iPhone 1.1.3 hands-on: previously undocumented new features, usage notes

iPhone 1.1.3 hands-on: previously undocumented new features, usage notes

Ben Wilson
3 min read

How it leaked is still a mystery, but iPhone an firmware revision numbered 1.1.3 is in the hands of a lucky few. Our new hands-on look at the forthcoming release reveals some previously undocumented features and some interesting notes on the usage of Google Maps location triangulation, home screen icon movement and more.

Quasi-GPS: how it works You can now triangulate your approximate location in the Google Maps application (usually within several hundred yards) by tapping the small "target" icon that appears on the lower-left portion of the screen. You can then tap "Directions," which will automatically place the approximate triangulated location as the point of origin.

The new "Drop Pin" feature is very cool. Tap the small eye-looking icon in the lower-right portion of the screen then tap "Drop pin" (or "replace pin" if you've already dropped it). This will put a map pin in the center of your current map. You can then drag it to a new location, and tap it to bring up the normal location arrow. Tap the arrow and you can find directions to the pin, from the pin, or even add the pin as a bookmarked (saved) location. To quickly access your bookmarked locations, tap the eye icon then "List."

You can now show traffic information on the map automatically, without having to search for directions. This is also accomplished by tapping the eye icon, then tapping "Show traffic."

The list view for directions is enhanced in iPhone firmware 1.1.3. It now shows pins for the origin and destination so you can tap them and see their location on the map.

Moving icons around the screen -- how it works, what it means After installing iPhone firmware 1.1.3, you are presented with a message indicating that in order to move icons around the screen, you can tap and hold a specific icon until all icons start wiggling. You can then tap and drag any icon to move it to a different location. Dragging an icon all the way to the right of the home screen will create a new home screen, which can also harbor icons. At any time you can drag an icon to the edge of the home screen to move it between home screens. Icons can be dragged out of the dock (at the bottom of the screen) or to the dock.

To stop the wiggling and be able to launch applications again, press the home button.

You can reset your home screen to its default setting by tapping Settings then General, then Reset and selecting "Reset Home Screen Layout."

The reason for multiple home screens is twofold: it's anticipatory of official third-party applications for which Apple has said it will announce an SDK next month, and it allows you to keep Web site bookmark collections as discussed in the "New Bookmark capabilities" section below.

The capability for multiple home screens has been extant since iPhone firmware 1.1.1, but had to be unlocked. It's available by default in firmware 1.1.3.

iTunes gift cards can now be used on the iTunes WiFi store You can now use iTunes gift cards on the iTunes WiFi store. Tap "Downloads," then tap "Redeem" in the upper-left corner and enter a code.

New Bookmark capabilities In Safari, under iPhone firmware 1.1.3, you'll notice a new " " icon at the bottom of the screen. Tap it, and you'll see the options:

  • Add Bookmark
  • Add to Home Screen
  • Mail Link to this Page

Tapping "Add to Home Screen" will allow you to title the bookmark then add an icon for it to your home screen(s). You can then move the icon around per the instructions in "Moving icons around the screen," above. You could, for instance, have one home screen for news sites, another for Entertainment, etc.

Multiple text message recipients You can now send text messages to multiple recipients. Tap the SMS application, then tap the " " button to add the desired number of recipients.

Gmail support improved Gmail support within the iPhones Mail application has been improved. Tapping on your account, you can now see labels including "All Mail," "Spam" and "Starred."

What's still missing In this iteration of firmware 1.1.3, there is still no support for:

  • Copy/paste functionality
  • Adobe Flash playback
  • MMS
  • Voice recording

Unofficial third-party applications There is currently no known method for jailbreaking iPhone firwmware 1.1.3, and installing the update will result in erasure of any currently installed unofficial third-party applications.

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