Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2009 kicked off today in San Francisco. It’s an entire week of 5,200 developers from 52 countries sharing in-depth technical information and taking part in hands-on learning about new technologies available for Apple hardware, including the iPhone. Two of the most anticipated topics being discussed are the release dates for the new iPhone, and the new iPhone operating system (OS) 3.0. The new iPhone will be available on June 19, and is called the 3GS, the S standing for speed. Apps, messages, and attachments will all load faster. The phone is built to accommodate AT&T‘s faster 3G network. As expected, the camera has been improved. It’s a 3-megapixel, auto focus camera with better light sensitivity to take better indoor photos. It also has a “Tap to Focus” feature, which will focus in on any portion of a photo when it’s tapped. Best of all, the new camera also captures video, which can be edited with a tap of the finger. Developers will also be able to build video cameras into their apps. Contrary to rumors, the design of the phone itself will remain the same. All the upgrades and improvements are in functionality and ease of use. One rumor that was true is the addition of a digital compass. Other than just functioning as a compass, it’s possible it will also combine with the camera and Google maps to simplify identifying photo locations. As expected, the 8GB iPhone will cost $99, the 16GB will cost $199, while the 32GB will cost $299. The new OS 3.0 was announced in March, with a release date of “this summer.” Apple just announced the release date is June 17, and it’s being discussed at length at WWDC. Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iPhone software, stated that the new OS brings over 100 new iPhone features with it, one of the most notable being a cut, copy, and paste function. Other than limited battery life, that’s been something iPhone users have long and loudly complained about. OS 3.0 has it for text, photos, and SMS, or short message service. OS 3.0 also includes an undo function, and something else users have been craving—a landscape keyboard for key apps such as mail, notes, and messages. It will also allow for systemwide searching, and Push notifications. Also very interesting will be the ability to send and receive multimedia messages, or MMS. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include any kind of video support. Per Forstall, MMS requires carrier support, something AT&T won’t have until “later this summer.” Have you ever lost your iPhone? Whether just misplacing it in the house, or leaving it at a restaurant, or worse—having it stolen—you’ll now be able to find your iPhone in an instant. OS 3.0 includes a feature called Find My iPhone. The application will allow you to see your phone on a map, and send a signal to the phone, causing it to play an alert tone announcing it’s lost. The tone will play even if the phone is set to silent mode. It also includes a kill switch that wipes your phone of all its data. Find My iPhone is only available to MobileMe customers. Another feature included in OS 3.0 is in-app micropayments. Right now, users pay up front for apps, and if upgrades become available later, they must be purchased through external payment systems. Or, if a developer designates all future upgrades as free, they make their profit by hiking up the initial app price. In-app payments will allow developers to charge users for add-ons and upgrades, thereby lowering initial app prices. Apple currently has more than 50,000 apps in the store, and the one billion download mark was reached in April. The addition of in-app payments will make the whole app purchase and upgrade process easier for users, and possibly more profitable for app developers, which will most likely lead to even more apps. OS 3.0 will be free to iPhone customers, but will cost $9.95 for first and second generation iPod Touch owners.