iPhone 2.0 Firmware & Apps Are Live


The big distraction news this week is obviously the 3G iPhone launch. And one ZNF reader suggested I owe everyone an explanation as to why I’m not upgrading. It’s simple really – most of the features I’m looking for are found in the 2.0 software update. The main hardware improvements over my model include higher data connectivity speeds and integrated GPS functionality. While 3G is compelling, without SlingPlayer availability or a tethering option, it’s not enough to move me. Also, while the GPS functionality is a nice enhancement, triangulating my location via cell towers and WiFi access points (Skyhook) has never failed to orient me when on foot in New York City or San Francisco.

Overall, I’ve been relatively pleased with the first generation iPhone. It provides an elegant, fun, and sexy interface. And Apple has created the best mobile web browsing experience, by far. It’s also pretty good as a phone and video player. As an email power user, I’ve been slightly frustrated – deleting multiple messages has been tedious (past tense), it takes four taps to switch Inboxes, no contact search (past tense), and Apple still doesn’t provide cut & paste. I also find myself typing fewer and shorter emails due to the virtual keyboard, but that’s worked out fine. As an iPod, I find I prefer my (former) second generation iPod Nano.

Which brings us to the launch of the App Store. On my previously jailbroken device, I streamed audio from iRadio and MobileScrobbler… that I traded in today for free music streaming Pandora (above left) and AOL Radio (above right) applications. Both are lookin’ good and I’m now on the market for at least one iPhone speaker dock, perhaps two. Apple’s also provided a free virtual remote control app for iTunes and AppleTV, which I’ll try out at some point. Though, the multimedia app selection is still a bit light… We should see some promising new software within the next 6 months or so now that the flood gates have been opened.

Bonus coverage – Honda designed the perfect iPhone case:


Two postscripts… 1) While the iPhone is my primary handset, I’m holding onto my Nokia N95 and Treo 750. 2) Simultaniously clicking the top and bottom physical iPhone buttons takes a screengrab.

17 thoughts on “iPhone 2.0 Firmware & Apps Are Live”

  1. So far I miss the multi-IM clients I had on my jailbreak phone – though, they could cheat and run in the background. Even so, it’s nice to pull up my peeps on occasions to see who’s around and send a quick message if need be. I also used a telnet app now and then, but I can live without it.

    I did expect we’d see some sort of new Nike+ app to use with the wireless pedometer and dongle (which I still have from my Nano days). Though the Nike+ website is so Flash heavy, you couldn’t access it on the iPhone anyway… ;)

  2. 2.0 has multi-clients built into SMS. Once you have added the first recipient – click in the address box and the + returns so that you can add another.

  3. @Tom click the link above to download the 2.0 upgrade.

    Step 1. Download & install iTunes 7.7
    Step 2. Download the linked 2.0 restore file above.
    Step 3. In iTunes, click the option key & “Restore” button simultaneously, point to the downloaded file, wait a few minutes for installation to complete.

    (You could also wait for the download to be officially available directly within iTunes… but I’m the impatient sort.)

    @lmiksch You’re referring to multiple SMS recipients. By multi-client, I mean AIM + Y! + MSN messenger.

  4. @CJ No, it’s a different file – and as you discovered, it’s not a free upgrade for Touch owners. Which I don’t get – since Apple will be making money off each app purchase. Double dipping. :/

  5. I am now physically addicted to the app store. There is no way I am gonna go back to Installer, there’s enough free stuff to keep me going for quite some time.

  6. First, let me start by saying Sling will most likely only offer the software if they could sell it legitimately via the App store. I doubt they’d want to limit their potential market to those that jailbreak and I doubt they’d want to invest the dev cycles on something Apple could easily disable (intentional or not) via future upgrades.

    (Personally, I say give away the jailbreak software as an indefinite public alpha/beta to sell more Slingboxes. I doubt they agree.)

    But there are several variables at play here…

    1) The business, distribution, and licensing model are different than current in use. Though, I believe that can easily be accommodated.

    2) There’s the development, QA, beta testing, etc that go into the dev cycle. The analogy one of their VPs (Ted Malone, formerly of TiVo) likes to present is that it took 1 year to produce the Palm OS client. So if you figure dev started a few months ago, we’d still be several months away.

    3) Here’s the biggie… Technology. Slingboxes currently transmit Windows Media encoded Video (WMV). Obviously, they’ve gotten it working on a jailbroken device. I have no insider knowledge if they’ve managed to do it using the official tools and dev environment. I also haven’t see any other official apps doing video without launching the built-in video player (H.264).

    So, in conclusion I just don’t know if they can do it (technically) without jailbreaking OR without Apple’s help – directly or via an API update. Even if they’ve already solved the technical issues, I would guestimate the earliest one would see an iPhone client is towards the end of this year. Ted stated in one interview that 2009 is more likely…

  7. Thanks Dave- I personally think a sling app could potentially be the killer app for the iphone/touch. A slingbox will almost be essential for every iphone/touch purchase. Just my thoughts, I am would hope the folks at sling see this opportunity as well.

  8. I would think that if they managed to get the WMV side to work with the regular OS X app, they can make it work on the iPhone end. Of course, Apple’s blessing would be nice.

    At $19.99/$29.99 and availability in the AppStore (which I apparently can show no self-control with), the forecase for additional revenue should move things along.

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