Apple has previewed the new OS 3.0 software for its hugely successful iPhone and announced the immediate availability of the beta software to registered developers.

The beta release includes various new features such as an updated Software Development Kit with over 1,000 new Application Programming interfaces including In-App Purchases; Peer-to-Peer connections; an app interface for accessories; access to the iPod music library; a new Maps API and Push notifications.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, commented “the new iPhone OS 3.0 is a major software release packed with incredible new features and innovations for iPhone customers and developers alike. It will keep us years ahead of the competition”.

The new OS 3.0 software will also be available for the iPod touch and Apple are claiming it will offer over 100 new features including cut, copy and paste; MMS to send and receive photos, contacts, audio files and locations with the Messages app; and the new Voice Memo app which allows you to capture and send audio recordings. In addition there will be a landscape view for mail, text and notes; and expanded search capabilities.

The beta software is currently available for registered developers starting from today, iPhone customers will be able to download it for free this winter and iPod Touch users can also purchase the update.

In other Apple news the App Store has now had more than 25,000 applications and 15 more countries have been added to the App Store. This now means the App Store is now available in 77 countries, allowing developers to reach more than 30 million iPhone and iPod Touch users around the world.