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Apple stomps bugs with iPhone 2.1 software release

Company says the software update extends battery life "significantly," improves e-mail reliability, speeds text messaging, and means fewer crashes with third-party applications.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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  • I've been covering the technology industry for 24 years and was a science writer for five years before that. I've got deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and other dee
Stephen Shankland

Apple has released version 2.1 of its iPhone software, promising a wealth of bug fixes for a pioneering device that suffered a number of problems.

Chief Executive Steve Jobs had promised the iPhone update in a speech Tuesday during a launch event for next-generation iPod music players, saying, "This is a big update, and it fixes lots of bugs."

The company's software update page shows just how big:

  • Decrease in call setup failures and dropped calls
  • Significantly better battery life for most users
  • Dramatically reduced time to back up to iTunes
  • Improved e-mail reliability, notably fetching e-mail from POP and Exchange accounts
  • Faster installation of third-party applications
  • Fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes for users with lots of third-party applications
  • Improved performance in text messaging
  • Faster loading and searching of contacts
  • Improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display
  • Repeat alert up to two additional times for incoming text messages
  • Option to wipe data after 10 failed passcode attempts
  • Genius playlist creation

The page also instructs iPhone users to use the latest version of iTunes to perform the update. So beware, Windows Vista users.

The iPhone 3G has generally won acclaim for its design and the range of third-party applications that now can run on the device, though some miss features such as copy-and-paste and voice-command dialing. However, network connectivity troubles and other issues have tarnished the iPhone 3G's debut.