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Apple's iPhone 3G guided tour reveals extra details

New video walkthroughs of iPhone 3G help illustrate how to use the phone and what's changed in software, but also spill details of changes to the hardware design, a free official AOL instant messenger client, and more.

The guided tours are available in both a 38-minute beginner's guide to the entire phone or a condensed, 12-minute edition that shows just the new features added with iPhone 3G and its iPhone 2.0 software.

One of the most conspicuous changes is to the speakers. Briefly alluded to during the iPhone 3G's introduction at WWDC, the "dramatically improved audio" of the updated iPhone is now attributed directly to its new microphone and speakers.

A look at the bottom of the device, which has been hidden from view in most early looks, also shows two screws at either end of the Dock Connector — an unusual design concession for a company that normally prides itself on hiding screws from view on its handheld devices.

And while most software demonstrations in the videos are of expected features, the front view of the App Store shows an AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) application that confirms a March 6th demo has translated to a finished and likely free application that may be available with the App Store's opening on July 11th.

The software could potentially be used to mitigate the lack of include SMS messages with AT&T's standard iPhone plans.

Downloading and installing third-party applications is also shown to be different than with purchases through the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. Instead of managing a separate queue, inbound apps surface directly on the home screen, with a progress bar indicating how close they are to completion. Apps immediately become active once downloaded.

iPhone App Store - AIMiPhone App Store - download

Update: AppleInsider forum member Berzerker notes that the guided tour also demonstrates a feature of iPhone 2.0 that will allow users to enable Wi-Fi on Wi-Fi enabled flights without leaving Airplane mode.