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Hands On: iPhone 1.1.3 with locator, SMS, webclips

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.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Lo_Ruhamah

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Cell Phone Triangulation

    This works much better than I expected. The few times I've tried it so far in various locations around the San Francisco Bay Area, gave my location within 100 yards, which from a direction getting standpoint is very useful.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Locator intl support?

    It worked perfectly for me, but I'm in Manhattan where it's really not needed! I wonder if it works in areas where the iPhone isn't for sale yet.

  1. lancelott

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How long for install?

    Hmmm... I'm in the Preparing iPhone for software update screen for 10 mins... Normal?

    All the new (and FREE) features sound great!

  1. David Esrati

    Joined: Dec 1969


    SEARCH????? WTF?

    Had the same experience about having to disconnect and then redock to activate. The new pseudo GPS works great. Still absolutely dumbfounded that I can't search contacts- calender. And - no video... And to show that Apple still won't eat their own medicine- the tutorials on the site- don't come in iPhone download files. Practice what you preach.

  1. adrian_milliner

    Joined: Dec 1969


    locator works in uk

    I'm in London, UK and at home, the locator puts me within about 20 metres of where I live.

    Web clipping is ok, but I'd like to be able to choose the icon image in a similar way to choosing a wallpaper... or maybe offer the chance to use the favicon or something.

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Stop that jiggling

    Stop the jiggling-press the home button.

  1. Angelo78

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I find if I'm using wifi it works great. Using just the Edge network the location was way off. Well, enough that it's a couple of blocks away from the true location. Wifi, in comparison, was just about exact. It's more of a fun convenience compared to a true GPS system. I'm still grateful for it though!

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Sorry- the jiggle is stupid. There are a thousand less irritating ways to communicate "movable." Transparency, drop shadows, red glows... there's three. 997 more available upon request.

  1. dpicardi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    eddd - Let's hear them...

    I'm all ears...

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