updated 06:35 pm EST, Tue January 15, 2008
Hands On: iPhone 1.1.3
Announced Tuesday morning, Apple released iPhone 1.1.3 with several security updates (including addressing an important Passcode Lock flaw) along with new features such as Google Map Locator, the ability to send SMS to multiple recipients, customizable home page/icons, and webclips. The download and install is available via iTunes and takes about 10-20 minutes to download and install (depending on your internet connection) and it updates both the software and firmware so it takes a bit longer than you may expect. Unfortunately, our iPhone worked after install, but it took another quick "iTunes activation" -- by placing back into the dock and waiting for the iTunes Store to sync it -- after the install to get it back onto the AT&T network.
Using the button in the lower right, the Maps locator service uses both WiFi (through mapped hotspots) and cell phone triangulation (through Google's partners) to pinpoint your location on the Google Map. The locator worked on two of our locations via WiFi and (much more slowly) via the EDGE network -- with WiFi turned off, providing a blue ring around your location and options to bookmark it for future use.
A second button in the lower right allows users to drop a "pin" to mark the location. Users can also flip back to the map and drag & drop the "pin" around the map to mark that or another nearby location. After dropping or moving a pin, clicking the lower right button peels back the map -- with some slick animation -- and allows you to replace the pin to the original spot, hide traffic, or switch between the map types (maps, satellite, hybrid, list). On the map itself, users can add the "pinned" location as a bookmark, get to/from directions, or remove the pin.
Multiple recipients for SMS was straight forward. Users can either type the name of multiple recipients or add them from their contact list. The message is saved in a new "multiperson" outgoing message conversation, but, disappointingly, not in each of the recipients' conversations; however, with the saved "multiperson" outgoing message, you can re-text the same group without re-entering the recipients. Apple, unfortunately, decided not to connect return messages to the group message, so the saved conversation is only good for tracking outgoing messages. Hopefully in the future, users can choose to track the message as part your individual conversation with each recipient.
Apple's much touteed homepage and icon customization works by simply touching an icon for an extended period of time to activate the feature. Users are offered feedback by seeing each icon "jiggle," signaling that they are ready to be moved. Apple offers a default screen the first time the phone turns on explaining this feature.
The entire screen begins to jiggle and users can then drag & drop to move that icon either around the screen or in/out of the dock. Interestingly, the items continue to jiggle for quite a while (even after the screen dims to save power).
Users can easily remove webclips click click the "x" in the upper right part of the icon while they are jiggling. They can also slide the entire page over to the right/left to view the second page for icons (which is blank by default).
In Safari, users can create webclips or one-touch access to frequently used websites. A "+" at the bottom of any webpage allows users to add a bookmark, add to home screen, or mail a link to the page. Simply touching the webclip icon takes a user to the page in Safari. Jobs noted that users can create up to 9 webclips.