updated 10:35 am EDT, Fri September 12, 2008
iPhone 2.1 firmware online
Apple has used iTunes to release its promised iPhone 2.1 update to the public. Although it adds the Genius playlist feature also seen in the iPod touch 2.1 firmware, the primary focus is stated to be improving long-standing connection issues, by reducing call drops and "set-up failures." Other iPhone-specific changes include improved accuracy in the 3G signal meter, and better performance in terms of text messaging, with the option for repeating an alert up to two more times for incoming texts.
The firmware is additionally said to "significantly" bolster battery life for most people, and speed up the installation of apps as well as eliminate hangs and crashes when a user has a large amount of third-party software. Apple says it has also sped up the loading and searching of contacts, and sharply cut down on the amount of time needed to create a backup. E-mail users should notice more reliability in receiving messages from POP and Exchange accounts.
A list of security updates posted by Apple shows a significant number of changes. Central are those for the passcode system, which not only include an option for wiping a phone after 10 unsuccessful logins, but a fix to an unintended bypass through the emergency call function. Apple has also closed vulnerabilities in WebKit, CoreGraphics, mDNSResponder, TCP sequencing and the Application Sandbox, the last of which could have allowed one application to access the files of another.