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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Say hello to iPhone 3GS

Say hello to iPhone 3GS
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Simon
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Jun 8, 2009, 02:52 PM
 
The new iPhone 3GS has just been announced.

S stands for speed
7.2 Mbps HSDPA
OpenGL|ES 2.0 (supposedly great for games)



3MP auto-focus camera
Does video too. 30FPS, VGA with audio, auto-focus, auto-white balance, auto-exposure.



Voice control



Digital compass

     
Simon  (op)
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Jun 8, 2009, 02:59 PM
 
Much better battery life

     
Simon  (op)
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Jun 8, 2009, 03:00 PM
 
Built-in support for Nike+.

     
Simon  (op)
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Jun 8, 2009, 03:02 PM
 
$199 for 16GB
$299 for 32GB
Black and white as before.
In stores June 19 (US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, UK. A week later, 6 more countries.)


A $99 8GB iPhone 3G will remain.

     
Eug
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Jun 8, 2009, 03:24 PM
 
Just as importantly, what does iPhone OS 3.0 mean for us existing iPhone 3G owners?

Even though the iPhone 3GS's speed boost would be very welcome, I'm probably gonna wait for an iPhone 4G before I upgrade, unless I can get a killer hardware upgrade deal for the 3GS.
     
shifuimam
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Jun 8, 2009, 03:39 PM
 
Here's my question - does 3.0 include voice control for the 3G?

I'm going to be damn pissed if it doesn't...the hardware hasn't changed, so there's no reason for 3.0 to allow for voice control on those of us unwilling to fork over $500 for a new phone...
     
Dakar V
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Jun 8, 2009, 03:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Here's my question - does 3.0 include voice control for the 3G?
They introduced it as a GS feature, so I think I can safely say no.
     
slugslugslug
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Jun 8, 2009, 03:42 PM
 
So, the voice control is definitely a 3GS-only feature, right? Not an iPhone software 3.0 one? I'm thinking of trying to buy a used 3G from some obsessive upgrader, so I can hold out for a 64GB iPhone before cashing in my subsidy eligibility and renewing my contract. I really like the idea of an iPhone that'll fit my entire music library so I don't have to futz with playlists as much as I do now.
     
amazing
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Jun 8, 2009, 03:42 PM
 
I think Apple announced quite a bit of dissatisfaction with ATT for lagging behind on keeping up with new iPhone features like tethering and MMS. Is a divorce on the horizon?
     
slugslugslug
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Jun 8, 2009, 03:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Here's my question - does 3.0 include voice control for the 3G?

I'm going to be damn pissed if it doesn't...the hardware hasn't changed, so there's no reason for 3.0 to allow for voice control on those of us unwilling to fork over $500 for a new phone...
^This wasn't here when I started typing my last post, btw. That's what I get for being a slow typer.

w/r/t "the hardware hasn't changed"… Well, they really didn't give many specifics about the hardware, but they talked about the thing being way faster than the 3G for the same tasks. So the hardware is certainly different and with more capabilities. The real question is whether the voice control actually can't be done on the old hardware. Artificial feature differentiation wouldn't surprise me, but it's not impossible that previous iPhones are too slow for the speech-recognition technology they use.
     
Jsmakr
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Jun 8, 2009, 04:00 PM
 
Just bought a 16GB 3GS online and should be delivered the 19th
     
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Jun 8, 2009, 04:08 PM
 
Boring upgrade. Some spec bumps a camera upgrade and a compass. Yahoo.
     
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Jun 8, 2009, 04:11 PM
 
This would have been nice.

     
shifuimam
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Jun 8, 2009, 04:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by slugslugslug View Post
^This wasn't here when I started typing my last post, btw. That's what I get for being a slow typer.

w/r/t "the hardware hasn't changed"… Well, they really didn't give many specifics about the hardware, but they talked about the thing being way faster than the 3G for the same tasks. So the hardware is certainly different and with more capabilities. The real question is whether the voice control actually can't be done on the old hardware. Artificial feature differentiation wouldn't surprise me, but it's not impossible that previous iPhones are too slow for the speech-recognition technology they use.
It can. There are already apps that do it.

I'm 99% certain that voice control on any phone isn't something that's processed by the internal hardware when it doesn't require prerecording the names of the people in your address book. My free-with-contract Motorola V325 had voice dialing. When you speak, the data is sent to the provider and processed, then sent back to the phone. At least, that's my theory.

There is zero reason for Apple not to include voice dialing in the 3.0 upgrade - same with the compass (the built-in GPS can tell you which direction you're facing - how else could it do turn-by-turn?) and video (there are fully functional video recording apps available for jailbroken iPhones already). They're just limiting it to the 3Gs to try and convince you to spend another $300 on a phone.
     
Dakar V
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Jun 8, 2009, 04:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
There is zero reason for Apple not to include voice dialing in the 3.0 upgrade - same with the compass (the built-in GPS can tell you which direction you're facing - how else could it do turn-by-turn?) and video (there are fully functional video recording apps available for jailbroken iPhones already). They're just limiting it to the 3Gs to try and convince you to spend another $300 on a phone.
Yes, we all know this. They've done similar things with iTunes Genius on iPods for example.
     
shifuimam
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Jun 8, 2009, 04:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar V View Post
Yes, we all know this. They've done similar things with iTunes Genius on iPods for example.
I thought the Genius thing was just in iTunes?

Can you not copy the playlists Genius creates onto older iPods?

Also: I'm not *surprised* that Apple did this. I'm just monumentally annoyed. I'm still going to replace my iPhone with whatever's the newest iPhone when my contract is up with AT&T, unless someone else comes out with hardware that has a comparable web browsing experience.
     
Simon  (op)
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Jun 8, 2009, 04:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
There is zero reason for Apple not to include voice dialing in the 3.0 upgrade - same with the compass (the built-in GPS can tell you which direction you're facing - how else could it do turn-by-turn?) and video (there are fully functional video recording apps available for jailbroken iPhones already). They're just limiting it to the 3Gs to try and convince you to spend another $300 on a phone.
Lots of big talk. What about substance?

Nobody knows there is zero reason. It's not evident at all.

The compass is actually hardware. Obviously. Turn-by-turn has nothing to do with that.

The only one you might have a point with is the video since there we know it has already been done on 3G hardware.
     
Dakar V
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Jun 8, 2009, 04:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I thought the Genius thing was just in iTunes?

Can you not copy the playlists Genius creates onto older iPods?
The iPods can generate playlists on the fly.
     
JKT
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Jun 8, 2009, 04:33 PM
 
I believe that turn-by-turn works due to motion rather than via a compass. If you are stock still, it won't have a clue which way you are facing. It is only when your GPS signal changes in space and time that it can know which way you are travelling. Fwiw.
     
ghporter
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Jun 8, 2009, 04:36 PM
 
Well I'm glad I waited. Not that the hardware upgrade is justifying my decision, but rather that the pricing is justifying it. For only $50 more than a refurb 16GB iPhone 3G, the 16GB iPhone 3GS gives me a lot more. Very cool.

I didn't see anything about new service plans, and I've been out doing stuff instead of watching any streaming video of the announcement. AT&T doesn't say jack about the new iPhone on their site, either. Was there anything like a formal announcement of new plan rates?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Stogieman
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Jun 8, 2009, 04:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar V View Post
Yes, we all know this. They've done similar things with iTunes Genius on iPods for example.
You can also add "no MMS for the original iPhone" to your list.

Slick shoes?! Are you crazy?!
     
shifuimam
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Jun 8, 2009, 04:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Lots of big talk. What about substance?

Nobody knows there is zero reason. It's not evident at all.

The compass is actually hardware. Obviously. Turn-by-turn has nothing to do with that.
Perhaps, but how does a regular GPS know which direction you're facing? If turn-by-turn is available in iPhone 3.0 for existing 3G hardware, then the hardware must be capable of quickly determining your direction, no?

My argument WRT voice dialing is simply that it's very, very unlikely that it's a hardware limitation - again, my cheap V325 could do voice dialing. I doubt that my V325 had more RAM and a better processor than the iPhone 3G. The lack of voice dialing appears, from all the evidence, to be a software limitation - not a hardware one.
     
ghporter
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Jun 8, 2009, 05:05 PM
 
Knowing which direction you're facing comes from the construction of the antenna in a GPS receiver; it determines this by which portion of the antenna is getting signals from which satellite. I have a fairly inexpensive GPS receiver that will tell me which direction I'm facing-it's not a big deal.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
GSixZero
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Jun 8, 2009, 05:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Knowing which direction you're facing comes from the construction of the antenna in a GPS receiver; it determines this by which portion of the antenna is getting signals from which satellite. I have a fairly inexpensive GPS receiver that will tell me which direction I'm facing-it's not a big deal.
And I think with most motor vehicle applications, this is easily done through looking at where you're at now compared to where you were a second or two ago.

ImpulseResponse
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 8, 2009, 06:02 PM
 
Actually, the only reason why some better navis can tell you which direction you're facing while standing still is because they actually contain a compass.

The cheaper navis can't tell unless you're moving, and I suppose that results in the frequent and annoying "turn around now" messages, if you've ever seen them - I know I have.
     
frdmfghtr
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Jun 8, 2009, 07:15 PM
 
I won't be saying hello to one...why is it that other phones on the AT&T system can do MMS and tethering now but the iPhone users have to wait?

I'm going to watch the keynote later, and from what I've seen so far I'm pleasantly looking forward to 3.0, but I'll stick with my 3G hardware for now...esp. since my area isn't going to have 3G service until this fall.
     
Phileas
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Jun 8, 2009, 07:17 PM
 
No forward facing camera. That would have been the one thing that would have made me upgrade.
     
Eyenigma
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Jun 8, 2009, 08:18 PM
 
(sigh) So much for the flat black backing. More plastic nonsense.
     
ghporter
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Jun 8, 2009, 09:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by GSixZero View Post
And I think with most motor vehicle applications, this is easily done through looking at where you're at now compared to where you were a second or two ago.
Reading the fine print on the compass app announcement brings up something interesting: compass performance is potentially limited by the surroundings, including nearby magnetic fields. GPS is pretty much immune to magnetic fields interfering, but a real compass (whether it's got a little spinner needle or is so tiny that it fits on a chip) is not. I think there's some kind of tiny physical compass in the thing.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Brien
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Jun 8, 2009, 09:58 PM
 
Yep, a magnetometer is basically a tiny, tiny compass in a chip.
     
shifuimam
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Jun 8, 2009, 10:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Reading the fine print on the compass app announcement brings up something interesting: compass performance is potentially limited by the surroundings, including nearby magnetic fields. GPS is pretty much immune to magnetic fields interfering, but a real compass (whether it's got a little spinner needle or is so tiny that it fits on a chip) is not. I think there's some kind of tiny physical compass in the thing.
Yeah, I saw that too. I was really hoping for voice control with 3.0.
     
- - e r i k - -
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Jun 9, 2009, 01:20 AM
 
The hardware has changed, that's the S in G3 S. Twice the RAM and double the CPU speed. You can bet that Voice Control requires this (remember it needs to multitask on top of whatever else is running). The iPhone 3G is constantly running out of memory, which is why you see apps shut down so often. No way in hell that you could get VC running stably on current hardware.

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turtle777
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Jun 9, 2009, 01:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Brien View Post
Yep, a magnetometer is basically a tiny, tiny compass in a chip.
I never heard the term magnetometer.

I'd think what's inside the iPhone 3GS is a MEMS gyro, which can be used for compass applications.

The advantage of a gyro over what seems to be a magnetometer is that the gyro can also sense acceleration.
This comes handy if the GPS loses contact to the satellites (e.g. in a tunnel), and you'd want to measure the distance and direction driven. Speed and acceleration come into play.

Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
but a real compass (whether it's got a little spinner needle or is so tiny that it fits on a chip) is not. I think there's some kind of tiny physical compass in the thing.
No matter if it's a magnetometer or a gyro, it's a MEMS device.

-t
( Last edited by turtle777; Jun 9, 2009 at 01:39 AM. )
     
- - e r i k - -
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Jun 9, 2009, 01:44 AM
 
Err, the accelerometer is a gyro. There's definitely a Magnometer in addition to provide accuracy.

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Simon  (op)
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Jun 9, 2009, 03:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eyenigma View Post
(sigh) So much for the flat black backing. More plastic nonsense.
Plastic nonsense?

It was always going to be plastic. There was a possibility of matte black plastic. Same size, same plastic. But plastic itself was never really up for debate for obvious reasons.
     
dpicardi
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Jun 9, 2009, 02:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
The hardware has changed, that's the S in G3 S. Twice the RAM and double the CPU speed.
Where are you seeing this? I have looked all over for this info and I can't confirm either. Can you provide a link?
     
slugslugslug
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Jun 9, 2009, 02:51 PM
 
Apple hasn't been forthcoming with their iPhone hardware specs, but think about it: how else would they get everything to be around 2x as fast without a faster CPU and/or more RAM?

And Gruber, who called pretty much everything in the keynote (except the SD card slot & return of FireWire), says he's heard these things. You can probably take that to the bank.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jun 9, 2009, 05:42 PM
 
I thought they went from 400 MHz to 600 MHz, though on a newer processor generation, and double the RAM (256 MB instead of 128 MB).
     
glideslope
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Jun 9, 2009, 06:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Moderator View Post
This would have been nice.


June 2010 on Verizon as CDMA
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”
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turtle777
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Jun 9, 2009, 06:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by glideslope View Post
June 2010 on Verizon as CDMA
Forget it. Apple is not going to develop a CDMA version just for the US market.
GSM is standard worldwide, that's what they're gonna stick to.

Alltel and T-Mobile are the next big players after AT&T.

-t
     
- - e r i k - -
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Jun 9, 2009, 06:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by dpicardi View Post
Where are you seeing this? I have looked all over for this info and I can't confirm either. Can you provide a link?
It won't be confirmed until it's out, but Gruber knows.

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- - e r i k - -
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Jun 9, 2009, 06:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I thought they went from 400 MHz to 600 MHz, though on a newer processor generation, and double the RAM (256 MB instead of 128 MB).
I believe the chip is 800 MHz underclocked to 600 MHz.

But in the end, it really doesn't matter. The hardware is much improved which leads to faster launches, faster web browsing and richer game experiences. And that's what really matters to the end user.

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turtle777
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Jun 9, 2009, 06:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
It won't be confirmed until it's out, but Gruber knows.
Interesting post here:

Hardware specs for the new iPhone

Dated 005/12/09
  • 600MHz CPU Speed (up from 400Mhz)
  • 256MB RAM (up from 128MB)
  • Digital Compass and FM
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with auto focus
  • 32GB size

The only miss is the FM. But from technical specs, the chip might actually support FM, Apple might just not use it.

-t
     
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Jun 9, 2009, 07:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Forget it. Apple is not going to develop a CDMA version just for the US market.
GSM is standard worldwide, that's what they're gonna stick to.
Apart from China's 3G network, which is a home grown version of CDMA.
     
Brien
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Jun 9, 2009, 10:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Interesting post here:

Hardware specs for the new iPhone

Dated 005/12/09
  • 600MHz CPU Speed (up from 400Mhz)
  • 256MB RAM (up from 128MB)
  • Digital Compass and FM
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with auto focus
  • 32GB size

The only miss is the FM. But from technical specs, the chip might actually support FM, Apple might just not use it.

-t
Correct. From what I have read, the FM chip is used in conjunction with BT for Nike+.
     
Simon  (op)
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Jun 10, 2009, 02:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
Apart from China's 3G network, which is a home grown version of CDMA.
Are you assuming that will happen in the future? So far, I have never heard Apple redesigned any iPhone hardware for the Chinese market.
     
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Jun 11, 2009, 03:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by amazing View Post
I think Apple announced quite a bit of dissatisfaction with ATT for lagging behind on keeping up with new iPhone features like tethering and MMS. Is a divorce on the horizon?
I hope so. I know a lot of people love their at&t service, but I hated it. I really love the way the iPhone looks and works and would really like to own one. At this point though, I'm not willing to drop Alltel/Verizon at this point for at&ts unreliable 3g service. If only they would pair up with Verizon. Well, here's hoping.
     
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Jun 11, 2009, 03:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Forget it. Apple is not going to develop a CDMA version just for the US market.
GSM is standard worldwide, that's what they're gonna stick to.

Alltel and T-Mobile are the next big players after AT&T.

-t
Verizon is a bigger player than Alltel at this point, considering they bought Alltel. The transitions just started on the east coast and are moving west. Alltel will be completely assimilated into Verizon by the end of 3rd quarter 2009. Besides I don't see why Apple wouldn't develop a CDMA version of the iPhone. A CDMA iPhone would mean more customers/consumers which in turn means more profits for them. It's win/win for Apple to modify the hardware configuration to include CDMA.
     
turtle777
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Jun 11, 2009, 03:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by reidzor View Post
Verizon is a bigger player than Alltel at this point, considering they bought Alltel. The transitions just started on the east coast and are moving west. Alltel will be completely assimilated into Verizon by the end of 3rd quarter 2009. Besides I don't see why Apple wouldn't develop a CDMA version of the iPhone. A CDMA iPhone would mean more customers/consumers which in turn means more profits for them. It's win/win for Apple to modify the hardware configuration to include CDMA.
I don't see it happening. Apple is all about standards, and maximizing profit by economies of scale.
Introducing a CDMA version would go against that, big time.

I guess you should never say never, but I think it's highly unlikely.

See, those Verizon customers that absolutely want an iPhone will switch to AT&T.

-t
     
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Jun 11, 2009, 04:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I don't see it happening. Apple is all about standards, and maximizing profit by economies of scale.
Introducing a CDMA version would go against that, big time.

I guess you should never say never, but I think it's highly unlikely.

See, those Verizon customers that absolutely want an iPhone will switch to AT&T.

-t
I think people will bide their time until a CDMA version, or at least the possibility of a Verizon 4G version are available. I know I am. Good point though with the economies of scale. That makes sense.
     
 
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