First look: iPhone OS 3.0 is better for business, but IT won't be satisfied

My iPod Touch slowed to a crawl, making the many useful new iPhone update features hard to use -- at first

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For graphics and for protected text on the Web, copy and paste work a little differently: Tap and hold on the item you want to copy or cut, and it becomes highlighted. On a Web page, a paragraph or div may be highlighted. Tap Copy from the menu that appears. Some items open additional menus, such as Save Image or, for a hyperlinked item, Open in New Window. The iPhone OS makes the device act more like a computer in these basic content operations.

The other big change is the inclusion of Spotlight, Apple's search technology for on-device content. Its location is nonintuitive -- you swipe to the left of the Home page to open the Spotlight page -- but once you know where it is, it's easy to get to and use. Enter your search term, and all content on your device that contains the search term is listed. Click an item and the appropriate app opens up with the content in question. Easy. And you can search your mail separately with the new search window when looking at your inbox or any folder in it -- just be sure to scroll up past the top of the window to make it visible. There's also a preference setting to determine exactly what is searched and what is not. If you use Exchange 2007, Spotlight can search the server's folders as well.

Many people wanted the iPhone OS to support Mail, Messaging, Notes, and Safari in landscape mode, which it now does. And the touch keyboard also works in landscape mode, making its buttons bigger and easier to press. It works perfectly well, but note that the landscape mode screen depth leaves little room for seeing what you are typing, so you may let more mistakes go unnoticed. Or you may make fewer mistakes in the first place.

Mail and calendar capabilities are nicely, but not fully, improved. You can now respond to Exchange invitations from your device -- and invite others -- but only if you use Exchange. And you can specify which mail folders are automatically synchronized, no longer limited to the inbox (before, other folders were synced only when you opened them). The iPhone still cannot open .ics invitations that come from or into non-Exchange e-mail accounts. Sorry, but we don't live in an Exchange-only world, so even if your workplace uses Exchange, many business colleagues will use something else.


Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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