Dear Friends,

My strawberries are not quite ready, but over in the Champlain Valley with the milder weather and longer growing season, fresh local berries are now available. Those strawberries you get in the winter sure look like strawberries—I mean they are red and have that little green stem—but the resemblance ends there. The winter berries bred for shelf life taste more like straw than berry, while the fresh early summer berries emit a strong strawberry smell and taste so good that I could eat a hundred of them!

Grace and I are planning our annual 4th of July bash after the Warren parade and a key element is strawberry daiquiris (both virgin and with rum). We go through a few cases of strawberries on that day and my hands are usually red from berry juice by the end of the day.

The big news this week is the release of iPhone OS 3.0 software and the iPhone 3G S. The upgrade for the iPhone is free, while the upgrade for the iPod touch costs $9.95. Everyone with an iPhone here downloaded the 3.0 software minutes after its release at 1PM ET on Wednesday and the improvements are truly notable.

I’ve probably only scratched the surface, here are the Top 3 features that have caught my eye:

1. Landscape Mode
I have short, stubby fingers and the iPhone keyboard is a bit of a challenge. With 3.0 I can now use the landscape keyboard which simply feels more natural and has bigger keys. Not only that, but viewing Mail in landscape mode is great!

2. Find My iPhone
I have a MobileMe account and tested out the Find My iPhone feature. You have to set it up in the preferences but once set up, you can locate the phone from anywhere that you can run MobileMe. You can also execute a “Remote Wipe” command that will erase your data but I didn’t test that one. The location is not that precise but it will tell you if you left it in another town.

3. Auto Login to AT&T Hot Spots
I rode my motorcycle up to Burlington last night to check out a motorcycle for a friend who is just starting to ride and decided to go to the movies afterward. When I got out around 10PM, I grabbed a bite to eat and my iPhone showed a couple of Wi-Fi hotspots. One was a locked site, but a signal from a nearby AT&T cell phone store was visible, so I tried to access that.

Once I had gone through the cumbersome two-step process to sign in the first time (did you know you get free access to over 20,000 AT&T hot spots with your iPhone AT&T contract?), the next time I logged in the process was automatic, so there’s no need to enter your phone number or click on a link from a SMS message. I noticed that the redesigned Wi-Fi login page was much better as well.

For more favorites as well as a full review of the 3.0 software, read on below.

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