Finally the waiting came to an end: Apple today released the long awaited major iPhone OS 3.0 update to the masses.
Cut, Copy & Paste, Landscape Keyboard, MMS, Spotlight Search, Voice Memos, Improved Calendar, Buy Movies/TV Shows and Audiobooks right from the Device, Internet Tethering, Stereo Bluetooth, Automatic Wi-Fi Login, Push Notifications… the list of new features is endless.
This definitely is a major update.
As beta releases have been out for quite a while every single feature has been covered in great depth elsewhere. If this is your first time you’re hearing about it, you might in fact find Apple’s website as good point to start exploring what’s in it for you.
With the feature-related reporting left to the Apple centric blogs, we provide you with yet another comprehensive list, that hopefully resembled the essence of what you need to know for a fantastic updating experience!
You’ve been running the WWDC GM Seed and don’t get an updated version via iTunes today?
The update released to the public today is exactly the same as the golden master one made available for developers during WWDC 2009. Down to the MD5 hashes. Therefore, if you previously installed the developer GM seed, you’re fine – and in fact iTunes won’t let you update at all.
Which features are not available on a 3G as compared to a 3G S?
The ones that exclusively work on the new iPhone 3G S are Voice Control, Video Editing and Sharing, Compass Navigation and most of the Accessibility Enhancements. The rest of it works just fine on your iPhone 3G.
No Push Notifications for iPhone 2Gs?
No. I mean yes. :-) Let’s make this clear: The long awaited Push Notifications, which circumvent the inability of third party apps to run in the background, are available for iPhone 2G owners, too. The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) spread different reports earlier. Those are wrong.
Is it free?
For iPhone and iPhone 3G owners this update is absolutely free. Planning to update an iPod touch? Apple kindly asks you to pay US$ 9.95.
Are there download mirrors (in case iTunes servers can’t handle the load)?
No official mirrors to our knowledge. We did find direct firmware links at Apple: iPhone 3G / iPhone 2G and some inofficial mirrors: iPhone 3G / iPhone 2G. Be careful when using the latter as sources other than Apple might provide compromised versions of the firmware.
How about MMS and Tethering support?
The new firmware comes with support for both. In order to use these new capabilities, carriers have to provide updated carrier profile settings. The when, what and how is different for every carrier in every country. We’ve heard from O2 customers in the UK that the supposedly automatic network settings updates have been rolled out. Others UK O2 subscribers told us they have not yet received anything.
Be careful: While iPhone OS 3.0 might provide you with Tethering capabilities and they might even work for you, in some countries you’re legally not allowed to share the device’s Internet connection under your current contract. Carriers might charge you extra for the traffic indirectly caused by your notebook hooked up to your iPhone – even if you’ve got a flat data tariff. If you’re unsure, check back with your operator.
Is “Find My iPhone” already available?
Yes it is and its awesome. Works exactly as advertised. You have to manually activate the feature. Navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Your MobileMe account. Flip the “Find My iPhone” switch to ON. Some prerelease screenshots of the MobileMe website indicated the feature would be available as part of the Mail application. It’s not. It’s in your Account settings:
Is updating a seamless process?
So far feedback is pretty good. We did receive scattered reports about Apple’s activation servers being down. Users have seen an iTunes error dialog stating: “The iPhone [name] cannot be updated at this time because the iPhone activation server is temporarily unavailable.”
If you run into this issue, you might want to first follow Apple’s troubleshooting steps. The Next Web readers reported that closing iTunes and rebooting the iPhone resolved the situation, too.
Yet another workaround: Click the update/install button in iTunes, disable your network connection while it is extracting the files. As the phone reboots re-enable the network connection.
(Disclaimer: You execute all of these troubleshooting tips at your own risk.)
How about Jailbreaking and Unlocking?
Sorry folks: You’ve got to wait. The Dev-Team video demoed an OS 3.0 software carrier unlock yesterday but that one is not yet available for download. Follow their blog for further announcements. Note: The Next Web does in no way endorse Apple firmware modifications.
Often overlooked: With the official release the Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that applies to all Apple prerelease software is now gone. We will very likely see all major books on iPhone development being updated very soon, too. Bill Dudney released a new version of his fantastic (e)book right after the firmware shipped.
So far, so good. We keep updating this post as news flow in. Make sure to check back and let us know in the comments, how your update goes!