iPhone 2.2 arrives: hands on review


Last Friday, Apple released their iPhone 2.2 Firmware Update a little earlier than expected. Just over a week after the initial release, here’s my hands-on of the new features.

Release Summary (Posted by Apple):

Enhancements to Maps
– Google Street View
– public transit and walking diretions
– display address of dropped pins
– share location via email
Enhancements to Mail
– resolved isolated issues with scheduled fetching of email
– improved formatting of wide HTML email
Improved stability and performance of Safari
Podcasts are now available for download in iTunes application (over Wi-Fi and cellular)
Decrease in call set-up failures and call drops
Improved sound quality of visual voicemail messages
Pressing the Home button from any Home screen takes you to the first Home screen
Preferences to turn on/off auto-correction in Keyboard settings

iTunes Podcasts: Selecting and downloading podcasts from the iPhone version of the iTunes Store is quick and easy. Downloading through Wi-Fi or 3G was quite speedy, although it does depend on your location. Syncing new podcasts with iTunes on my Mac was very simple – 1 click and everything is transfered. 

Maps Enhancements: Street View is a nice feature to have, especially on a device like the iPhone. The GUI of iPhone’s Street View is a pleasure to use. Walking directions are quite accurate. Be aware that Traffic Information is not yet supported in Australia, so I was unable to use that feature.

Safari Improvements: The new “search-friendly” interface of Mobile Safari is a little disappointing. I would like Apple to include an option for switching to the older address bar in future updates. 2.2 does fix the crash issues that plagued iPhone users around the world. Under 2.1, Safari would crash at least once per day while I was browsing. Now, I am experiencing one crash per week or less.

Home Screen shortcut: While this is a very small new addition, the home screen shortcut (as described in the summary of the update) is a neat feature and saves alot of finger swiping, especially if you have five or more different home screens.

Emoji: Emoji is now available to Japanese iPhone owners. A Softbank (Japan’s official iPhone carrier) SIM Card is required to both send and receive emoji messages. If you’re dying to get Emoji on your iPhone, you may want to consider trying this simple hack. No jailbreaking is required, but remember to follow the instructions very carefully.

3rd party support: The iPhone 2.2 firmware update plays nice with most third party applications. Most applications that did break under the new firmware have been updated. I have experienced some problems with the Facebook for iPhone app. Facebook has not yet pushed out an update to address the problem. If you know of any others, comment below and I’ll include it on the list.

Undocumented 2.2 Features: Check out this extensive MacRumors post with screenshots and detailed information for all the new and undocumented 2.2 features. The list mentions: Number formatting, Podcast streaming, App Store modifications, Application deletion and rating, App Store links, Updating applications, Application screenshot viewer and individual buttons, Update all applications, Updating applications purchased by another user, Auto-correction, Maps caching, Calculator, iPhoto, Safari Tabs, Podcasts in the iPod application, On-the-go playlists, Stocks language and Screenshots.

Have a nice weekend, – r.


1 Response to “iPhone 2.2 arrives: hands on review”

  1. 1 Anonymously Angry November 30, 2008 at 10:25 am

    With all these updates you would think that the occasional lag when texting would be solved. Other than that, I just wish they would include copy and paste and the abilty to play flash video. Maybe iphone update 10.0 will have it.


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