Apple has released details of a new version of the iPhone OS, with over 100 new features including finally adding copy and paste.

However, another much desired issue – allowing for background tasks from third party applications – remains unresolved, despite rival handsets running Google Android and the as-yet unlaunched Palm Pre able to support background apps.

The reason given for the delay in delivering such an obvious feature as copy and paste – Apple said it wasn’t easy to do and security issues needed to be resolved with copying information between applications.

Apple also announced that there are to be over 1,000 new APIs for iPhone developers.

Among some of the other new features that will be introduced on OS 3.0 this summer are:

  • Push notifications will be standard in iPhone 3.0.
  • In-App purchasing
  • MMS
  • Peer-to-Peer connectivity
  • Third-party Accessories
  • Turn-by-Turn directions
  • A landscape keyboard option
  • Voice memos
  • System-wide Spotlight searching
  • Stereo Bluetooth audio devices are now supported through the use of A2DP technology

iPhone OS 3.0 will be available in the summer. It will be a free update to all iPhone users, while iPod touch owners will have to pay USD $9.95 for the upgrade.

Due to hardware differences, features such as A2DP and MMS won’t be available on the original iPhone.

iPhone developers will be able to get the beta of OS 3.0 almost immediately.

During today’s iPhone 3.0 Preview Event, Apple announced that its iPhone OS, which powers both the iPhone and the iPod touch, is now on 30 million devices — including 17 million iPhones by December, 2008.

Apple also announced over 800 million App Store downloads to date, and 800,000 iPhone SDK downloads.

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