Printed from http://www.electronista.com

iPhone 2.1 initial impressions

updated 03:55 pm EDT, Fri September 12, 2008

iPhone 2 1 Impressions

Apple's iPhone 2.1 update has been under early testing by MacNN and Electronista staff on iPhone 3G units, and at this stage appears to be a definite upgrade over the 2.0.x releases. The software's defining trait isn't a new feature but rather its speed. Where 2.0 was frequently choppy while entering text or even just in some transitions, 2.1 appears to be seamless and smooth -- that is, what Apple had originally promised and delivered with its 1.x software.

Installing apps and backing up the phone are also definitely faster. Previously, some apps would take a very long time to install and would sometimes appear frozen in place. In a few test cases, 2.1 saw small apps install completely in less than 20 seconds, with larger apps expectedly taking more time but still loading at a reasonable pace; while backups were never especially slow for our particular group, they now run noticeably quicker, at least after the first post-upgrade backup.

The paradox of the update is that its new features are strictly secondary. Genius is appreciated, but on the iPhone or iPod touch is essentially a 'controlled' shuffle that prevents out-of-character songs from appearing in a playlist. More track information is also available while browsing a non-album list, although this is more practical for owners who often get single songs rather than whole albums. Its primary purpose appears to be avoiding confusion between similarly-titled songs or to remember the album name to download other tracks at iTunes.

Sound has also been given a minor, helpful boost: there's more control over which events trigger notification sounds, and the phone will repeat the notice for a new SMS message up to twice after the initial alert if the user misses the message. This is potentially annoying, but also handy for those of us who miss an important message by ducking into another room or going to sleep.

Some of the other improvements are difficult to gauge at this point in time: none of the editors have reported serious reception issues or have had enough consistent use to determine how much more battery (if any) they receive. Still, the improvements in behavior are enough to make 2.1 seemingly a must-have for iPhone owners, even if we wish that background push or a new app would have made the update more exciting on its own.

Let us know if you've discovered any hidden features or different experiences in the comments.



By Electronista Staff
Post tools:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

  1. aaka@foxvalley.net

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +3

    iPhone 2.1 Update

    I updated my iphone to 2.1 early this morning. I have seen much better signal strength, no more dropped calls, over faster performance in all areas. The single biggest improvement has been the signal strength. I used to get 0 bars in my house, now I get pretty good number of bars all the time.

  1. jayparry

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2005

    +1

    Nike

    has nike software been added? So we can plug in our Nike receiver?

  1. MacnTX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    +4

    2.1 Update

    Update went smoothly on my original iPhone. Apps now install much quicker and backups are also much faster. Everything seems to be stable and solid to this point.

  1. wings_rfs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2002

    +5

    Bars Schmars

    Actually the number of bars you see doesn't necessarily mean you're getting a stronger signal. It may very well mean Apple is showing you more bars for the same signal strength that you always had. (I've written embedded software for radio modems and have done exactly that.) The real proof is whether or not I get a dropout the next time I cross the nearby river valley on I-40 near my home. Then I'll know for sure if they've done something that can really pull a signal out of the noise.

  1. MacnTX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    +3

    2.1 Update

    Update went smoothly on my original iPhone. Apps now install much quicker and backups are also much faster. Everything seems to be stable and solid to this point.

  1. chelsel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    +1

    lost my Tris application

    updated my phone to 2.1 and although it looks fine, my Tris application disappeared... not sure if it was a sync/backup issue or intentional.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    re; bars schmars

    And it also depends on what they say the bars mean. In OS X, the bars used to mean signal strength, but then it changed on one update to coincide with throughput or something.

    Maybe this is how ATT can say "More bars in more places". They just tweak all their phones.

  1. JTHM

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2008

    +3

    2.1 update

    Update went Ok, third party apps seem more stable, back ups are much faster, 3G signal is a little better. my favorite is the "erase data" option after ten attempts.

  1. dmsimmer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    -4

    Phone still doesn't work

    My phone still has horrible reception. I've made 3 calls and have dropped 2 of them.

    Who gives a SH*T about apps loading when the iP H O N E portion doesn't work?

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +1

    No Nike with 2.1

    sorry to say, the message "this accessory not supported by iphone" comes up when i attach my Nike Sensor on my 3G phone...

    :-(

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

ActvContent Sync Smartband

Smartbands of all sorts are hitting the market. Some build on the buzz around fitness trackers, while others offer simpler features fo ...

RocketStor 6324L Thunderbolt 2 eSATA bridge

Like it or not, the shift to Thunderbolt is underway. The connection is extremely flexible, allowing for video and data to co-habitate ...

Patriot Stellar Boost XT 64GB USB 3.0 drive

A vast selection of USB memory sticks means that consumers can often find exactly the size drive they need in a configuration that can ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News