iPhone 3.1 Beta Walkthrough


iPhone 3.1 Beta 1 has just been released, and unlike the major new version that was iPhone 3.0, it's still unclear how many features -- compared with bug fixes -- will be added. However, enterprising developers have already discovered at least a few things we can all look forward too.

So, here's TiPb's iPhone 3.1 Beta Walkthrough, and we'll keep it updated as/if Apple releases future betas.

Home Screen

iphone_30_icon_home_screenThe jigglies -- what Dieter lovingly calls the little dance icons do when you hold them down long enough to make them moveable and rearrangeable -- now make the iPhone vibrate once to further indicate the change of state. Whether or not this will somehow factor in to the iPhone 3GS accessibility features is uncertain.

Voice Control

iphone_30_icon_voicecontrolVoice Control, after holding down the Home button for several seconds, let you speak simple commands to place calls and control music. In iPhone 3.1, it will also work over Bluetooth.

The exact process isn't clear yet, but it's hard to imagine anything other than holding down the call button on a Bluetooth headset function similarly to how the Home button currently works.

iPhone 3.0 Voice Control


iphone_30_icon_messagesAfter being present in iPhone 3.0 Beta 1 through Beta 4, before being stripped out in Beta 5, AT&T users will again find MMS functionality restored to the interface. However, it's not functional without hacking the carrier file, and it's unknown if it will survive until release or be stripped out again if AT&T still isn't ready for the feature to go live.



iphone_30_icon_calendarCalendar gets a minor tweak in iPhone 3.1. Now event alerts also display the location of the event in the popup. Presumably, this is now considered important glance-able information.



iphone_30_icon_videoVideo trimming is now non-destructive. Previously, if you trimmed a video, it was automatically saved over the original, meaning you could never undo or go back to the full clip. Now, a Save As... dialog gives you the option of preserving the original and creating as many version copies as you want (an short clip to email, a longer one to share to YouTube, and the full clip to sync and bring into iMovie, for example).

iPhone 3.1: Video Editing: Save As...


iphone_30_icon_phoneCopy and Paste comes to the Phone Keypad. Just tap and hold and the input area will change from dark blue to light blue, and the Copy Paste menu will pop up.

iphone_30_icon_cut-copy-pasteReportedly, the iPhone Paste feature is "smart" enough to change alphanumeric phone numbers to pure numbers (i.e. 1-800-FLOWERS to 1-800-356-9377).


When Will it Ship?

If history is any indication, iPhone 2.0 was released on July 11, 2008, and iPhone 2.1 followed some two months and 4 betas later on September 12, 2008 hot on the heels of Apple's Let's Rock introduction of the 2nd generation iPod touch. Will we have to wait for another new iPod and music event before we see 3.1?

Our guess is Apple will try to get 3.1 out earlier to fix a few of the more onerous bugs, but as always, only Jobs knows for sure...

Note on Using Beta Software

Unlike iPhone 2.0 Betas, where access seemed much more limited and leaks were few and far between, 3.1 like 3.0 seems to be on every iPhone users want-now list. Also, unlike 2.0 when many devs were seasoned pros, now Apple is touting thousands upon thousands in the program, some seemingly happy enough to enable 3.0 access for the general user base.

However, betas are intended for developers to test and report back on. They're not as stable, not as snappy, not as feature-complete and anyone trying to use them as a production OS on their main (or worse, only) device is likely to have something less than an ideal experience. People trying to use it as such may wish they could go back to iPhone 3.0 almost as much as they wished for 3.1. Think thrice before taking the plunge.

[via Chris, Muero, WhenWillApple, and BGR. Thanks to everyone who sent in descriptions and screenshots.]

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone 3.1 Beta Walkthrough


I hope they also fix the bug in the Messages Application. If you add more than one person it becomes a "Group MMS" :(.

I thought the beta was under a NDA from apple? apparently not!
Were you not able to test the voice control over bluetooth using a headset? I'd quite like to know whether its as easy as holding down the call button!

"People trying to use it as such may wish they could go back to iPhone 3.0 almost as much as they wished for 3.1. Think thrice before taking the plunge."
Too bad I can't..I would like to have my crappy battery life back, at least it was stable...just crap battery.

quote from Raul "I hope they also fix the bug in the Messages Application. If you add more than one person it becomes a “Group MMS” :( "
Yeah that was a costly finding for me.
I took a new phone number for my iPhone and sent out a large group sms to notify friends thinking it would be free as I get included sms in my plan.
Turns out it sends as MMS which cost 50 cents for each recipient :(

@Raul: Disable the MMS feature, and your group text should go through as a standard SMS.
@Nick: Indeed, tapping on the call button on my earpiece does initiate Voice Control on the iPhone 3GS running 3.1 beta.
I hope they hurry up on getting Pandora fixed. Seems that there is a compatibility issue, and Pandora no longer works in 3.1.

Would be nice if they improved phone call volume - both regular and speaker - as was as the Battery life, which seems to be draining quicker than expected on 3GS iPhones.

The bottom two lines of Jared's post are a perfect example of a great reason to wait for Apple to release a final version of the OS, devs are still working on making their apps compatible at this point.

Hi. Thanks for the article. Glad they fixed the bug regarding copy/paste in the phone keypad screen (Apple bug # 6635217). I logged that a while back via Apple's bug reporter DB. Do you happen to know if they have fixed the bug whereby you cannot copy from a calendar event (Apple bug # 6645247) and where the calendar app doesn't obey the "Ignore Alarms" option from iCal for synced calendars (# 6599688)?

anyone know if they are going to allow more options in the calendar settings? Like a custom reoccurrance for the 3rd Tuesday every month?

Is it now possible to control the volume via both the handset and a bluetooth headset (when using the headset) whilst playing podcasts or music ??.
It's possible during phone calls, but not otherwise.

Hi yes I am definitely seeing major battery problems i have the 1st 2nd and 3rd generation and i don't use my first so I can't tell you on there but with my 2nd and 3rd its been horrible i have over 300 apps and every-time one switches to push i do notice a difference

@David Smith - The iPhone requires you to adjust volume on the headset itself just like when the phone is connected through a dock connector and you have to adjust the volume on the speakers themselves. I agree, it's a bit of a hassle sometimes to not be able to adjust volume on the phone.
On another note, hooray for pasting into the phone app!!

@Connor - When you enable Push Notifications your phone connects to Apple's push servers ONLY. Servers from the third party app writer communicate to Apple's server. For this reason, it doesn't matter how many apps you have currently pushing because you are always only connected to Apple's server. Adding another app to your pushed list will not affect your battery, it must be something else.

"Too bad I can’t..I would like to have my crappy battery life back, at least it was stable…just **** battery."
Does that mean battery issues ARE addressed in 3.1?

Does anyone know if app developers have (or will have) access to Voice Control for their apps? That would make for some great possibilities.

@Chris - I would think the new TomTom application that will allow for hands free calling will have that new feature, no?
Has anyone found a worthy A2DP bluetooth headsets (stereo)? Nothing out there seems to work 100% with 3.0/GS.

Maybe new iPhone 3.1 on MMS and Tethering.....?? I hope they also fix the bug in the Messages Application. :'(

With OS 3, the number of pages you can fill with applications has been raised from 9 to 11. This gives you a maximum number of applications you can display of 180.
So three hundred Apps? Not unless you have different apps on each phone.
Unless you are jailbroken, in which case you can't blame Apple for your battery problems till you un-jailbreak and try it for a while.

@icebike I havent tried this myself but I heard that you can install more apps than the number of pages allow, because even if you can't see them you can still access them via Spotlight search.

@ Al, I think you are probably half-right and half-wrong when you say that "it doesn’t matter how many apps you have currently pushing because you are always only connected to Apple’s server. Adding another app to your pushed list will not affect your battery, it must be something else."
While you're right, there is probably only 1 connection between phone and server, if you're pushing out more notifications as opposed to less, I would think it would have to affect battery life. Similar is POP e-mail: the more you poll the server, the worse battery life. I would think the more times a connection is made with the push servers, the more there is going to be some affect on battery life. I could be wrong.

I think what I would like 2 see in the coming software update is the ability to b in landscape mode no matter in what screen I'm in... If yu take a look at the crappy blackberry storm from verizon wireless even from the home screen yu and flip it to the left or right no matter what screen yur in and it's in landscape mode...I love landscape mode...it's just sucks that yu can't have it in everythng

Hey! Mail to groups? A simple buttun first in a group list -"Mail group". Or am I stupid? Can you mail a group w/o adding each recepinent at the time?

has anyone noticed a bug on 3.1 where you add a contact and then try and text them and only the area code, or first 3 digits of the number go in the to field and it fails to send? the only way I can properly add contacts is if they text me first and then add the number that way.

I would like to see Calander upcoming event reminder alarm to be longer and lounder. Instead of a little "ding" I would like to see a ringtone type of alarm or even a reoccuring "ding" until you turn it off.

im not quite sure no body can figure out how to downgrade these things. its simple just restore to the earlier version. youll get error 1015 and the unplug your iphone hold both the hold button and the home button for 15 seconds then your phone will reset and be back to 3.0
I hope they will release an unlock for the betas so non developers will be able to use them


I agree with Eric, there are 21 million iPhone users, and 6 tones? 3 of those tones are stupid? Come on Apple, please fix this.

I totally agree with PDM777,(item27), the calendar alerts are pathetic and not up to the job. I do not know how, even if it is possible, to overcome this problem. Any ideas?.

Updates apple needs to consider:

  1. The Downloadable tones for text
  2. Be able to choose Name display instead of the phone number display from numbers not in your address book.
  3. 3G being turned on by safari automatically and programs like it WHEN its running and then automatically shutting 3G back off when it's done with it.
  4. Same as #3 but with location services.

And of course the big one for the next generation I-phone, a back that has battery compartment access to replace your battery like Nokia and I'm sure most other phones out there have.

"Reportedly, the iPhone Paste feature [will be] “smart” enough to change alphanumeric phone numbers to pure numbers (i.e. 1-800-FLOWERS to 1-800-356-9377)."
It already is - just not in the phone app. Try it your self cut: cut/copy/paste is available when inputting a number into contacts. If you paste text-based phone number into the phone field for a contact, it will save it as the text based number. When you choose to dial, it will display the numerals that are dialed.

@Edgar C: Yes you can. And last night I found you can voice search the Google Mobile App via Bluetooth as well.

I thought people knew this... You can have all the apps you want with 3.0, but the ones you load after 11 pages are filled can be accessed only by using the search page.

pdm777 said:
Jul 7th @ 02:02 pm
I would like to see Calander upcoming event reminder alarm to be longer and lounder. Instead of a little “ding” I would like to see a ringtone type of alarm or even a reoccuring “ding” until you turn it off.
I cannot agree anymore!!! The option to push an event without setting an alarm everytime. Even post a badge on the calander icon!!!

Calendar notifications need to be snooze-able, dangit!
In reference to the question about good stereo headset: I bought the Motorola S9-SD and they are great (even water resistant). Now that 3.1 will allow you to skip forward/backward using the headset, they'll be perfect.
Also, the S9-SD allows you to take phone calls as well, after I purchased them I started worrying that they were headphone only, but they do have a mic and apparently sounds pretty clear on the other end.

Anyone know why the 3G doesn't have voice commands? Is it really because of the faster processor in the 3GS, or is Apple just gimping the older handsets out of a cool feature?

SMS group send is fixed yes and goes as SMS. They've also enabled shift + backspace as a delete key. Nice

I just hope that they fix the wifi issues from 3.0 firmware and also I am mad that there are no new features in 3.1 for the iPod touch only for iPhone 3g and 3gs

I hope they fix the bluetooth problem where you can't control the volume on your headset. I just bought the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 and it is a paperweight because the volume can't be controlled on the IPHONE.

Outside of short battery life, my only major problem is the 0.4 second vibrate for emails/sms/etc. I have missed every single message today due to that!!

I'd like to see more options on my camera, background processing, flash for safari or at least an that has flash on it, complete iPhone landscape mode with the ability to lock the phone into portrait or landscape if you'd like, something similar sbsettinga on jailbroken phones, a picture in the background, something similar to the categoris app for jailbroken iPhones, ability to download all email attachments, like download pics and videos goes to picture app, and audio files goes to voice recorder save list, or even change the pictures app to media files so you can store pictures in a folder, videos in another, and audio in another, abilty to add folders in the pictures app so you can make your own albums instead of going through your phone and sorting it all out, augmented reality, more interactive phone features, such as have more clickabke areas on the home screen like clicking the status bar to show you information or a way to get to settigs faster. Ability to hide apps, Picturs next to contacts in address book, Bluetooth filesharing with other phones, password protect different apps, and background notifications and abilty for the iPhone to have a keyboard that allows vibration(probably would act az a sperate keyboard under the settings)... My iPhone 3gs is jailbroken and I have a whole theme plus apps running in the background, mtiple apps, and push, with all the settings feature on like Bluetooth and locations, my 3gs battery life has not lost much life as it did unjailbroken ao let's figure, all of these features are on my iPhone 3gs, and I can still use it qll day without charging and mind you I am Always on my phone, that's how I'm typing this

Im on the iphone 3g 3.0.1 and my battery life is shit. charged it two times today and its only 4 in the afternoon!
any ideas how to improve it? (except the obvious don't use it as much)

Thanks to the jackass's at apple my phone is now laying in pieces on the floor.
I was still on 2.0.2 and updated to 3.0 and the damn phone ran worse than before and the battery ran down about twice as fast.
I tried to restore my phone to 2.0.2 and it failed,finally after spending 30 minutes on the phone with apple I got so pissed I threw the iphone into the wall and stomped it until it was nothing but rubble.
Why cant those dumb f*cks at Apple pull their heads out of their moms pouch and release updates that work!

Well its official! Apple needs to ask Bill Gates how to create software updates that work!
updated to 3.1 and the phone runs like a dead turtle.
Now when I go on youtube the videos load slower than before and the fidelity of the picture has suffered to such a great extent that I can no longer tell whos screwing who!
In addition to this (as though this werent enough) I can no longer browse porn on my iphone on topheavy and other big boob sites.
Maybe I'm wrong but i thought updates were supposed to IMPROVE the performace of whatever device they are applied to wether it be a car,computer or my dick.
I WONT be buying another iphone,I think I'll look to blackberry next time.

Please someone to help me with my iphone problem.
Im visit from Germany in the great USA.
I was to the beach with friends and met a sexy girl and she pushed me from the yacht.
I fell overint water,now my iphone cant power up,so now i have no sexy girl und no phone.
I have left it int the sun so the rays may help the process of vaporing my moistness,but still the iphone is black.
please for your help so I may again use this device.

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Yes,Curly had terrfic timing,wildly manic routines and his "N'yuk,N'yuk" stooge cry, but Shemp also had his special moments.
Who among us can forget his "wet haircut"?,everytime Moe took a pipe wrench or 2x4 to his skull,Shemps hair would fly forward in front of his eyes and he would utter his eeeb eebb eebb!
What about the classic Shemp routine with the power saw across the babys skull? Could Curly truly have brought anything more to that skit?
Dont get me wrong,Curly was truly a gifted artist,why to this day I still act out some of his wildly moronic acts at socially inappropriate times at work and among friends,but every once in a while I'll find my thoughts drifting to something Shemp had done and pretty soon I'm laughing loudly to myself while uttering,"Boy that crazy Shemp!"
This being said,I must confess I have little affection for Joe Besser and his "big sissy" routine.
Besser was never Stoogeworthy and should never have been allowed to soil the groups sterling reputation for bring us top notch entertainment,but I'll leave that to another day.
I am glad though that someone created this wonderfull site devoted to our beloved Stooges.

does anyone know if there is a bug with putting people on hold and adding others to a conversation

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