Apple today announced that it has released the iPhone OS 3.0 beta Software Development Kit to registered developers, with the expectation that the operating system software will be released in its full version to consumers sometime over the Australian winter.

Amongst the upgrades, changes and additions planned are:

  • In-App Purchases – a way to download additional content for an app. An example: extra characters for a game.
  • Peer-to-Peer connections – multi-player gaming and file swapping
  • App interface for accessories
  • Access to the iPod music library
  • A new Maps API – integration of Google Mobile Maps services within their apps which will offer Google Map tiles, current location, custom annotations and geocoding
  • Push Notification – a mechanism to alert users with sounds, text or a badge
  • Cut, copy and paste within or across applications
  • MMS
  • Landscape view for Mail, Text and Notes
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • Syncing Notes to the Mac and PC
  • Shake to shuffle
  • Parental controls for TV shows, movies and apps from the App Store
  • Automatic login at Wi-Fi hot spots
  • A new Voice Memo app and expanded search capability for all key iPhone apps, as well as Spotlight search across the iPhone or iPod touch

And the cost?

As has occurred before with upgrades to the iPhone OS, it will be free for iPhones, but there will be a charge for those upgrading their iPod Touch with the new operating system. There’s no mention of what this charge will be, so watch this space for more news on Phone OS 3.0 as we get closer to the actual launch date.