Expectations Dashed and Exceeded (iPhone 3.0 Addendum)

Whatever iPhone 3.0 features Apple announces—copy-and-paste, push notifications, video capture, or hourly affirmations of what a swell human being you are for owning such a superlative phone—somebody, somewhere will declare that Apple’s announcement failed to live up to expectations. From Macworld.com “Apple and the Expectations Game”

Apple has added a bunch of things to the iPhone (as of 3.0) that folks like Engadget (and I) didn’t even think of wishing for. Bluetooth networking for collaborative apps (such as games) and perhaps third-party tethering if Apple doesn’t give it to us out-of-the-box. Apps that can talk directly to third-party hardware. In-app purchasing (so you can sell a magazine app that adds new issues, or a game app that adds new levels). Deluge of new APIs, including wrapping functionality from Apple’s apps (such as Google Maps) into APIs so any developer can easily use them. Support for turn-by-turn directions (provided you supply your own map database). Push notifications (finally — and Apple cited concrete reasons for using them instead of background apps, namely huge drop in battery life and significant hit to performance). Voice memo recorder (seems like an obvious function, but why not integrate it with Notes?). Support for calendars other than iCal and Exchange (yay). Spotlight feature (allows searching throughout the iPhone’s app data and apps — kind of like Spotlight on a Mac (obviously) or the Newton’s search function). Auto-fill (seems like a no-brainer but nice to have it).

When the Apple folks say “over 1000 APIs” one can only assume (and indeed hope) they mean something like “1000 API calls” or “1000 newly exposed classes, methods, and properties”. Another term has become devalued.

Now, back in the realm of things that did appear in wish lists: Cut, Copy, and Paste. (I see they’ve mapped double-tap to clipboard functions… That’s a bit of a shame. The Newton’s “draw a circle around it” gesture would have been nice.) MMS (multimedia messages … inevitable but … sigh). Landscape mode for all major (Apple) apps. Stereo bluetooth.

Post Script

In the Q&A after the main presentation it emerges that tethering is supported in 3.0, but there’s a question as to which carriers will permit it.