iPhone 3G S has slew of new features

Jul 08, 2009 By Etan Horowitz

If you've been thinking of buying an iPhone, the release of the iPhone 3G S makes it a lot easier to join Apple's telecom family. But if you already own an iPhone, deciding whether to buy this new model is a little more complicated.

There's finally a , better photos, a compass, voice controls, a landscape keyboard, better and the ability to cut and paste. The "S" stands for speed, and although the device can open Web pages and applications twice as fast as its predecessor, the 3G, I don't consider the speed boost the phone's best feature.

I was most impressed with the iPhone's improved camera, which can shoot video and take sharper still pictures. The 3-megapixel autofocus digital camera lets you tap an object or someone's face to focus in on, and it also has a macro focus for close-ups.

But the ability to not only shoot video, but edit and upload it to YouTube from the phone is really the standout feature of the iPhone 3G S. It means you no longer have to carry around a pocket video camera like the Flip (though the iPhone doesn't shoot HD like some Flip models) and that you can share video with the world in minutes without the need for a computer.

In my tests, the battery ran out after about five hours of mixed use, even when I set the phone to push new e-mail automatically, something that drains the battery extremely fast on iPhone 3G.

My other favorite feature was the compass, which comes as a standalone application and is also integrated into the Maps application. This is a big help when you're following directions because it tells you if you are facing the right direction.

If you are an existing iPhone owner, the first thing to do is check when you are eligible for upgrade pricing by dialing (ASTERISK)639# from your iPhone. If you are eligible for an upgrade in July, August or September, you can get the iPhone 3G S now for new-customer pricing -- $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 32GB model. If not, you can wait or pay a higher price now for the phone.

If you have the original iPhone, upgrading to the iPhone 3G S is worth it. If you have the iPhone 3G, the main reasons are the ability to shoot video, the improved battery life and the increased storage space (this is the first time there has been a 32GB iPhone).

If those things are not important to you (or important enough to spend a few hundred dollars and sign a new two- year contract), then you don't need to upgrade. The improved speed is nice, but the iPhone 3G is no slowpoke, and you can get some of the best new features in the iPhone 3G S simply by upgrading for free to the iPhone 3.0 software.



There are more than 100 new features in the iPhone 3.0 software. To learn how to use them, visit the iPhone User Guide, which is a bookmark in your iPhone's Safari Web browser. Here are some of the best.

• Cut, copy and paste: More than any other feature, this is the one that iPhone users have pined for the most. It takes a little getting used to at first, so be sure you check out Apple's instructions to get the hang of it.

• Search: Probably the most useful of the new features because it makes performing tasks faster by letting you quickly search across your phone for an e-mail, a contact, a song, an application and more.

• Landscape keyboard: Tilt the phone sideways to make typing a lot easier.

• Push notifications in apps: This lets an application send you a text message-like notification, even when you don't have the app open. Good apps to download include: AP Mobile, which uses notifications to alert you of breaking news, Textfree Lite, which lets you send free text messages, AIM, which alerts you to a new instant message, and Zillow, which alerts you when a home is for sale in a neighborhood you like.


(c) 2009, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.).
Visit the Sentinel on the World Wide Web at www.orlandosentinel.com/
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: What's next for the smartphone in a rapidly changing market?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Latest upgrades underwhelm, but iPhone still holds lead

Jun 11, 2009

For a company whose iPhone products have set the agenda for the mobile phone industry for the past two years, Apple's announcements this week at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco were underwhelming.

Apple unveils new iPhone 3G with faster Web, GPS

Jun 09, 2008

Apple today introduced the new iPhone 3G, combining all the revolutionary features of iPhone with 3G networking that is twice as fast as the first generation iPhone, built-in GPS for expanded location based ...

Palm Pre: It's almost an iPhone

Jun 18, 2009

The new Palm Pre from Sprint is the best attempt yet to create a phone that is as powerful, elegant and simple to use as the Apple iPhone.

Apple says it is expanding iPhone features

Mar 17, 2009

(AP) -- Apple Inc. is updating its software for iPhones so that users can cut, copy and paste text - a basic computing feature that many people had lamented was missing from the gadget that seems to do everything.

Recommended for you

Samsung phones cleared for US government use

20 hours ago

Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday some of its Galaxy mobile devices were approved by the National Security Agency for use with classified U.S. government networks and data, a boost to the company's efforts to expand in ...

Review: Apple Pay in action

22 hours ago

If there ever comes a day I can ditch my wallet and use my phone to pay for everything, I'll look back to my first purchase through Apple Pay: a Big Mac and medium fries for $5.44. That wallet-free day won't ...

Samsung seeks boost from redesigned Note

22 hours ago

The latest version of Samsung's popular big-screen Galaxy Note has gone on sale at a crucial time for the South Korean company as it suffers a rapid decline in profit from its global smartphone business.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

2 / 5 (1) Jul 08, 2009
Iphone promo. No more, no less.
4.9 / 5 (45) Jul 10, 2009
1) In context (News: Electronics)
2) Apple doesn't need to cloak an advertisement in an article about the iPhone.
3) By your logic Physorg couldn't mention any new device or electronic tech.