Apple releases iPhone 2.2 update

The latest software update offers several improvements to Google maps as well as over-the-air downloading for podcasts.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon

Apple released a hefty update for the iPhone on Thursday night.

The 2.2 software update is available through iTunes, and it's packed with lots of goodies. Apple released its 2.1 software update in September.

Some of the highlights of the update center on GPS and Google Maps. For example, version 2.2 includes Google Street View in Google Maps, which allows users to see a 360-degree view of locations taken with cameras mounted on Google's cars. It also added walking directions in Google maps with information on public transportation stops.

In addition, the iPhone can now download podcasts over the air using a Wi-Fi or 3G network. Previously, users had to download podcasts into iTunes on their computers and then sync their files. Now iPhone users can also turn off the auto-correction on the virtual keyboard, which I must say is a nice alternative to allowing the iPhone to guess what you're trying to type.

Other improvements include a bug fix for scheduled e-mail fetching, improved stability and performance for the Safari Web browser, improved phone quality to reduce dropped calls (hooray!), and improved sound quality in visual voice mail messages.

But there are still lots of things missing--for example, cutting and pasting. And the iPhone still doesn't support MMS messaging nor does it have GPS turn-by-turn directions.