iPhone 3G S: What You Need to Know
The iPhone 3G S is at AT&T and Apple stores across the country this morning. Here's the low down on new features, software, pricing and more.
The iPhone 3G S arrived in AT&T and Apple stores this morning. (All images via Apple.)
June 19, 2009 by Steve Crowe

Apple began selling the iPhone 3G S this morning at 2,200+ AT&T locations, 211 Apple Stores and seven other countries.

One analyst says Apple may sell 500,000 iPhones this weekend. Seems like a lofty number, but it would be only half as many as the iPhone 3G did in its first week. The iPhone 3G went up for sale in 21 countries on the first day.

There are minor changes to the outside of the iPhone 3G S, including an oil-resistant screen. Major overhauls have occurred on the inside, which contains the new iPhone 3.0 software.

The iPhone 3G S (‘S’ is for speed) will be able to do everything much faster than the iPhone 3G. Apps will launch faster, Web pages will download faster (2.9x times) and games will load quicker (2.4x). Apple says the new iPhone supports Open GL ES 2.0, the latest 3-D graphics API for mobile devices.

The battery lasts a lot longer on the 3G S, according to Apple, saying you’ll get nine hours of Internet access, 10 hours of video, 30 hours of audio and 12 hours of 2G talk time.

The built-in camera has been upgraded to a 3-megapixel version with autofocus and the ability to tap the display to focus on anything in the image. Multimedia Messaging Support (MMS), although not immediately supported by AT&T, allows you to send photos and other media to friends and family.

There’s also a new video recording feature to capture 30-fps VGA video, edit it down, share it on YouTube and sync it back to your MAC or PC. Voice Control allows users to say a name or phone number to make a call. It can also tell you what song is playing or pull up your favorite album.

Here are some of the other features via the new 3.0 software. Cut, Copy, Paste — Cut, copy and paste functionality may be the most anticipated new feature. iPhone fans have been calling for it since the device launched in 2007. Users will be able to copy text by double-tapping and can paste it anywhere — even in other apps. Text, HTML and photos can all be copied, according to Apple.

Spotlight Search — Allows users to search for anything — contacts, apps, music, events, etc. — and returns any sort of media that matches the search. Spotlight search is located on the left side of the home screen and displays an icon to indicate the type of media the search returns.

Turn-by-Turn GPS — Google Maps on the iPhone let you find locations via turn-by-turn directions. You can select walking or driving directions and check real-time traffic info. You can search by address or keyword, and there’s a built-in compass so you’ll always know what direction you’re going.

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