Apple has finally unleashed the iPhone 2.1 firmware to the masses as of an hour or so ago. If you’ve been running iPhone 2.0 since July, then you’ve probably been waiting desperately for this firmware release, which is supposed to clear up a ton of bugs and other annoyances about the app-centric iPhone OS. Here’s a list of the changes and improvements:
- Decrease in call set-up failures and dropped calls
- Significantly better battery life for most users
- Dramatically reduced time to backup to iTunes
- Improved email reliability, notably fetching email from POP and Exchange accounts
- Faster installation of 3rd party applications
- Fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes for users with lots of third party applications
- Improved performance in text messaging
- Faster loading and searching of contacts
- Improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display
- Repeat alert up to two additional times for incoming text messages
- Option to wipe data after ten failed passcode attempts
- Genius playlist creation
So, there’s a lot of stuff there. Of course, most are concerned primarily with the big fixes. Here’s hoping that iPhone 2.1 is the solid OS that the 2.0 release should have been. You can get the update by connecting your iPhone to your computer, firing up iTunes 8 (it’s required), and hitting “Check for Update.” Good luck!
Read More | iPhone 2.1 details
Well, here’s something we could get used to. Pangea, maker of popular App Store titles like Cro-Mag Rally and Enigmo, have put their entire line of apps on sale. This is obviously just going to be for a limited time only, but we can’t seem to find the end date of the promotion anywhere. In the meantime, just know that for now, the prices on Pangea App Store software is as follows:
- Enigmo: $4.99, down from $9.99
- Cro-Mag Ralley: $1.99, down from $5.99
- Billy Frontier: $3.99, down from $5.99
- Beer Bounce: $1.99, down from $2.99
- Pangea VR Pro: $14.99, down from $19.99
A couple of these are fantastic for the money (we’re looking at you, Enigmo and Cro-Mag). Head on over to the App Store to start shopping. Here’s hoping this is just the beginning of App Store sales.
Read More | App Store
If you are tired of hearing us talk about all the Apple news of the day, maybe you’d prefer listening to Steve Jobs himself deliver the news. If that is the case, you’ll be happy to know that the Let’s Rock keynote is now available online for your viewing pleasure. You can stream is now from the Apple Special Event page. If downloading is more your thing, we are sure it will be hitting iTunes 8 shortly.
Read More | Let's Rock event video
The worst-kept secret of today’s Apple Let’s Rock iPod event was the newly updated iPod nano. Apple officially let the cat out of the bag today, sharing all the details. The new iPod nano is taller, and also turns out to be the thinnest iPod ever made. It’s available in a record nine colors, and you get two models to choose from - an 8GB version for $149, and a 16GB version for $199. The battery will hook you up with 24 hours of music or 4 hours of video. The nano now has an included accelerometer, which allows it to sense if you are holding it in portrait or landscape mode, so it can then change the screen orientation accordingly. That same accelerometer also gives rise to a new “Shake to Shuffle” feature. It’s exactly what it sounds like. If you don’t like what you are listening to, shake the nano, and you get a new random track. You can order the new iPod nano now at the online Apple Store, or pick one up at a physical location as they arrive over the next few days.
Read More | iPod nano
During this morning’s Apple event, Steve Jobs let us in on a few of the details of the upcoming iPhone 2.1 software update. In giving the details, Steve also admitted to the faults that have been pointed out consistently since the iPhone 2.0 software launched. What can we look forward to when 2.1 is released this Friday for the iPhone? How does fewer dropped calls, major improvements in battery life, faster backups, and no crashing apps sound? Yeah, we thought so. Now to wait for Friday to see if the promises prove to be true. Fingers crossed!
EDIT: iPhone 2.1 has been released!
iTunes 8 was announced this morning as part of the whole Let’s Rock Apple announcement festivities, and there were a few nice pieces of news. First, NBC is back on iTunes with shows like The Office, 30 Rock, and Ballestar Galactics. What’s more, though, is that iTunes will now be selling TV shows in high definition. Aside from the feeling that I know my wallet is about to be drained, this is a very welcome addition. My only hope is that they allow those of us who have purchased shows in SD to “upgrade” to the HD versions at a discount. It’s only fair, right?
In other news, Apple has added “Genius” to iTunes - that being a recommendation engine that looks at the track you are listening to, and recommends other tracks in the iTunes store that it believes you would like. In addition, Genius can also create truly customized playlists on the fly, again, just by sampling what you are listening to. It will pull other songs from your iTunes library that it believes would complement your selection, without any work to be done on your part. We must admit, it looks slick. Speaking of which, they’ve also included a new visualizer, which is just off the hook. You’ve gotta see it to believe it.
iTunes 8 is available now.
Read More | iTunes
Apple is improving the iPod touch with a thinner stainless steel case, hardware volume controls, a built-in speaker, and a Nike+ receiver (you’ll need to puchase a Nike+ kit to take advantage of that one.) Battery life is now at 36 hours for music, which translates to around six hours for video. The new Genius feature will be included, alongside the App Store. They’ve also redone the casing, which is now a thinner stainless steel, and we’ve even got actual hardware volume control buttons. The new iPod touch is available now - 8GB for $229, 16GB for $299, and 32GB for $399. You can pick on up from the Apple Store Online now.
Read More | iPod touch
Apple announced new in-ear headphones that contain two high-performance drivers, a woofer and tweeter, built-in. The price might be high at $79, but it may well be worth it, especially if you have a discerning ear. The three pairs of changeable is a nice inclusion since all ears are created differently and you’ll be able to find just the right fit, unlike that last in-ear that Apple made a while back. Another nifty feature here is the “control capsule”, which includes a microphone, volume adjustment, and music/video playback control. Oddly, despite the microphone, these don’t seem to be compatible with the iPhone - Apple says the mic is great for voice notes though. In that case, we should all run out and get these! They’ll be available in October.
What? You don’t want to pay a high price for the Apple logo? I mean, comfort?
Read More | Apple In-Ear Headphones
As part of this morning’s Let’s Rock event, Apple announced that the iPod classic was going to be available in one model from here on out, that being 120GB. While that is down from the 160GB model that was available previously, it is also up from the 80GB version that most people were buying. In case you didn’t know, that amount of space gives you the ability to save 30,000 songs. 30,000! Does anyone really have the time to do download, and listen to, that many songs? If so, I’d like to meet him (or, more appropriately, her) - on second thought, maybe I don’t. In either case, this will be the only version of the classic iPod moving forward and it will retail for a cool $249. You can order one now at the Apple Store Online.
Read More | iPod classic
Hafsteinn Juliusson designed the Napbook, a laptop case that can double as a pillow. It was created for students, business folk between sessions, or anyone who has the need to catch a few winks. Because the Napbook is only available at the Apple store in Reykjavik, Iceland, it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to pick up an inexpensive pillow, cut out some of its innards, and make your own.
Read More | Hafsteinn Juliusson
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