Apple Steps Up Its Game With New iPhone 3GS

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Image: Engadget

Today at WWDC 2009, the new iPhone 3GS, which hits stores on June 19, stole the show. Equipped with video, voice control, a 3 megapixel camera, and other cool features, the 3GS is another homerun by Apple. Below is a review of some the WWDC keynote’s highlights, as noted on Engadget’s liveblog:

iPhone 3GS

The iPhone 3GS is supposed to be twice as fast as the 3G. Its 3 megapixel camera comes it autofocus and auto white balance. All you have to do is tap what you want to focus on. It takes macro shots from as close as 10cm.

It also shoots video, with audio. You can edit and share videos with a tap of your finger, as well as scrub along with them.

Comprehensive voice control, a built-in digital compass, and Nike+ support are other neat features. You can also invert black and white, zoom in displays, and read text through the 3GS. All 3GS phones will also come with hardware encryption. With 23% less packaging, the devices are greener, too.

Costs: $199 for the 16GB 3GS. $299 for the 32GB 3GS. And only $99 for the 3G.

The iPhone 3GS hits the market a week from today, releasing in more than 80 countries by August.

iPhone OS 3.0

AT&T support will be ready “by the end of the summer,” whatever that means. No mention of partnership with AT&T. You can now rent and buy movies from iTunes on your iPhone. It has new parental controls, and tethering, which lets you share a connection with your computer. Find My iPhone feature lets you located your iPhone remotely, then send it a message, make it audio alert, or wipe out its data. Other features: New HTML support for audio and video tags. AutoFill feature now live. The new OS also supports more than 30 languages.

OS 3.0 is free for iPhone users and $9.95 for iTouch users. It releases on June 17.

MacBook Pro

Apple released a new version of the 15-inch MacBook Pro. It uses the same non-removable battery as the 17-inch version. They replaced the ExpressCard slot with an SD slot. With (up to) 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, and 8 gigs of RAM, it’s also Apple’s fastest notebook ever. It costs $1,699. The 17-inch now costs $2,499. New: A 13-inch MacBook Pro, starting at $1,199.

MacBook Air

Pricing now starts at $1,499; $1,799 with SSD configuration. It also comes with the new SD slot and, like the MacBook Pro, a standard backlit keyboard. It also has a FireWire 800 port.

Snow Leopard

The new, improved version of Leopard has Exchange support, runs 45% faster, and saves 6GB of disk space after installation. A new feature, called Expose, zooms out your open windows when you click and hold on an application. Snow Leopard also uses AI for text selection. The trackpad now has handwriting recognition.

An upgrade to Snow Leopard costs $29 ($49 for a family pack), available in September.

Safari 4

Safari 4 for Leopard, Tiger, and Windows ships today. They’re calling it the fastest browser on any platform. Expose gives you several new ways to find and sift through content. For example, you can drop images directly into an email message. Another example: you can view your history in a cover flow. Another new feature is crash resistance. If a plugin crashes your browser, your windows will stay intact, all you have to do is reload the page. In Quicktime, you now get a visual timeline of your video, as well as trim and share features.

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With affordable iPhones, Apple is on fire. Competitors (Blackberries) have some serious catching up to do.