iPhone 2.1 firmware update, just fabulous

I updated my iPhone to the new iPhone 2.1 firmware and I am so extreamly pleased!  The iPhone overall feels more responsive and finally delivers on the usability and statbility that was expected when the 2.0 software was released early this summer.  There are no more delays when searching for contacts and switching between applications and the home screen is a much smoother process.  Also another pet peeve of mine is solved with this update in that when I update an application on the iPhone it remembers the location of the application.  In the past it would always relocate the application onto the first page of my home screen, messing up all the effort I put into organizing my applications.

Genius 

Apple has added a new feature to iTunes which is also available on the iPhone with this firmware update.  Genius on the iPhone will allow you to choose a song and create a playlist of songs that match well with that song automatically.  On my first few attempts, Genius did not have enough information to compile a playlist for me.  This can happen when there is not enough meta information about your song or when the Genius algorithm cannot determine you listening preferences in relation to the song selected. Genius however learns about your music habbits and will adapt. Eventually I was able to find songs that worked.  I was really impressed how easy it worked and how well the songs meshed together.  The songs it suggested were decent and when I did not like its suggested list I simply refreshed the list and it would be re-created with new suggestions.  I am sure I will use this feature a lot and that it will definitely change how I listen to music on the iPhone.

Battery Life

The update is supposed to also improve battery life for most people but  I did not notice any difference.  I know all the tricks to conserve battery life, like turning off Location Services and WiFi when not using it and so on but nothing has made any significant difference.  I think in the end to get true battery life improvements will require major strides in research and development of the batteries themselves.

Official and Unofficial List of Features

You can find the official list of new features that they have addded for version 2.1 here.  Some unnoffical features were also documented and can be found here.  These include:

  • Triple clicking on headset to go to the previous music track
  • iPod songs when listed in show the name of the track with additional information like the album name and artist
  • You can now pause applications during the install by tapping on the icon

Last Word

If anyone was really waiting to update their existing original iPhone or was considering buying the new 3G iPhone for the first time, there is really no reason now to wait. Ah what is that you say, Copy and Paste… nah still not there!  What’s going on Apple?

 

Update:

Here is also a really good review from WIRED Magazine.

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