Apple iPhone 3.0 Review – Part II

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Spotlight search, voice recording and landscape email really revive our interest in the new generation iPhone

the iPhone 3.0 upgrade’s new Spotlight search, along with myriad refinements to apps I use every day, is making me fall in love all over again with my second-generation Apple smartphone. Here, we continue our iPhone 3.0 review – the previous installment covered the remote wipe and cut and paste.


Search isn’t new to mobile devices; it’s not even new to the iPhone. However, nothing provided by third-party apps comes close to the Spotlight search now available with iPhone software Version 3.0 Flick the screen from left to right, and the search interface appears. Spotlight searches everywhere on the phone, including e-mail messages, the calendar and contact information.

When contact name searching was added in Version 2.0 of the iPhone software I was happy; the addition of Spotlight in Version 3.0 is really what I, and many others, have wanted for some time.

Another great addition to the iPhone software is the ability to use e-mail in landscape mode. I get a lot of e-mail that is forwarded from a Yahoo group. The format of these messages makes the font unusually small, and double-tapping the screen to maximize it doesn’t work because of other format elements in the message. Landscape mode does away with these problems and gives me a bigger keyboard on which to type.

More details in the call history record make it easier for me to get back to people. Before, if a contact called me I would tap his or her name to return the call, never quite sure if I was calling the person at home, on his or her mobile number or at work. That level of specificity has been added to the call history screen. When the number isn’t known, the call history now displays the city and state associated with the area code of the caller. In previous versions of the iPhone software, call history used black text to indicate placed calls and red to indicate missed calls. An icon has been added to make the “all recent calls” view clearer.

Voice recording

Voice recording is now a built-in feature. I wrote previously about how I used a voice recorder app that I got from the App Store. This morning I deleted that app and will be using the built-in recorder for my taping needs.

One thing I’m not happy with is the battery drain placed on my iPhone to support the Find My iPhone and remote wipe capabilities. Before enabling the “push” feature that is required to let MobileMe interact with my iPhone, I could easily go all day without thinking of charging up. When using my iPhone with push enabled after an overnight charge, the battery indicator falls to the halfway mark by lunchtime.



On Day 2 of testing the iPhone 3.0 software updgrade, eWEEK Labs is finding itself falling in love all over again with the iPhone. This has everything to do with the updated software’s search, new landscape mode capabilities and call history improvements.