As widely expected, Apple formally announced the new iPhone 3G S in conjunction with the kickoff of its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Promising improved speed and performance, longer battery life, a 3 megapixel camera, video recording and hands-free voice control, the iPhone 3G S (the "S" is for "speed") boasts Apple's new iPhone OS 3.0 and more than 100 new features including Cut, Copy and Paste, MMS, Spotlight Search and landscape keyboard. Of course, users will also have access to Apple's App Store, which the computing giant announced now tops more than 50,000 iPhone and iPod touch applications.
According to Apple, iPhone 3G S offers speeds averaging up to twice as fast as iPhone 3G, enabling faster web page rendering and quicker application launches--the device also supports 7.2 Mbps HSDPA for faster networking speeds. In addition, it takes advantage of the OpenGL ES 2.0 standard for 3D graphics, improving mobile gaming and other graphics-heavy applications. Apple will release a 16GB edition of the iPhone 3G S at $199 and a 32GB version priced at $299--in addition, it will slash the price on the current 8GB iPhone 3G to $99. iPhone 3G S will arrive June 19 at Apple and AT&T retail stores in the U.S, as well as Best Buy and Wal-Mart locations--Apple notes that the smartphone will ultimately roll out in more than 80 countries in the weeks ahead. The iPhone OS 3.0 software update will be available June 17 as a free software update via iTunes 8.2 or later for all iPhone customers--iPod touch customers will be required to pay $9.95.
Apple first announced the iPhone OS 3.0 beta in mid-March, promising developers more than 1,000 new APIs, including support for apps to communicate with hardware accessories attached to iPhone or iPod touch devices. The update will also include the long-promised Apple Push Notification service, which offers programmers a channel to alert users of new information, even when your application isn't running--developers may now send text notifications, trigger audible alerts or add a numbered badge to their application icon. Additional features confirmed Monday include expanded parental controls for TV shows, movies and apps from the App Store; a new Find My iPhone feature that works in concert with MobileMe so users can locate a lost iPhone on a map, send a message that will appear on the screen or generate an audible signal even if set to silent mode. (If the iPhone doesn't turn up, the new Remote Wipe feature allows users to erase all data and content.) And as previously reported, iPhone 3.0 software will expand over-the-air iTunes premium content downloads to movies and television programs--students may also wirelessly download learning materials via iTunesU.
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