As we noted with regard to early beta releases of iPhone OS 2.0, the new software/firmware iteration includes dramatic improvements to the bundled Maps application, in terms of both functionality and accuracy.
The updated application includes a new live location tracking feature that will automatically track the user?s current location in the Maps application on a persistently updating basis. So, for instance, driving down Broadway in New York with an iPhone would result in a constantly moving blue, pulsing ball indicating your current location. This makes the iPhone's "Locate Me" function feel much more like a real GPS -- even on first-generation devices.
iPhone Atlas staffer David Martin took a newly updated iPhone for a test drive (literally) in the the Houston Metro this morning. His notes:
- The Maps app would quickly locate me -- first from a wide perspective of the surrounding area -- before zooming in on me at my current location. It did so after asking if if could use my current location. I was prompted to either accept or deny that request.
- Location appears to work better near major freeways and seemed to work less accurately the further away I got from such a roadway. (probably the result of more saturated cell tower coverage in areas close to major roadways)
- The map was overlaid with a blue circle. You can tap the circle to zoom in.