If you are an iPhone owner and you have not already heard, a major update (v1.1.3) became available last Tuesday during MacWorld. The update brings many anticipated features such as the ability to SMS multiple people at once and watch iTunes Rental Movies. The upgrade added an easier interface for bookmarking web pages through the Safari browser and the ability to add shortcuts to websites called “web clips” to home screen. The home screen also got a bit of a makeover, now allowing icons to be re-arranged and moved to multiple pages.
“iPhone doesn’t stand still—we’re making it better and better all the time,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve delighted millions of users with this revolutionary and magical product and it’s great to share these improvements with them.”
The most notable upgrade is probably the Maps application. The iPhone can now utilize cell phone tower data to triangulate your exact location. We tested this feature a few times, but unfortunately it didn’t function as well as I had hoped for it to perform. In most scenarios the best it could do was to narrow down my location the the city I was in. In reality it wouldn’t be of much help. Hopefully it will do a better job when it’s used in areas with stronger cell phone signals. Another neat addition to the Maps was the new “hybrid” view feature which will display satellite images with a overlay of street names.
If you’ve got an iPhone and you would like to upgrade it, just connect it to a machine running the latest version of iTunes (v7.6) and press “Check for Updates” on the iPhone page. It should download a file about 150MB in size and then install the new firmware. It took us over 10 minutes to update our unit. Although it was successful, the installer wasn’t very clear about what was going on during certain points. Just be sure not to disconnect your iPhone if it is taking too long since that could brick the unit. Anyways if you have an iPhone spend a few minutes “upgrading” since it’s got quite a few neat features.