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Apple's iPhone OS 3.0 Arrives Today

If you have friends who own iPhones, don't expect to get any calls from them for part of today: Apple is releasing the second major update to the iPhone's operating-system software. This iPhone OS 3.0 upgrade, free for iPhone users and $9.95 for iPod touch users, fixes some longstanding defects and adds some notable new capabilities.


As the company revealed back in March, the 3.0 update will, among many other things, allow iPhone users to:

* copy, cut and paste text within and between applications;

* see multimedia messages sent to their phones without having to log into a separate Web site;

* search through all of their data at once for a given word or phrase;

* type on a wide, landscape-proportioned onscreen keyboard in more applications;

* dictate voice memos;

* synchronize notes taken in the iPhone's notes application to a Mac or Windows computer;

* buy and rent movies, music videos and TV shows from the iTunes Store, even over a mobile-broadband connection.

Not all these capabilities will work on the original iPhone or the iPod touch. But as the company announced last last week, even users of last year's iPhone 3G and the new iPhone 3G S will wait to enjoy two 3.0 features on AT&T Wireless--the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in the United States.

AT&T won't provide multimedia messaging in iPhone 3.0 until sometime later this summer. And the company hasn't even announced when it will allow "tethering" an iPhone to a computer via a USB cable or Bluetooth wireless for service as an external modem.

AT&T's failure to support these features on time--both of which it offers on many non-Apple devices, and which most other iPhone carriers in the world seem to have no problem delivering--has incinerated a substantial portion of its credibility among the most intensive iPhone users. The most charitable theory voiced so far: The company is afraid that because the iPhone makes it too easy to do things online, its network will be swamped unless it makes some upgrades first.

As of 9:30, iPhone OS 3.0 has yet to materialize on Apple's servers; when it does, you'll need to plug your iPhone into a computer running Apple's iTunes software to download and install it. Based on my experience with earlier iPhone updates, this will take some time--the updater will back up your data, then restore it after loading the update--but should be drama-free.

Will you be updating your iPhone today? Post a report in the comments about how it went and which new features you'll think you'll use the most and which ones might not do much for you.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  June 17, 2009; 10:23 AM ET
Categories:  Gadgets  
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Hmmm...I thought this update wasn't until Friday, but I just tried to get it after reading your piece. iTunes says my current software is up to date, i.e., no update available yet.

Posted by: krazykat23 | June 17, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Ah, just found this on MacRumor:

So basically, the update did appear in iTunes, but it's not yet available to download.

Posted by: krazykat23 | June 17, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Since Jailbreaking my phone months ago, I've been enjoying: cut, copy and paste (hClipboard); live video streaming (uploaded to, not stored locally); tethering (PDAnet); and remote location of a missing phone (Navizon). I'm particularly peeved that the remote wipe and remote sound alarm (to audio-locate a misplaced phone) require a MobileMe subscription. I'd pay up to maybe half of the subscription price for those two features, but I do not need any of the rest of MobileMe, so it's not worth it.

So, I won't be updating to 3.0 until I can immediately Jailbreak the phone again, probably tonight or this weekend. There certainly are some conveniences that I'd like to have in 3.0, but if I had to choose, I'd keep Jailbroken 2.2.1 over unhacked 3.0.

Posted by: MaxH | June 17, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I just tried updating my iphone 3G to the 3.0 software upgrade and have run across some issues and now my phone is stuck on only making emergency calls. While restoring the backup, I guess the server with Apple went down and now I am unable to connect to Itunes to restore my iphone. I can still access and purchase on itunes, but I am unable to do anything with my iphone except eject. I get this message through Itunes "We could not complete your Itunes request. The network connection timed out". Has anyone else run across this and how can I fix this as I now have NO Phone that works.

Posted by: Saseaman75 | June 17, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@Saseaman75, Here's one of many youtube videos on how to restore your iphone/ipod touch:

Posted by: Annorax | June 17, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm a new iPhone owner of a 3G -- lured in by the $99 price -- and I'm definitely chilling on the update for a couple of days until the mob thins out.

Incidentally, I have never loved a piece of tech like I love this iPhone.

Posted by: mdean3 | June 17, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, I've been trying for the 3.0 update for the past 20 minutes -- get the "-4" error condition back at various points of the authentication and purchase process.

It would seem that Apple needs that North Carolina data center up and running as soon as possible to handle the load!

Posted by: Annorax | June 17, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

OK! I waited until people on the east coast gave up and went to eat dinner and got my 3.0 update for my iPod Touch.

OMG! I did not realize that they were going to GIVE us Bluetooth support on the iPod Touch with this update! That is TOTALLY worth the cost of the update.

Bravo Apple!

Posted by: Annorax | June 17, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Just updated to 3.0 and have lost all my applications. I tried to sync several times and they do not reappear. Anybody else have this problem?

Posted by: docbarb3 | June 18, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

So, I waited until the last possible minute this morning before I had to leave for work. Still no 3.0 on the servers. Then, I get home and there it is. Guess what? No errors, no hiccups, no drama. Watched a tv show and it was done when I got back.

Posted by: spam9 | June 18, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Apparently, I upgraded within an hour of the update being available. It never occurred to me -- the upgrade was wholly unremarkable.

The new features are there, they seem to work as advertised. Only time will tell if they make a meaningful difference in how I use or think of my phone.

I got the new OS. Yay.

Posted by: philbast | June 18, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

The upgrade took about 2 hours. The cut,copy and paste are worth the upgrade. You can cut a photo and paste it into an email. Or cut and paste SMS messages. The search feature works well if you have lots of emails and notes. Over all I would say it does not live up to the hype. No MMS till late summer. I hope more applications take advantage of the push feature and allow the changing of the logo when things have been updated.

Posted by: colinsk | June 18, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and the biggest oversite. Still no FLASH!

Posted by: colinsk | June 18, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

I too got the new 0S with no problems. Got the upgrade within minutes of release here in CA. @ 10:13 a.m. It was released just after 10 a.m. and it was quick and all works perfectly. Been playing with it all day. Now only if AT&T could get their act together for those of us here in the U.S. and give us the other cool parts. Thank you Apple!

Posted by: MyPostIDName | June 18, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Holy cow! Someone's upgrade took two hours? Mine took 16 minutes!

Posted by: MyPostIDName | June 18, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Be patient and it is worth it. I upgrade to the 3.0 today, on its release date and had no problems. All you will need is the 8.2 version of iTunes and should have to problems. The one and only thing to remember is when the installation has begun, is to be patient and let the phone do its thing. It might take 10 minutes (I finished in 10 minutes) or some people over an hour. If you interrupt it while installing it will just take longer to fix it and possibly your phone not to work.

Posted by: joe281 | June 18, 2009 2:16 AM | Report abuse

I downloaded it...of course it took forever. big deal...i could do without the voice memo...and everything else practically works the should have enabled SMS..its like an idiot is calling the least come back to work to make them come up to speed on that one Steve!

Posted by: mkratz01 | June 18, 2009 2:36 AM | Report abuse

This upgrade (free for iPhone users) is terrific. I had no problems either downloading or installing. Love the stereo Bluetooth (will be buying new, wireless headphones tomorrow).

Cut, paste, and the zillion other features work perfectly. Love the "Find My iPhone" alarm. Now I can locate it even if it slips under the couch!

Voice memos are cool too. Can't believe all these features are FREE!

Posted by: Bi1lMe | June 18, 2009 2:36 AM | Report abuse

I am new to the iphone. In fact I just bought it on the 17th of June. I just came home from work and when I plugged it in to add some more music from my itunes collection, it prompted me to update to version 3.0.

Since I just bought the phone earlier, I assumed it was an old update. It entirely erased the OS on my new phone. Windows will not recognize that there is a mobile device connected so I can't attempt the update again. I do not know what to do.

Posted by: benr2102 | June 18, 2009 5:13 AM | Report abuse

I received two iPhones 3G yesterday (June 17) for me and my wife. I updated my phone to OS 3.0 through my MacBook and my wife's phone through her Windows-XP PC without major problems. Both phones work just fine.

Posted by: Sandpiper158 | June 18, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

I updated my Iphone yesterday after work. No problems with downloading, just with authentication. Everything is good to go, except with the Bluetooth stereo. I use the Motorola S9's, they work, but I cannot forward the music with the headphones, just pause and play and volume control. I have to shake my phone to advance the song to a new one. Not good if your hands are busy. I hope to get a fix for that soon.

Posted by: SSGSteveH | June 18, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

It will take some time? Hmmm Akamai can't deliver

Posted by: reston75 | June 18, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

I downloaded and installed last night around 8:00. It took about 30-40 minutes overall, no problemo. I like the cut/copy/paste and landscape keyboard features the best.

Posted by: daveb3 | June 18, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

If you are still having problems, try taking it to an Apple Store and they can update the phone for you.
Then you take it home and it will restore the backup and you should be good to go.

Posted by: Krazijoe | June 18, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

As of this morning, MobileMe and iTunes are still acting a bit squirrelly. Nice features in 3.0 update, though.

Posted by: 0073 | June 18, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"OMG! I did not realize that they were going to GIVE us Bluetooth support on the iPod Touch with this update! That is TOTALLY worth the cost of the update.

Bravo Apple!"

Dear Annorax:

They didn't "GIVE" you Bluetooth support for your iPod touch, you "TOTALLY" paid 10 bucks for it.

There's a difference.

Posted by: neological | June 18, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

For those of you who have lost your apps: i thought i lost my apps when i updated to 3.0, but what actually happened is that the update moved my apps i only have two screens of apps. when i updated all of my apps were gone. for some reason my apps got moved to the third screen. same thing haappened to my wife. so check your phones and make sure your apps weren't moved to a different screen.

Posted by: manuelg909 | June 18, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Slooow update. Took 1.5 hours last night at home. Then hung up when backing up this morning at work. Be patient, it works eventually. Nice new features, but still needs zoom on the camera, video and voice dialing!

Posted by: mlc11 | June 18, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Last night (June 17), I downloaded the new 3.0 software to my orginal iPhone - no problems, no drama - new features work great!

Posted by: southernbred1 | June 18, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I upgraded yesterday, Wednesday, in the late afternoon. No problems, other than it took nearly an hour to download at 100 mbs and another hour to install. It's really nice to be able to rotate the phone and read e-mail in landscape. Also, sending voice messages (via email only, not MMS) is also cool.

Posted by: VelaFella | June 18, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

i tried yesterday but too many people were downloading. this morning i had no problem and was thrilled to see the 'voice memos' right on the first page of my apps. i'm not buying the new iphone until my contract is up again, but i'm going to go look at it. Apple is amazing.

Posted by: mollytjm | June 18, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I downloaded the upgrade last evening: very smooth, 10 to 15 minutes perhaps, and all is well. But maybe not: this morning it seems to crash every time I open one of my email accounts. It starts to download new mail or open an existing message but then bounces to the home screen. Any one else having this problem? (I'm using the 3G network as opposed to a wi-fi account, if that might make a difference.)

Posted by: jwhager | June 18, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Still no flash is an embarrassment for Apple

Posted by: stikyfingas | June 18, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I just purchased a iphone Sunday and when I synched it for the first time last night I was prompted to update to version 3.0 which I did. Took about 20 minutes. When I attempted to use my apps today they did not work. I spent close to an hour on the phone with a very pleaeant cutomer service rep who was unable to solve the problem. I was told to resynch the phone when I get to my home computer tonight and then reset the phone. If this doen't work, I was e-mailed an article with very complicated instructions on what else to try. Neeedless to say I am not very happy. Bottom line-I would advise waiting to install version 3.0 for a few days until the bugs are worked out.

Posted by: jstearman | June 18, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I downloaded 3.0 for my iPod Touch 2G last night. The process took about 1.5 hours, and I have fairly fast DSL. That seemed long to me.

I like most of the new features. However, today I was walking while playing music on it. As you should know, you can change songs by merely shaking the iPod Touch or iPhone.

The mere act of walking kept switching songs, something I didn't care for since I wasn't finished listening to a song before it switched. I imagine there's a tweak to turn that feature off, I hope. It's merely a gimmick, in my view. Who needs the shakes!

Stan Kossen, an American living in Europe

Posted by: sagebush2020 | June 18, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I should have mentioned that the iPod Touch was in my pocket while walking and switching music, not my hands.


Posted by: sagebush2020 | June 18, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Whether with the 3G S, or the 3G, iPhone users have access to a wealth of very useful applications in the app store. Take Shoofa DC for example - it provides location based access to food and drink promotions in the Washington DC metro area, effectively saving residents and visitors tons of money.

Posted by: DC102 | June 18, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Upgraded late last night. Not sure how long it took...started the update then went to bed. Woke up to a fully functional and updated iphone!

Everything works great so far. Loving the landscape keyboard for texting. Haven't used much else yet.

AT&T is really dropping the ball with the MMS messaging though. End of summer? Terrible. ATT better hope they can keep their exclusive deal with apple alive or else Verizon is about to take over the world. They will lose millions of customers instantly.

Posted by: PhilliesPhan | June 18, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Testing comments.

Posted by: Bob Greiner | June 19, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

before going for an iphone you might want to look here.

Posted by: katrinak1 | June 24, 2009 5:57 AM | Report abuse

before going for iphone OS 3.0 update you might want to look here

Posted by: katrinak1 | June 24, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

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