Sunday, January 20, 2008

iPhone Update 1.1.3 (Love the new Maps)

Apple released the long awaited iPhone update 1.1.3 at Macworld. They call it the January '08 update. Main features are:

  • Enhanced Google Maps app
  • Customizable home screen
  • Works with iTunes Movie Rentals
  • Mail app compatible with IMAP Gmail
  • other minor updates
Features that were not realized:
  • Copy/cut and paste
  • Video shooting with built-in camera
  • and some other expectations

Steve Jobs seemed to want to impress everyone with the enhanced Maps app and so I was. It now has the ability to locate where you are. Click on the reticle looking icon on the bottom-left in the Maps app. The map will move to your location and zoom in. Since this technology uses not only cell towers but Wi-Fi access points (a Skyhook service; although you need not to know anything about it) as well, you may want to turn on Wi-Fi in your iPhone Settings.

I am not using this feature quite a lot and I like it. It works very well; at least in San Francisco. With Wi-Fi on, I get my location within a couple seconds which is way faster than a handy GPS. The accuracy is within a half block range which again a handy GPS won't provide in a jungle of buildings. I even drove up to a residential area in Pacifica (relatively rough terrain) and it was pin-point accurate. Although I believe this is not the case throughout the U.S. yet, it is amazing. Along with the traffic information it shows over lapping on the maps, iPhone is a strongly recommended mobile device in the Bay Area for sure; or at least an iPod touch as it can do almost the same with the latest release.

It was interesting to see many power users just went on installing the iPhone update without much hesitation; people used to wait at least for a week just to be sure of any early reports of critical bugs or other issues. I myself too waiting only a couple days this time. I guess the update being released at Macworld, power users cannot not install this right away...

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