There was more from Apple's WWDC than the announcement of the iPhone 3G -- CEO Steve Jobs also announced the iPhone 2.0 software update. Available to current iPhone and iPod touch owners in early July, the software update adds several new features that are interesting, if not extraordinary. Let's take a look at the new features and analyse what’s missing.
As promised last March, the iPhone will support the Microsoft Exchange server. That means you'll be able to get push email, contacts and calendar. This is a big win for corporate users who have have iPhones but have had to carry another device (like a BlackBerry) to access their work email. Other new features will include auto-discovery, global contacts access and remote wipe.
The new software also adds full access to the iPhone apps store, which is also set to open in early June. The new applications range from games that integrate with the phone's accelerometer to a mobile version of eBay.
Currently on the iPhone you can locate contacts only by browsing your entire phone book. Now you'll be able to locate exactly the friend you want.
iWork documents and PowerPoint
That's right, you'll get access to documents created in iWork. And for the presentation-happy, you'll be able to read, but not edit, PowerPoint attachments.
Bulk delete and move
This is a pretty simple feature, but it's one the iPhone needed. It can get pretty tiresome to delete individual items from a list so we're glad to see that Apple took pity on us.
Now you'll be able to save photos sent as email attachments directly to your photo library.
Jobs said a lot of people asked for this although frankly, we’re wondering who they are. When you're using the calculator and you tip the phone to its side, you'll get more buttons and a landscape orientation.
Jobs didn't expand on what we'll see here. We'll report back when the software update is available.
The software update will bring language support in French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Russian and Polish. You'll also be able to use a graffiti-style application for entering characters in Asian languages.
So what's missing?
It continues to baffle us why Apple won't add multimedia messaging and video recording. Those features are available on even the simplest phones that you can get free today. Voice dialling would be another huge win and we’d love to see a landscape keyboard for composing e-mails and messages, cut and paste and a stereo Bluetooth profile.
Finally, what about the really big downers? There's still no user-replaceable battery, memory card slot and tactile feedback for the touch screen. Perhaps in the iPhone version 3? -Kent German
Update: Read our full Apple iPhone 3G review.