In the wake of new Apple stuff and the 2.1 update, it's time to return our focus to what's REALLY important -- Apps at the App Store! If you're at work, put the "back in 10 minutes" sticky note on your door (if you're at home, you have no excuse) and have a look at this week's App Avalanche 9!
iPhone 2.1 (build 5F136) is an incremental point update to the much larger and more encompassing iPhone 2.0 software release we reviewed back in early July. Light on new functionality, it focuses instead on bug fixes, which given the many problems that accompanied the massive 2.0 rollout, is a Very Good Thing.
Like 2.0, this update is also available for the iPod Touch, but unlike its predecessor, the 2.1 update is FREE (if you already have 2.0 -- if you have 1.x, you'll still have to pony up the $10 premium.)
So, 4 betas, dropped features, somethings new, somethings fixed -- is iPhone 2.x Apple's Vista? Or is it finally the next generation firmware we've all been waiting for? Find out, after the break!
UPDATE: Our ace commenters point out this is something Google has been pushing for a while now, pre-2.1, although it may be slowly moving across the US and hasn't been getting tons of attention everywhere yet. As the effect is likely part of the image downloads, Google can probably push new images any time they like, and not have it bound to any specific point release, so that makes the kind of sense that does. Still, pretty awesome feature!
Eagle-eyed reader Gregory just sent this in and as Neo would surely say -- WHOA!
Null River sends word that Apple has officially responded to them (at long last) and the response is sadly what we expected:
Looks like Apple has decided they will not be allowing any tethering applications in the AppStore. As such, NetShare will not be available in the iTunes AppStore. We are seeing a lot of similar reports from various developers who's applications were abruptly removed and banned from the AppStore without any violations of the terms of service. This is all unfortunate news for the iPhone platform end-users.
Take that Apple! The Dev Team has gone and done it again and has struck back at Apple with a vengeance. If you were wondering when you would be able to jailbreak the 2.1 firmware wonder no more... Only one day after Apple released firmware 2.1 the Dev Team responded with not only Pwnage 2.1, but QuickPwn 1.1 as well!
How is your battery life doing after upgrading to firmware 2.1? Hopefully better than mine!
I thought everything was going great after I updated Friday morning. Well I had a full charge late in the afternoon and left for work. A half hour later I noticed my iPhone was a bit warm without even using it. I Looked at my battery life and I was at 50% or so! Safe to say the phone was dead not long after.
Podcaster.fm, a pod-catching App designed to help you stream podcasts via WiFi or cell data, should you find yourself away from iTunes and unable to sync, has been denied entry into Apple's App Store -- the exclusive venue for legitimate iPhone distribution:
One of the new features in the iPhone and iPod Touch 2.1 firmware is the ability to create Genius Playlists on the fly, and right on the device. iTunes 8 introduced the concept of Genius Playlists, which like Pandora and Last.fm, use algorithms based on audio profiling, metadata matching, and (anonymously acquired) end user tastes, crunched in the Apple cloud. Basically, they take a song you like, what you typically like with it (what playlists you include it on), what others who like it also like (what playlists they include it on), and what music mathematically (tempo, tone, etc.) fits in with it. Then they try to predict other songs you might also like -- in this case already on your iPhone -- and whip you up a near-instant playlist on-demand.
How good is it? That depends entirely on how much music you have on your iPhone (the pool from which it can draw), how closely the metadata matches what's in iTunes (or it won't recognize your music -- try tweaking the fields if you have trouble), and how many other users have contributed their data to the cloud (because the engine will supposedly get better and better the more information it's fed).
Okay, so enough about what Genius Playlists are, how do we get them working on our iPhone? Full instructions after the jump!
Have you been noticing more and more advertisements while using your favorite apps or while browsing the net on iPhone optimized sites?
According to AdMob, a company that provides advertising solutions that are created for the iPhone:
“Ads on the iPhone deliver strong engagement for advertisers with triple, on average, the already high click-through-rates seen on mobile devices. The company’s new rich media ad units designed for the iPhone have been live for just over a month and now has a reach of more than 100 million impressions worldwide each month."
Tuesday's "Let's Rock" event brought a sneak-peak of Gameloft's latest iPhone (and iPod Touch) offering, Real Soccer/Football 2009. Well, it's now available via iTunes App Store, and according to Gameloft: