Many long-awaited features finally become reality as Apple launches iPhone OS 3.0 for its smartphone and the iPod Touch.
Updated at 10:20 a.m. PDT June 17: The software update is now available.
Many of the iPhone's long-awaited features will finally become reality Wednesday when Apple rolls out iPhone OS 3.0.
Current iPhone owners can download the software from iTunes for free, and iPod Touch users can get it as well, but for a fee of $9.95, just like the last OS update. What time exactly, we don't know yet. Apple will only say iPhone OS 3.0 will come out sometime Wednesday.
The update includes many functions other phones have had for a while, including multimedia messaging (if supported by your carrier--AT&T won't offer it until later this summer), voice recording, buying and renting movies and TV shows over the air, full system search, tethering (again, if your carrier allows it), and push notifications.
Apple has also bundled in some extras, like landscape virtual keyboard for certain apps, more extensive parental controls, in-app purchasing, and a feature for MobileMe customers called Find My Phone.
There will also be stereo Bluetooth available, as well as the capability to create applications specifically for interfacing with third-party hardware. That could lead to a boon in the accessories market for the iPhone as well as the iPod Touch, as my CNET colleague Donald Bell has pointed out.
As anticipated as Wednesday's OS 3.0 launch is, it's only the second most important product rollout for Apple this week. The new iPhone 3G S is scheduled to hit stores Friday morning. In the meantime, check out our full review of the iPhone 3G S and our detailed look at OS 3.0.