Apple announced the release Wednesday of OS 3.1, which will be a free update to both iPhone and iPod Touch owners.
With 3.1, users on both platforms can now get Genius recommendations for applications they've purchased. These show up in the App Store app, as well as in iTunes, and function in a similar fashion to Genius for music. It takes your purchase information and sends it to Apple, which will analyze it for similar purchases, and offer up recommendations. This may end up being a more precise system since there are fewer apps than music tracks.
3.1 also adds a new security feature for iPhone owners--the capability to lock down the device over the air using MobileMe. Previously, if your phone was lost or stolen, this feature would only be enabled if the user had set it that way.
Apple introduced a new version of iTunes, which offers iPhone and iPod Touch users a way to better organize applications they have added to the device. Users can now drag and drop apps to multiple home screens at once, instead of doing so on the device itself.
iPhone and iPod Touch users can now rearrange apps on their home screen right in iTunes, instead of on the device itself.
Another new feature in iTunes 9 that users in households are sure to enjoy is something called Home Sharing. This lets you automatically sync purchases across multiple computers within a household. This means they don't have to be redownloaded, or transferred from portable devices, which can save time if you're in a hurry.
The Genius feature and DJ feature have been mashed together to create something called Genius Mixes. The software can create multiple stations of music without the user having to pick a song for it to start from.
The software also has a new purchase-centric feature called iTunes LP, that adds a handful of digital pack-ins to purchased albums such as liner notes, photos, videos, lyrics, and links to online resources. This confirmed rumors Apple had been cooking up such a feature going back earlier this year.
In the same vein of iTunes LP, there's iTunes Extras--basically repackaged bonus features from movies and TV shows. This aims to add a little more value to rented and purchased video content, and steer customers toward Apple's store instead of some of the competition.