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iPhone users say the 2.1 software update delivered

The results are in and according to iPhone 3G owners, the 2.1 software brought improvements and fixed problems.

The latest software update appears to have improved the iPhone 3G. Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

Recently, I asked iPhone 3G owners to tell me if the 2.1 software update had fixed the widespread issues with dropped calls, short battery life, and faulty 3G connectivity. Now, just over a week later, I've wrapped up your comments.

At the time of this writing, we received 56 comments (I had to discount a few because they weren't on topic). While this is an entirely unscientific survey, almost half (48 percent) reported significant improvements in all areas, 20 percent reported no positive changes, and 32 percent said that it fixed only a few issues while leaving other problems unchanged. I've included a sampling of comments after the break.

As for me, I have to fall in the neutral camp. On the upside, backups on our iPhone 3G review model are quicker, contacts load faster and application crashes are nonexistent. I never had many dropped calls, so I didn't see a change there, but the keyboard lag has improved as well.

On the downside, however, I haven't seen much a battery life improvement at all. Still I can only get a day's worth of battery, even if I leave it resting on my desk for a few hours. Though one satisfied reader said he was happy that his iPhone 3G now lasted a full day rather than a few hours, I still think that's unsatisfactory.

What's more, I'm still wondering exactly how the update changed the 3G feature. In its release notes Apple promised that 2.1 would bring "improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display." So what exactly does that mean? Like my colleague Dong Ngo, I've seen a few more bars on my display but the 3G reception seems to be about the same.

Finally, some readers said that after the 2.1 update their iPhone started fetching e-mail far less frequently. I've haven't seen a change in that area so please tell me if you have.

And now on to the reader comments.

Faster contact searches but apps still crash just as bad as before. Other that the fast, contact search and Genius play lists, I've seen no difference from 2.1.
- mdarmocida

I have two iPhone 3Gs and now both do not search for emails and the battery life is shorter. I honestly don't think this can be fixed with a software up date? When is this phone going to be recalled?
- rob21i

The major thing I've noticed is that the keyboard doesn't lag anymore when I go straight into texting. I applaud Apple and their excellent firmware updates.
- Naphtali14

Before 2.1 texting was incredibly slow. There was such a keyboard lag that it would take three times longer for text to appear on my screen, than it did to actually type. After 2.1 all keyboard lag has disappeared. I can text again! Hallelujah!
- olatte

Such BS about the 3G signal! I live in an area that is supposed to be saturated with a 3G signal and I have not had any improvements with it, in fact the 3G signal seems worse! Also, the fetching of emails now only works sometimes, and if you to go fetch it yourself you're greeted with a perpetual "Connecting" message, then you have to go through the inconvenience of rebooting your iPhone again. Stop covering for Apple and report the truth!
- bjlong80

I'm not buying the "accuracy" bit about 3G. I don't see how I can go from two bars of EDGE to full 3G signal by moving my phone one foot to the right. Sounds like lipstick on the pig, if you ask me.
- Trmmcd

3G was surprisingly non-existent in the past. Now it's very strong. And yes, back-up times have dramatically decreased for me, and everything feels snappier.
- kmp091

I've seen a dramatic increase in battery life, as have a few of my coworkers. Before 2.1 a full charge wouldn't last all day. Now I'm getting a solid 2 to 2.5 days with Wi-Fi on all day. I'm Impressed. Never had an issue with dropped calls, but seeing more 3G bars lately. Of course that could be a display thing...lets hope not.
- workiscool

The 2.1 Software update has dramatically increased my iPhone's performance...I was starting to regret my purchase until this software update.
- benjohns12

I find the update making my iPhone much quicker and also the reception has greatly improved. Overall I am very pleased.
- Ricoman007

As far as I am concerned Apple has not adequately tested the iPhone. While battery has improved, I still need to recharge my phone by 5:00 pm. I am still experiencing a very large number of dropped calls on a daily basis...It is time that Apple and AT&T either find a fix or recall the phone.
- rdleira

No and here is why. 2.1 has effectively killed e-mail fetching and push on the iPhone 3G for many many people.. Apple is now aware, but why has it taken so long for everyone to notice this bug? What about beta testing before release?
- ryanlee75

I used to have no reception in my apartment. Now I do. Apples new update has delivered for me at least. Now I have almost nothing bad to say about it. It's a damn near perfect phone now.
- bruhle