Hands-on with the new iPhone Software - Video and Gallery!

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The new 1.1.3 update to the iPhone's software is pretty incredible. As we just mentioned in the Liveblog of the Steve Jobs Keynote, there are several new features that were announced:

  • Maps with Location
  • Webclips on your homescreen
  • Customization of your homescreen
  • ...and more, including lyrics, support for iTunes movie rentals, and the ability to SMS multiple people at once.

We got the jump on the iPod Touches on the show floor to get a firsthand look at the new features. After the break, our hands-on video with the new iPhone software (as seen on the iPod Touch).

Video Hands-On

Maps

The new find location feature works surprisingly quickly (about 10 seconds here at Macworld) and is a great new feature. Also nice are some subtle touches like the "eyeball button" that flips up different viewing options.

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Safari and Web Clipping

I appreciate that Safari now just has a giant "plus" button at the bottom for the various things you might want to do with a webpage -- bookmark it, email it, or add it to the home screen. The web clipping feature is very useful -- I especially the nice touch of making the icon on the home screen a thumbnail version of what you've zoomed in on is also slick.

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Moving Icons on the Home screen

Although I was a little leery of the "jiggy effect" early on, I will admit that it's a very slick way to let you know that you're in a "move stuff around" state instead of a "open stuff now" state. It's also well done - you can drag an icon to the edge of the screen to move it to the next page. Well done, Apple.

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....All in all, we're very happy about the update. Our only regret: email still feels underpowered and we also feel pretty bad for current iPod Touch owners, who must pay $20 to get the improved software.

Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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Reader comments

Hands-on with the new iPhone Software - Video and Gallery!

3 Comments

As many have stated, the $20 seems to be SO based, in that Apple states earnings on iPhone and Apple TV on a subscription model, while iPod (including Touch) are stated regularly.
Therefore, like the 802.11n update, Apple is required to charge for substantial updates, or re-open and restate past earnings.
So, iPhone and Apple TV can get updates free of charge, but anything big for iPod Touch is billable.
Why they chose $20 is a bit of a mystery to me, however.

I've read that Apple's interpretation of SOX is disputable. I think they charge for it because they can. They could have charged $.99 for it, and they clearly didn't do that. I think they had a recent update that was $2.00? MacBook or something? Anyway, I'm downloading 1.1.3 now, and I'm pretty excited about it.

(Does Overthrow posting again mean we may get a post-Keynote podcast soon? :) )
Others have pointed out Microsoft and Sony not charging for PS3 or Xbox/Zune updates (yes, apparently there are a few Zunes in the wild!) So SOX looks dubious...
Another conjecture is that Apple is passing on costs, but this doesn't make a lot of sense either unless Google/Yahoo get something for the Widgets, or Skyhook gets a per-unit licensing fee for the wi-fi "locate me" (which is pretty awesome, all things considered -- though in tests it found an iPod Touch down to the corner on one side of my office, but only to the block on the other side? And the idea of all the routers/mac addresses being stored in some big DB is quasi-creepy...)
Of course, as a Canuck, I cannot yet update iPhone, so I will watch on in abject jealousy...