Saturday, September 13, 2008

iPhone 2.1 - First Impressions

Finally we seem to have the iPhone we were expecting when the iPhone 3G was launched a couple months ago.

And if some of the issues were understandable because of the new App Store, some were completely unacceptable.

But lets get on with it...

First impression is: everything runs smoother.
You can now jump from the browser to the email, and then open the contacts without noticing annoying lags and slowdowns. Yes, even if you have 800 contacts in your list, you can now scroll through them without a problem.

Clicking on the SMS icon still takes slightly longer than I'd hope for, but it's on par with other cell phones.

Signal strength indication seems to be much more accurate than before - and showing up more powerful signals than before. I used to have "zero" 3G bars at home, and now it shows 2 or 3 bars (right now it's showing 4.)
If that's just cosmetic or real - it remains to be seen. I'll be able to tell the difference on monday, when I can test it in my workplace (which had lousy signal reception.)

As for the keyboard, I expect those slowdows to be gone, and you can also type Firefox instead of Firefix at last! :)
In international keyboars - at least in the Portuguese one - it finally stopped expanding single letter words!
When I typed just "e, a, o," all valid portuguese words, iPhone consistently corrected it to"em, as, os" which are also valid words but not what I was tryping to type - and it never learned to stop doing it.
Now it does! No more constant fixing and wasting time with it.
Other non-existing single letter words, like "q" still get expanded correctly though - that's nice!

Installing apps is speedier than ever, that will help prevent the common bricking problem (auto translated link - don't blame me for the "engrish.")
iTunes syncing is also blazing fast now - as it should have been from the start!

There are a lot less crashes also. Some 3rd party Apps that refused to start now work flawlessly. (Better memory managment I guess.) I still had one crash on an App that usually rebooted the iPhone - but no reboot this time - and its developer already told me they knew of a few bugs that might cause this issue.

You now get 2 extra reminders when you receive a SMS and fail to notice it. That's not adjustable though - it does it whether you want it or not. That's lame - they should have added extra setting in the control panel.

You now have the genius playlists as well - but I didn't go into that yet.

What amazed the most was finding that the enhanced battery life was indeed noticeable and visible!
I spent a couple of hours last night chatting with Palringo, with the iPhone always on and using WiFi - something that would suck about 20 or 30% of its battery and the battery indicator just dropped 1 pixel!
That's really amazing.

Truth be told - when I used WiFi a lot for a very long time, it was quite common for the iPhone to get noticeably warm, as if it was transmitting at full power - yesterday, you couldn't notice any warming at all, as if it was using much less power.
That's something I'll be able to figure out better withing a coupld of days.

So, most major issues seem to be finally solved. And although it took a couple of months, it's better late than never.

Now we'll have to wait and see what bugs will creep up to the top of the "urgent fixing" list.

Besides, if this firmware update was mostly a giant bug fix, I hope the next one will finally implement new and much needed features like copy-paste and a Safari ad-blocker.

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