Apple stomps bugs with iPhone 2.1 software release

Company says the software update extends battery life "significantly," improves e-mail reliability, speeds text messaging, and means fewer crashes with third-party applications.

Apple has released version 2.1 of its iPhone software, promising a wealth of bug fixes for a pioneering device that suffered a number of problems.

Chief Executive Steve Jobs had promised the iPhone update in a speech Tuesday during a launch event for next-generation iPod music players, saying, "This is a big update, and it fixes lots of bugs."

The company's software update page shows just how big:

  • Decrease in call setup failures and dropped calls
  • Significantly better battery life for most users
  • Dramatically reduced time to back up to iTunes
  • Improved e-mail reliability, notably fetching e-mail from POP and Exchange accounts
  • Faster installation of third-party applications
  • Fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes for users with lots of third-party applications
  • Improved performance in text messaging
  • Faster loading and searching of contacts
  • Improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display
  • Repeat alert up to two additional times for incoming text messages
  • Option to wipe data after 10 failed passcode attempts
  • Genius playlist creation

The page also instructs iPhone users to use the latest version of iTunes to perform the update. So beware, Windows Vista users .

The iPhone 3G has generally won acclaim for its design and the range of third-party applications that now can run on the device, though some miss features such as copy-and-paste and voice-command dialing. However, network connectivity troubles and other issues have tarnished the iPhone 3G's debut .

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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