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:
UPDATED: Reseting everything, including the router, solved the problem.
After Apple unleashed 2.1 today, and I downloaded and installed it with nary a snag or bump, I thought everything was pretty much apps with my Apps. Needless to say, tonight I whipped out my iPhone's handy Apple Remote App to help out with a little YouTube searching, only to discover that while my libraries (desktop, laptop, Apple TV) were all still set up, none of them would connect. (They'd all worked flawlessly, immediately prior to iTunes 8 and iPhone 2.1).
With the Apple's release today of the iPhone 2.1 firmware update, that's the exact question many people will be asking. Hey, we at TiPb asked it ourselves -- for all of about 0.1 seconds before diving headlong into iTunes, for the good of our readers, of course.
So what's new in iPhone 2.1, is it compelling enough for you to update, and who should avoid it at all costs?
Running 2.1 (5F136) now, and here's what we're noticing: WiFi works fine (tried on Apple and Linksys routers). New icons for connection type (3G/Edge) in the top bar. New blue filled and half-filled dots to describe state of video and podcasts (watched/listened to). Genius Playlists don't seem to work as well as iTunes 8, at least for me, with lots of songs coming back as "not related".
We'll update this post as we discover more (sadly, doesn't look like cut/copy/paste to turn-by-turn this go around!). What have you found so far? Any surprises?
Apple has posted a support document to help those users (including many of those here at TiPb) who have been experiencing the dreaded BSOD (blue screen of death) when hooking up an iPhone or iPod to iTunes 8.
The solution? Uninstall iTunes and the MobileMe control panel, and reinstall the new version. Seems most people being affected have HP peripherals or Logitech drivers. I have neither, and my Vista install went fine, but if anyone did have the problem, please let us know if that fixed it!
Meanwhile, a couple of us here at TiPb have noticed that, apres-2.1, our MobileMe email is decidedly less pushy. We're deleting and recreating the account on our iPhone's, but no joy so far.
Boom! iPhone firmware 2.1 (5F136) weighing in at 237.8MB is now live and available via iTunes. We're downloading now. Will it fix 3G? App crash? Security holes? And will any tasty new features (or even hints of new features?) be hidden inside? Apple says:
iPhone version 2.1 contains many bug fixes and improvements, including the following:
Apple has past mastered using animation to aid both usability and fill transitions. An example of the latter is the "shrink" effect used when you hit the home button: whatever's currently on diminishes to nothingness and the home screen icons fly back into place. To do this effect, however, the iPhone takes a quick screen shot, and then uses the built in CoreGraphics/Animation layers to rapidly scale it down.
A while back we mentioned how Apple's slipping in of the MobileMe Control Panel was earning the rightful ire of Windows users. Well, it seems Apple has gotten the message, and their news blog now reports:
Coming from a background of Palm and Windows Mobile PDAs and phones, it's taken a bit of getting used to that, while syncing my iPhone, I have enough time to eat dinner, watch a football game, play a game of Risk, and still return to my Mac in plenty of time to watch my sync complete. Heaven forbid I get a phone call mid-sync. Ok, I exaggerate (a little). You may have noticed lengthy sync times (backing up is a killer) for your iPhone. If not, count yourself lucky. Join me after the break for a tip that may make things a little easier for your iPhone syncing!
ZOMG! Apple has fought back! The only way Apple can fix the exploit that the iPhone Dev Team has been using to Jailbreak iPhone's and iPod Touch's (check out our forums for more on that) is to fix their hardware, but it seems Apple has figured out a way to program iTunes 8 to detect and prevent the Pwnage exploit.
Apple may have won that battle but they have not won the war. The Dev Team reacted promptly: