently playing song. It's a gimmick rather than a useful feature - hitting delete a few times is much faster and more reliable - and we can only assume Apple's stuck it into 3.0 to annoy joggers.

More to come

We suspect that the most interesting things about 3.0 won't appear until third-party developers start exploring them.

Bluetooth support should enable local multiplayer games, push notification will make it easier for applications to let you know important information, device support may herald a new wave of intelligent accessories, and in-app purchasing will enable game developers and media firms to offer extra content such as downloadable game levels or premium subscriptions.

Who knows, we might even see third-party keyboards.

So is 3.0 enough to convince you not to buy a 3G S? We think so - unless, that is, you really want to record video, have a digital compass or get significantly longer battery life.

Until third party developers really start to take advantage of the new APIs it's evolution rather than revolution, but it does keep your phone current without forcing you to shell out any more cash.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.