My take on the iPhone 3GS

First of all, this is not a particularly informed review. I do not own one of these devices currently, I’m basing my opinion on third party reviews and Apples’ keynote address on the 3GS.

The one thing that strikes me about this whole launch is the amount of hype Apple are creating about the 3.0 software – but overlapping this with the launch of the 3GS. For instance, things like Spotlight search and the new Messages app feature center-stage on the Apple website promoting the 3GS, but these are available on 3G and even 2G iPhones!! That said, the features 3.0 brought to my phone have been sadly disappointing. The vast increases in SDK capabilities haven’t been taken up by developers at all (may do another post on this some time) for whatever reason, and I’m yet to use Spotlight in a ‘non-test’ capacity. The messages app is all well and good – but when I tried to send a contact to a friend of mine, it came out as rubbish. I know there’s not a standard for such messages across phones, but that sort of invalidates the point of having such capabilities!

Voice control is all well and good, I’ve not seen many reviews of this feature out in the wild, so I can’t really pass judgement on that. The addition of a magnetometer within the 3GS will be a huge feature. I personally try to get out and about doing some Geocaching, and hopefully the Groundspeak iPhone application will be updated to allow use of this compass to make seeking caches even easier with an iPhone.

However, the simple addition of video recording (and increase in camera quality) is just about enough to sell me on the 3GS. I’ve whinged about the quality of the existing camera until I’m blue in the mouth – but still I use it for all my day-to-day shooting! People are much more likely to be carrying a mobile phone than a full camera when they need it most. Apple have pulled some really good moves in this hardware update, and I for one am on the end of the hook – I want it!