Apps can now deliver push notifications to your screen even when they're not running. So far, few have the ability, but it'll certainly be used more in the future.
The Calendar app becomes a lot more useful with support for CalDAV servers and the ability to add subscription calendars.
You can now e-mail up to five photos at a time.
Our favorite minor improvement is that notes in the iPhone's Notes app will now sync with the Notes section in Apple's Mail desktop app. The fact that this obvious and minor sync wasn't put in place years ago is staggering.
Play around with the update and you'll find even more minor but worthwhile updates, such as the ability to shake the phone to undo typing and a new force quit option for stuck apps (hold down the Sleep/Wake button on the top until the power off slider shows on screen, then hold down the Home button).
Maybe version 4 will have a huge interface change, but version 3 is mainly about filling in the cracks.
Oh, as for that multimedia messaging you've been hearing about, the iPhone supports it, but AT&T doesn't yet. Later this summer the iPhone's weakest link will roll out support for it. Support for tethering, which will let you share your iPhone's Internet connection with your notebook, will come sometime after that (for a price).
Sadly, the iPhone 3G will never get video. While the 3GS has video and even a nifty video editing tool, the 3G can only shoot photos.
It has us crying bogus, since jailbroken software has shown the 3G's camera is perfectly capable of handling video.
The iPhone's fans have been so busy clamoring for cut-and-paste that they've overlooked bigger changes that really should have been a part of the software from the beginning. It's time to make a 4.0 wish list.
At the top, put decent wireless abilities. Why can't the iPhone sync wirelessly over a home WiFi network? Your iPhone should sync with iTunes and other desktop apps the minute you walk through the door. Why are we still bothering with USB cables?
On the same track, why can't the iPhone wirelessly send information to other iPhones? Is it simply because the Zune got there first?
It would be handy to tell a friend about a cool app and then send it to him or her, as long as you're on the same network. It would also be useful to send songs, files, or contact info with just a touch. For a connected device, the iPhone could use a lot more connectivity.
Finally, the iPhone really needs the ability to run background apps. Currently, only Apple's own apps, such as Voice Memo and iPod, can run in the background.
Apple says true multitasking would drain the battery too quickly, but give consumers the choice instead of making it for them. I'd love to be able to run Slacker or other music apps in the background, or to leave a social media app open while doing other things.
The iPhone 3.0 upgrade might be about basic functionality, but there's still plenty to get excited about. Existing iPhone owners should download this free upgrade at once, if they haven't already.