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The 10 most important features in the iPhone OS 3.0
The latest upgrade comes packed with features that build upon the already rich feature set
By Matthew David

Apple has done it. Three mobile OS upgrades in two years. The latest upgrade, iPhone OS 3.0 (also available for $9.95 for the iPod Touch), comes packed with features that build upon the already rich feature set. So, without adieu, it is time for a David Letterman Style Top Ten of the best features in the new iPhone OS.

#10 - Cut, Copy and Paste
There has been a lot of fuss over the missing functionality of cut, copy and paste in the iPhone. A lot of Windows Mobile friends have jeered and said "look what you don't have!!" Now the iPhone has this missing, prized feature. 

#9 - Improved core apps
Most of the core apps on the iPhone have been improved (Stocks, Email, Maps and Calendar) have all been tweaked with nice new features. For instance, you can now search inside of email to find that one email you need. You can also select the stocks to see their market capitalization (and wish you had bought Apple stock when it was under $80 a share) and rotate the iPhone for any one stock to see a linear line chart illustrating the stock's activity.

#8 - Voice Memos
There are several apps you can purchase that allow you to record audio. The Voice Memos app from Apple trumps them all. First, it is really easy to use. There is a start and stop button. The voice recording quality is good. So good, in fact, a radio station in Florida used the Voice Memo tool to record an interview when the iPhone 3GS was launched. What you will really like with Voice Memos is that each recording is copied over to a Voice Memos playlist in your iTunes library.

#7 - 1,000s of API
It will be a while before the real value of the new iPhone OS is realized as there is simply so many new ways in which developers can take advantage of the improved Cocoa Touch framework built into the OS, such as new functionality such as Core Data for SQL Server like data management, easy Google map integration and hundreds and hundreds more.

#6 - Locate Me
This is very cool in a psycho big brother kind of way. If you have a Mobile Me account and lose your iPhone you can now search for it from Mobile Me. Using the GPS and WiFi triangulation tools built into the iPhone you can locate your missing phone on a Google Map. The really cool thing is that you can also remotely wipe your phone in case it gets stolen and you do not want to leak any corporate data.

#5 - Parental Settings
If you think fart apps are upsetting, then you now have the ability to limit what apps are installed on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Of course, if you have bought iPhones for your kids then I wish you had been my parent growing up.

#4 - 3rd party hardware
Connecting via the 30-pin connector or wirelessly with Bluetooth, companies can now add custom hardware to the iPhone. The potential here is huge. Right now, the only hardware shipping is Bluetooth stereo headsets, but Apple has already demonstrated other products such as medical tools and it is hard not to imagine a physical keyboard, bar code scanner or mini laser projector emerging as nifty add-on tools for your iPhone.

#3 - Push Notification
Apple's answer to multitasking is Push notifications. Now you can get Twitter notification, SMS updates and more to your iPhone without having the application open. For instance, you can imagine an eBay application notifying you about products you are bidding on.

#2 - iPhone 3GS
OK, it's the iPhone 3G, but 50% faster. What does this buy you? Apps open much faster. Remember that annoying wait you have when the Camera App opens? The 3GS gets rid of that wait. And talking of camera, you can now take amazing 3.2 Megapixel images and video.

#1 - Search with Spotlight
The most important new feature on the iPhone has got to be search. Building on Apple's success with Spotlight in the OS X for Macs, Apple has ported the technology to the iPhone. Now, from one screen, you can find content in emails, calendar appointments, contacts, and third party apps. This is a great feature that, in the words of Steve Jobs "you are going to love." 

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Matthew has written four Flash books, contributed to a dozen Web books, and has published over 400 articles. He is passionate about exposing Internet's potential for all of us. Matthew works directly with many companies as a business strategist coaching IT architects and business leaders to work tightly with each other towards common goals.

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