For the past week, I've been able to play with the beta version on the new iPhone OS 3.0. As you probably know, the 3.0 update brings a long list of features to the iPhone including multimedia messaging, cut and paste and a landscape keyboard. As I said last week, iPhone 3.0 has more many more hits than misses, particularly since it finally adds some very basic features that almost every other cell phone has.
Since this is a beta version, I'm not going to get hung up on the obvious bugs. Yes, my iPhone is much slower, and it has a tendency to crash more often, but such problems are to be expected on an OS that's not quite ready for the real world. Instead, I will tell you about my general experience form a usability standpoint.
Cut, cop and paste This is just as Apple execs described at the OS 3.0 announcement. Just double tap a selection to get the cut/copy/paste commands to appear. You then can change the highlighted area by dragging the blue "grab points" around the page. Once you get to your pasting area, just tap the screen again and select the "paste" button. I like the "shake to undo" option, as well. There's just one caveat: at present it seems to be working for notes only.
Landscape keyboard This is one of those "careful what you wish for" situations. After haranguing Apple over the past twenty months to give us a landscape keyboard for texting, notes and e-mail, I have to admit that it does take some acclimation now that I have it. Though the landscape keyboard is much wider with larger buttons, it's also a lot shorter. It did take me a couple of days to get the hang of it. Don't think that I'm not complaining, though, as it's quite the opposite. I love… Read more