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The mass SMS-text strikes back: The 1.1.3 iPhone update rocks

The latest 1.1.3 official update

I still stand by my original post that the updates promised for the iPhone released today as firmware "update 1.1.3 "should be given a better number, maybe a 1.2?, to mark the great features and updates. Hoaxes and teasers aside, I can't contain my giddiness - mass SMS text messages are back! That and many other neat features tracks the industry-wide trend of users being able to customize their iPhones to greater and greater lengths. Installation, via iTunes (which itself got an update) was quick - within 10 minutes I was up and running.

The changes I've noted and used so far that have made all the difference:

Google Maps qausi-GPS. Pretty cool to know where you generally are while stuck in traffic. After hitting a button a circle appears to indicate where you are generally. Kind of looks more like a targeting device for Kang and Kodos but eh, I can see how this will be pretty useful.

Customized iPhone application homepages - without a hack! Finally, I can change my icons and shove Stocks and YouTube to the second page! I never used those applications anyway and, finally, here's a way to get rid of them, well, not seeing them. That and I've added Safari icon links to this newly freed real estate to The New York Times, Facebook mobile for the iPhone, SFGate and to CNET (of course). The best part of this new feature is the seizure-inducing icon-shake when you want to change the ordering and inclusion of icons (via a drop and drag feature) on the various pages (up to 9 pages, I've read) that contain your iPhone menus - perfect for all those developer applications that are coming.

And, finally, SMS-texting en masse One of my New Year's resolutions was actually to text less and call more. Well, with 1.1.3... let's just say I probably won't be keeping that resolution. I had been finding that, because mass text messages weren't available, that I communicated with fewer people than I did with my Razr. After all, there are only so many individual text messages you can send while at a traffic light, or waiting in line at the store, it wasn't only time-consuming, but tedious. Now, you can add multiple recipients - what the maximum number of recipients are is currently unclear, but sending the message does take longer. These text messages are denoted with a little group of people icon (how cute and convenient). What's more, early polling data seems to indicate that recipients of the mass text message can't tell it's a mass text message. Responses from individuals are also segregated and not contained within the original mass text thread. Excellent.