iPhone 2.1 Beta 1: GPS Boost + Notification Server APIs

iPhone 2.1 Beta

Apple has reportedly seeded an early beta of firmware 2.1 (5f90) and a new and improved SDK to developers. Among the changes, CoreLocation (which covers GPS and other location-aware services) gains direction and speed tracking abilities (leading to a fresh round of turn-by-turn speculation, 'natch), and API's for the Notification Server that, come September, will be used in-lieu of background multitasking to push alert badges and sounds to Apps (like Instant Messages, Tweets, etc.). Given how MobileMe is doing with Push, that one may prove interesting...

On the negative side, 2.1 is one way street. Developers using 2.1 can not create binaries compatible with the current 2.0-centric App Store, so they either have to maintain two independant development environments (Update: possibly 3 environments and up to 6 devices, 2.0 and 2.1 for iPhone 3G (with mandatory carrier plans), iPhone 2G, and iPod Touch -- expensive much?), or wait for App Store 2.1 to launch (in September along with Notification Server?)

Of course, before 2.1 we'll likely see the already being tested 2.0.1, which will hopefully fix many of the bugs plaguing upgraders and new adopters both. Like, really soon, right Apple?

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 7 comments. Add yours.

techdude says:

The GPS chip needed to be more powerful, to compete with the other smart phones in the market. http://blabtech.blogspot.com

iMore-On says:

so can we download this?

Fezi says:

They'd better ifx the 2.0 bugs first.

bedbug says:

techdude,
Your blog link supports the contention that the chip needs more power how? Somebody says they 'heard' it struggles within a car? That's heresay, not evidence. It copes fine in my vehicle.
Even if it DID struggle within a car, that's nowhere near evidence of a chip limitation - it suggests either poor signal reception or weak signals; some reports (for example in Manhattan) indicate that just like all other GPS-dependent devices, iPhone 3G struggles where buildings encroach access to the sky (and thus the signal); if the issue is strong signals not being received well, then be aware the chip receives its signal via an antenna. Antenna implementation often leaves a lot to be desired (being a compromise between functionality and mobile device size/design optimisation) and constrains the capability of mobile devices.
There may well be chip deficiencies, but what you've stated is incorrect and not indicative of one.

Rene Ritchie says:

techdude: See Joz's comments on the GPS chip being pretty much the same as any other handset GPS. @bedbug is correct. I get great GPS in Montreal.
@Nigel: If you're a registered developer with App Store publishing rights, you can download this. (You have to have paid your $99 and been accepted into the program by Apple).

Matthew Roberts says:

I am in the US$99 iPhone Developer Program and cannot download the 2.1 firmware. Any suggestions?

SOFIA says:

That's it, I'm starting my blog