Checking out iPhone OS 3.0 Betas

01 Apr 2009

Yesterday, the team application for an iPhone developer account was finally approved. I paid my portion of the fee, the team lead configured my account, and I was off to the races. Since I plan on using the iPhone OS 3.0 beta more for daily use and less for developing, I plan on keeping a log of my experiences as well as any tips and tricks I discover along the way. I also plan on making a long overdue update to the OTA iPhone Calendar Sync post with all current methods and their benefits/drawbacks. I might even get around to finishing up and posting a few other iPhone related things while I’m at it.

The Install

After backing up my iPhone and downloading the sizable update image from the Developer Center, I used my MacBook and iTunes to install the new OS (using Option+Click on the the Restore button). The installation of the new software took around 20 minutes to complete. Once my iPhone rebooted and aquired activation, I connected it to my Windows machine to restore the backup and sync, which took around one and a half hours to complete.

First Impressions


Prior to installing the beta (version 2), my phone was running a jailbroken copy of OS 2.2 with a lot of extra ‘unoffical’ stuff installed, some of which seriously reduced performance. Since my copy of 3.0b2 is not jailbroken, I don’t have any of these apps installed and as a result, my phone feels much “snappier” than before; however, I have no way of knowing how much of a performance change is due to the new OS vs the lack of “extra baggage.” Apparently beta 2 resolves most of the performance issues present in beta 1 (I’ve read reports of people requiring a reboot on a daily basis with the first beta), but since I did not have access to the first beta, I can’t compare those either. After a few hours of use, however, it seems fast enough for daily use. We’ll see how this plays out.

Update: After using the OS for a few days, I did notice slowdowns that required a reboot to solve. I probably had to reboot my device once every 3 days with beta 2. I’ve just upgraded to beta 3, so I’ll soon report back on it’s stability.

Discovered Issues

  • MMS (b2): Apple/AT&T are not supporting MMS during the beta period. There have been mix reports of success and failure on various sites around the ‘net. In my experience, it seems to be more of a carrier configuration issue than a software issue. As of yet, I’ve been unable to send or recieve MMS on my iPhone. I called AT&T and spoke to someone who said she would provision my phone for MMS, but it’s not working yet. After that modified my icss file according to these instructions. Still no MMS and I’m no longer recieving text messages when someone sends me one, and I’m not getting a ‘blocked’ response when sending images to the special MMS email address.
  • Tethering (b2):¬†While this¬†needs further investigation, enabling and connecting to my laptop caused some serious performance issues, at least right after enabling. I did not play with this long enough to get online.
  • Messaging App Landscape Mode (b2): Sent message bubbles do not expand/reflow horizontally to take advantage of the wider reading space. They stay the same width as in portrait mode.
  • Keyboard Crash (b2): I’m not really sure how to classify this, but on at least two occasions the keyboard would show up with all of the letter keys transparent. The number/symbol keys worked fine, however. This only occured in Safari.

Note: Number in parenthesis indicates the beta version this was noticed in.

I’ll be updating this post with further information as I play with the software, so check back to see what’s new. I will also be updating and creating some additional iPhone related posts in the near future.

Update: I have some screenshots that I’ll be adding soon.