As Apple events go, Tuesday’s iPhone 3.0 operating system preview at the company’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters lacked some of the panache of past Apple gatherings. Although the iPhone’s software update and new kit for application developers are undoubtedly important and closely-watched, they don’t quite stir the imagination in the same way as the launch of a new gadget or computer.
The event did provide a showcase for plenty of nifty new iPhone features, and the company trotted out a number of developers to demonstrate the remarkable applications being designed for the smartphone.
One of the highlights was a musical interlude by Ge Wang, an assistant professor at Stanford and the co-founder of Smule, which makes the Ocarina app for the iPhone. The hugely popular program allows users to “play” the iPhone like a musical instrument by blowing in the device’s microphone. Dr. Ge gave a brief demonstraton on stage to a healthy round of applause.
“It is fair to say that without the iPhone and the SDK [software development kit] there would literally be no Smule,” he said.
Apple held a brief Q&A after the main presentation. During the media session, the company was asked why it took so long to add cut-and-paste functionality to the iPhone, as the company is doing for version 3.0. Scott Forstall, senior vice president for iPhone software, said it wasn’t as easy as it looks.