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iPhone OS 3.0 Now Available for Download

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If you’re like me, then you’ve spent a fitful night tossing and turning with anticipation, because today is the day that iPhone OS 3.0 officially arrives.


Well, toss no more, iPhone OS 3.0 has arrived (iPod touch users go here). If I can manage to actually download it, since Apple’s servers are no doubt taking a severe beating, I’ll probably send a completely unnecessary MMS to my girlfriend and then go back to life as usual. Until I get my camping gear ready for the 3G S line-up Thursday night, anyway.

I realize that it’s cruel and unusual to bring up MMS when so many of you will have to go without, but for once, living in Canada has allowed me to be an early adopter of something, and I’m going to milk that for all it’s worth. Take solace in the fact that adding MMS to my Fido plan will cost me an extra $5 a month.

For a full breakdown of what else you get with your shiny new software, check out this post. Judging by the comments there, some people will only be updating begrudgingly, while simultaneously shaking their fists at Apple for leaving so many seemingly software-only upgrades exclusively to the iPhone 3G S, including video recording and voice control.

What has me really excited about iPhone OS 3.0 isn’t necessarily what has arrived today (although I really had trouble sleeping yesterday…warm milk was almost necessary), but what’s coming in the future from developers thanks to the new APIs available to them. Device support, push notifications, and in-app commerce all represent amazing potential for app makers, and I doubt even the exciting things we’ve already seen will scratch the surface of what’s to come.

You can grab the update from Apple’s servers via your iTunes interface any time now, but do me a favor and everyone hold off for at least a couple hours. I’ve got a pointless MMS I’m itching to send.

112 Responses to “iPhone OS 3.0 Now Available for Download”

  1. muttitjc

    I couldn’t wait to download the update and all seemed to be going well. But for the past hour or two, my iphone shows a picture of the itunes symbol, with a picture of the connection cable below it. At the bottom, it says to “slide for emergency calls”. I even tried sliding it, and it just gives me a keypad for calls and an arrow to go back. Is anyone else running into this. My computer says that the drivers and downloaded and ready, but I’m now at a standstill and getting frustrated.

  2. Jason Atkins

    Ahhh, reading all yous guys woes makes me smile. Here is AUS upgrade went smoothly at 7AM and instantly received an MMS from Telstra :-)

    I am having the app update issues though, guess that’s not so bad given the potential issues that could have been.

    Gotta love the OS 3.0 …..

    • Yea, OS 3.0 is actually looking very nice with only a first look. It really fixed the latency issues I was suffering searching Contacts after TopFloor synced all 11,000 of my work contacts from Highrise!!! lol Now it doesn’t matter as it searches differently and is much faster.

      The challenge now is to find out if I am able to get the Apps back.

  3. I’m finding the backup iTunes does before installing the new firmware is taking forever.
    I read that facebook and appsniper greatly lengthen the backup times and tried taking them off temporarily. It made a bit of a difference, but the backup is still crawling. It looks to be taking about 2-3 hrs just to backup.

    • This is almost always a bad USB hub or cable. If you’re going through a hub, cancel the backup and plug the iPhone directly into the computer. If you’re not going through a hub and you have a second cable, try the second cable. Even “long” backups should be in the neighborhood of 10-15 minutes, not hours.

  4. I just updated to 3.0 for my iphone 3g, however i can’t update my applications and can’t download any app from app store, any one has similar problem?

    • The flakiness of the activation server affects App Store purchases as well. Retry, perhaps a few times, and it should work; or wait until the demand has lessened a little. I downloaded one app today (OmniFocus update) and it took two or three retries, then completed just fine.

    • Krishanu

      Is it legal though? I already have a US account that I’d created when I was in nyc. Can I use that a/c to purchase the upgrade. Because the Terms and Conditions explicitly state that I shouldn’t purchase updates for US from outside of US.

    • Krishanu

      I get the same message for Indian store. Guess I will have to wait. After all, America has the biggest customer base and the most loyal one too!

  5. how can i downgrade from OS 3.0 beta 5 to 2.2.1 because the 3.0 GM just came out an it keeps telling me am up to date when am still in beta 5 plzz help me.

  6. how can i downgrade from OS 3.0 beta 5 to 2.2.1 because the 3.0 GM just came out an it keeps telling me am up to date when am still in beta 5 plzz help me

    • Krishanu

      Not very sure, but probably, you can’t downgrade from beta to 2.2.1. You can only go to 3.0 final now! I think, I read this somewhere.

  7. shew! after 2 hours of waiting and trying, iphone has been verified and i am up and running. i guess being patient is the name of the game. In iTunes, i clicked on store and my iphone to keep “refreshing” .. it went through.

  8. I have downloaded the 3.0 firmware for a 1st gen iphone. The install seemed to be going great. However, now it has been 3 hours waiting for it to finish. My phone is showing the apple and the loading bar filled up. In my iTunes, all it’s saying is “Verifying updated iPhone software…” Anyone else getting this? My iTunes has not crashed and is still running smoothly along with my computer. But I am not able to do anything and I’m starting to get frustrated with having to wait 3 hours to be able to use my phone. Any suggestions? Ideas? Feedback?

  9. i’ve tried to download it twice and got the same error message about connecting to the server too. booooo! but now looking at some of the other issues people are having after downloading – maybe it’s a good thing i can’t download it. wtf?…

  10. Mwolf7

    I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I did get the update to download, but its still saying the activation server is down. I waited this long so I guess it wouldn’t hurt to wait alittle longer. :-P

  11. I did the download and it went smoothly but I lost all my apps. Even the ones that were 3.0 ready. And some of these had texting I had saved that was very important to me. I was hoping the copy and paste feature would allow me to save on my computer. I tried re downloading a few and I cant access the iTunes store and now the iPhone when i went to reboot says cant because in recovery mode. I NEVER put in recovery mode and now I will probably lose all the data I hadnt lost before that I was saving. Any suggestions as my iPhone still is locked on and wont allow me to shut it off. I am in tears. I thought Apple cleared things before release to the public. I feel like I am back in pc world. HELP!!!!

    • First, just to be as safe as possible, you should go make a copy of the backup folder for your phone, which is in your Home folder, then ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync.

      Then, unplug your iPhone and plug it in again, and hopefully iTunes will proceed with the upgrade from there. If that doesn’t work, use the Restore button in iTunes to wipe the device and reinstall the OS. After it does that, iTunes should prompt you to restore your data from one of its backups — pick one from before your applications disappeared. If you get the message that you cannot complete the restore because the iTunes activation server is unavailable, just retry. (It might take a number of tries — if you can, maybe retry in a few hours or even tomorrow.)

      Don’t panic, though: iTunes does make backups of your phone, and it keeps them for some time (I’m not sure how long, but several days at least). Your data is not gone, even if the activation server flakiness means it will be a larger-than-usual challenge to get it restored.

    • Oh, one more thing — if you currently have the iPhone plugged in through a USB hub, you may want to try plugging in directly to the computer. Occasionally, problems with iTunes communicating with iPhones in recovery mode (which the iPhone automatically goes into during a software update) are resolved by removing the USB hub.

    • I also had this happen for me. It’s really very hard to deal with this. I had a lot of stuff in some of those apps that are now just not there any more.

      I’m concerned in that it doesn’t seem to give options of restore points when I restored it to upgrade to 3.0 just a while ago. How do you force it to restore to when you still had the applications? Is there any way to restore to what was there before upgrading to 3.0??

      It seems to me like part of the upgrade would include a total snap-shot of the iPhone in a working state at 2.2.1 or whatever it was. Please, let there be a light at the end of this tunnel. I have plugged it in again and asked to Restore. Now the iPhone says there’s a Sync in Progress and iTunes seems busy/locked.

      I guess I’ll wait to see what happens next. I feel like there’s not much to lose now. At least I have all of my photos from it.

      BTW, the photos restored and the emails and contacts all restored. I think the calendar is also ok, tho I didn’t check. What’s gone are the Apps. It gives me all of the home pages that I had, but lots of empty spaces between all of the sparsely populated native iPhone apps.

      If anyone can help with this I will appreciate it very much.


    • Shana Haasis

      I installed my upgrade today too and thought I had lost all my apps, I checked my Itunes and they were all there and I couldn’t figure it out, until….later I turned my phone on and just by accident flipped over one more page and there they all were! I had to move them all back to the second page were they were before, but I guess since a new app was added with the upgrade it moved everything over, hense, I thought I lost them. I hope this helps you – Shana PS Just hold down the top button and the round button at the same time until the apple logo appears in white, and the phone will restart.

    • Here is one solution: go to Settings…General…Reset…Reset Home Screen Layout (then hit Reset Home Screen). My apps show up after doing this.

  12. ToiletCrusher

    Activation server is down. Once again., apple has it’s activation server crash during update. This is the 3rd time. Really? Most people are still at work. How could apple not see this coming after the first 2 times.

  13. Tethering available with fido on 19th, MMS not working told to wait for text from server to enable. Could be several days according to Fido. no extra cost if on a plan larger than 1gb.

  14. Naren Bharatwaj

    I have an ipod touch and i am from India. If i click on the download link for the software update, it says the update is not available on the Indian store. I wonder if i will ever be able to upgrade to the 3.0 version. Any suggestions????

    • My advice is to give it a try tomorrow. The update can lag some hours behind on the international iTunes stores, and it’s not unusual for brand-new items to appear in the iTunes store listings but come up with the “not in this country” message for a short time. (It’s even happened to me in the US.) I wouldn’t panic—Apple’s not going to leave India stuck with an older release.

    • Krishanu

      I am getting the same message for the last 5 hours. Apple will let the US customers download today, then will allow us to download on the 18th. I have an American account too, but guess that will be unethical/illegal, hence I will wait.

    • The Itunes stores message wiped out my big fat grin when it said the update is not currently available for Indian shores. This is the only reason I wanna live in the US – for apple!!!

  15. did the download, BUT iphone keeps trying to access iTunes after the install… and it is failing! My phone is currently useless. only allowing me emergency calls… now what?

  16. Hobbes Doo

    Are anybody with the 3.0 GM being able to get the update? For me all it says is that I’m up to date already. The GM build is 7A341. What the build number for the 3.0 release?


    • Denise Flood

      I was wondering if anyone can help me. Yesterday I updated my iphone, went through the usual installed the newer itunes,BUT at the end of installing itunes it said there was an error and it could not be completed.

      Now the iphone wont work,it is in recovery mode and itunes wont recognise it. I have tried everything. The problem is when you go into computer management and services etc the iphone is not showing in there,there is no driver showing basically.

      The apple mobile device software is running but the driver is no where to be found on my computer. PLEASE help I have tried everything I know and I dont know what else I can do.

  17. Andrew

    So far the download is going pretty smoothly, seems like Apple servers are holding up ok…

    Now I’m just curious to see if the 3.0 jailbreak will allow for voice control etc…

  18. Skeptic

    Huh. Just downloaded the update, waited patiently for it to extract the data, install the phone, reboot it, update it, and then received an error, and instructions that I have to restore. I have a regular iPhone 3G bought from Apple, it isn’t jailbroken or unlocked or anything… Anyone else out there with a similar outcome?

    • CBarry

      I am in the same exact situation… I tried to update software and now my iphone3g must be restored before it can be used with itunes…WTF I have mad shit on there.

    • crashed

      Had the same problem (downloaded the update, waited patiently for it to extract the data, install the phone, reboot it, update it, and then received an error, and instructions that I have to restore). The 3.0 update has crashed my phone and I can’t get it back. I wish i hadn’t started this process in the first place. Blargh.

    • Same thing, got through the backup, then download, then got the error that it couldn’t install the update and I needed to restore. My phone is also not jailbroke, unlocked or any of those other things. Only thing I have done is load apps onto the phone. When I tried to restore, I couldn’t do that either. Not neither my computer or iTunes recognizes that my iPhone is connected. According to the various forums, have to put the phone into DFU mode. Followed about 8 different ways to do that, all of which fail. The ONLY thing I ever gt is the screen with the USB plug pointed to the iTunes icon. I have iTunes installed, if I run update, it says it is the latest. Removed, defragged my hard drive, rebooted, reinstalled iTunes, no joy on anything….

      I have a $500 brick. Good thing it is under warranty, bought it just before Apple annouced they were releasing the newest iPhone, so I guess I will just trade my phone in for a new one, though not the latest version.

    • Shady Rawdah

      All you guys need to update iTunes first to 8.2. Thats why. Also get any software update you need first prior to installing 3.0. It works perfectly.


    • Just downloaded 3.0 and got error message and picture of USB plug pointed to iTunes icon and comment to slide for emergency…unplugged USB port connection and immediately plugged back in and everything was fine and 3.0 was loaded on iPhone.