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2008-09-16 07:42:07

iPhone 2.1 Firmware - Yay Or Nay?

Apple realized their mistakes with the previous versions of the firmware. This time, we actually got Steve Jobs's personal promise that things would work. I just read an article at Gizmodo about their take on the 2.1 firmware. I'll use the same headings they did and give me own thoughts.


Well, the big fix here was noted as 3G reception improvements. Where I live, there is no 3G yet. (Why not AT&T!?!? What is wrong with you!?!? How hard is it? I hate you!) So there was absolutely no noticeable change when it comes to reception.

Gizmodo: Win
Slonkak: Meh

Battery Life

See, the thing about battery life is that if you're an idiot, you'll run out your battery. I don't spend 12 hours a day text messaging people. I don't spend the other 12 browsing with 3G turned on. And I don't spend the other 12 constantly using the GPS. At any given time, I have 3G disabled, Wifi disabled, and Bluetooth disabled (Bluetooth is a huge security risk, you should ALWAYS have it disabled unless you're actively using it). So there are the three biggest battery drainers and I have them disabled. I leave the GPS on because Twinkle uses it to post my location along with my Tweets. But really, I get over two days of battery life (this number includes around 8 hours of the Wifi being on).

Gizmodo: Slight win
Slonkak: Meh

Reduced Backup Time

I don't know who these people are who experience hour backup times. Also, are they really experiencing hour backup times or are they just idiots? When I upgraded to 2.1 the whole process took about 30-40 minutes. However, that time was (maybe) evenly distributed over backup, software install, and firmware install. The actual backup process didn't take but a few minutes. I currently have about 24 apps installed on my phone. For those people with 50 or more apps installed, you're an idiot and you deserve hour backup times. There is no need for that many apps. Isn't it awesome that people blame Apple for their own stupidity?

Gizmodo: Win
Slonkak: Meh

3G Browsing Speed


Gizmodo: Lose
Slonkak: N/A

Application Install

There's more to this story than meets the eye. Gizmodo only spoke of the time it took for an application to install after it had been downloaded. That was never a problem for me and always happened quickly. The problem, more of an annoyance, was that anytime I updated an application it's icon would go to the last place on the last space. Then I'd have to manually drag it across spaces to where it used to be. Now, when an application installs, the icon moves to the last place on the last space, downloads, installs, then moves back to where it used to be. That had me mad at first when I saw the icon where it shouldn't be, but then it moved and everything was better.

However, they took some functionality away. When I had multiple app updates waiting for me, I used to be able to open the App Store, goto the Update section, and click "Update All" to have it blow through however many apps were in need of an update. Apparently they removed that button. I just had four apps that needed updated and had to do each one individually. Not too big of a deal for four, but what if all 24 of my apps needed updating? This problem cancels out the better install process.

Gizmodo: Win
Slonkak: Meh

Crashing and hanging

Apparently people have been having problems with their apps randomly crashing. Well, let me break it to you. It's not random. It's because you downloaded an application built by a no-name programmer who, before the advent of the iPhone SDK, had never written an application for OSX let alone a mobile platform. Seriously? This is the same as going to and downloading mass amounts of shareware. You don't know who wrote it or if it's a stable app, you just think it looks cool. I say good for you. If you want to install these kind of apps you deserve to have your phone crash. I just wish your phone would kernel panic instead so you'd really feel the pain of your stupidity.

For me, I have only ever had one app crash consistently; Safari. Despite being touted as a "real browser" on a mobile platform, it pretty much sucks. It can't handle javascript to save it's life. Don't get me wrong, small amounts of javascript are fine, like the Google sites. But if you goto browse the real facebook page (because the iPhone facebook page sucks) and try to leave a comment (or do any of the AJAXy things on the page) Safari will crash.

Gizmodo: Probably win
Slonkak: EPIC FAIL

Text messaging

This topic isn't really about text messaging at all. It's about the on-screen keyboard lag that some people experience. I have never seen this happen while writing a text message... ever. However, I have had my keyboard lag while writing in a text field in Safari on a page with lots of javascript... right before it crashes. I'm gonna go out on a ledge here and say that the keyboard lag problem has nothing to do with the way the on-screen keyboard was coded. It's a problem with the application that called it. Even after the 2.1 update, I still get the lag on javascript-heavy pages.

Gizmodo: I guess a win?
Slonkak: EPIC FAIL


I really want to consider this update a failure, however I can't. It didn't make anything worse. They fixed a lot of things that affect the idiots who have an iPhone (who appear to be the majority) and they (allegedly) fixed a lot of issues revolving around 3G. I wouldn't know about the latter. So I'm just going to consider the 2.1 firmware another in a long line of "whatever" updates. For people who use the phone like it's supposed to be used, most of the stuff 2.1 fixed was never a problem in the first place. For those who treat their phone like their desktop from 1995, you deserve to have it break after you install those shareware games you bought from K-Mart.


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