Steve Jobs mentioned during his September 9 “Let’s Rock” keynote that iPhone 2.1 software would become available for download on Friday and would bring along with it many bug fixes and improvements. He seemed very confident that this update would satisfy troubled iPhone owners. Early reports are claiming the update really delivers – fixing many of the known bugs and issues with iPhone software versions 2.0-2.0.2. The iPhone 2.1 really is a “big update” just as Steve Jobs promised and it seems much more like a “gold master” than 2.0 ever did.
I have had the chance of updating my iPhone to 2.1, and here are a few things I’ve noticed:
- My current iPhone is a replacement. I noticed once I got the replacement that the screen seemed washed out compared to my old iPhone 3G and my original iPhone. A thread on Apple’s Support Discussions forum had multiple people experiencing this exact same issue with their iPhones. However, upon updating to iPhone 2.1, I noticed the colors are much more vibrant and rich.
- The number of bars on my iPhone have increased dramatically. On Apple’s iPhone 2.1 Software Update page, they include “Improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display” in a list of improvements. I find this somewhat controversial, as it leads one to believe Apple significantly boosted the reception, when in actuality just boosted the number of bars for all db levels.
- iPhone backups that used to take literally two hours now only take two minutes.
- I installed two apps and both installed within minutes. The delay that used to exist at the end of installing is now gone.
- Overall, the interface seems more nimble and responsive. I have yet to see any significant interface delays that once existed with 2.0.
- The new “3G” and “EDGE” icons are much nicer and easier to distinguish.
- Apple has updated the iPod application to feature the new Genius feature. For all the songs I have tested, Genius has worked really well. The songs it recommends are unique and compatible. Podcasts and songs now display more information.
Update: I’ve done some more real-life testing and now want to add a few more notes:
- Around town, I seem to have five bars nearly everywhere I go. I find it interesting Apple did not “improve accuracy of the 3G signal strength display” in iPhone 2.0, instead waiting for this release. I have a feeling this might cause some controversy.
- Interface animations are much smoother now, especially with rotating the screen and rearranging icons on the springboard.
- My iPhone 3G speaker seems even louder.