iPhone Firmware 1.1.3 Leaked, Ogled, All Over the Internets

So either Gear Live somehow managed to snag a leaked version of 1.1.3 or they've perpetrated perhaps the greatest "gotcha" in recent memory. Probably the former, as it's looking more and more like 1.1.3 is the real deal. So what's coming (and what's likely to get a mention at MacWorld) is pretty neat:

  • Ability to add bookmarks to the SpringBoard (homescreen)
  • Ability to rearrange programs via the nausea-inducing "jiggle mode"
  • Ability to (finally!) send SMSs to multiple people
  • Google Maps gains the neat tower-triangulation Tower Tagging* location trick, plus a hybrid satellite/map directions

Of course, there are some things that we figured would be easy adds that a missing - namely Stereo Bluetooth support. Still and all, it looks like a decent enough upgrade and it's clearly a step towards getting the iPhone ready for that upcoming SDK. As for when the rest of us will get to take this 1.1.3 step, that's still shrouded in mystery.

*Edit: not triangulation, but 'tagging.' See comment by Archie (and septimus, in a minute). Thanks!

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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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iPhone Firmware 1.1.3 Leaked, Ogled, All Over the Internets

21 Comments

Dieter posting on PhoneDifferent a welcome result of the Round Robin? :)
I like the wiggle. While a coincidence that Jobs ran Pixar, Apple is brilliant in their use of old-school animation techniques (anticipation, bounce and stretch, etc.) to not only add visual flourish to their UIs, but to give visual hints to state and function, cover switch-time, and provide a transitional state where opt-out is still possible.
(Or maybe the icons are just shivering in fear of being deleted/moved?)

I liked the wiggle on the video, though I reserve the right to get tired of it in application (though whether I'll ever be able to upgrade my "Canadian" iPhone is a mystery, and even if I ever can, whether I'll really rearrange the icons much is unlikely).
In general, I really like the trend Apple is pushing with the animated effects. (And, though I'm not sure what the relevance is yet, ever girl I've shown the video to has found the wiggle adorable).
Web links on the home screen is also interesting, though I'm not sure how the snapshot-ing of icons will hold up (what is it, upper right corner of whatever magnified pageview you have when you clip it?)

In response to Dieter, you incorrectly stated that it uses cell tower triangulation. It was 1 year and 7 days ago that I wrote on TreoCentral that Apple was working with partners to incorporate this functionality into Google Maps on the iPhone but this was my interpretation based on what was explained to me. I will now say that I was wrong to describe it as triangulation; should have said cell tower ID tags (recording the range of individual towers and presumably comparing with nearby towers to achieve a pseudo triangulation of sorts) were to be used but I didn't get that kind of information back then. Now that everyone does have that information and presumably understands how this is achieved, you should correct your report/post to reflect the facts.
On a side note, one of the reasons I personally believe this particular firmware was leaked is to achieve more accurate locations on the final release because the more tags that are obtained, the more accurate the system will be. Currently, accuracy within 1-2 blocks in dense locations are being achieved. That's not bad.
Competitors solutions (like that of the Nokia N95) have high over-head from purchase of a mapping service or licensing fees to incorporate this into a cell phone, have high power requirements of GPS unit and suffer in battery life, pay-for mapping services, etc.
Apple's solution has no overhead in that they chose not to purchase or license technology that would just degrade the UI experience. Their solution also greatly conserves battery power. And their solution has no subscription services to mapping data. AND their solution is faster.
Apple disrupts and undermines by forgoing attempts at product parity in existing markets. People like surur and other naysayers say that a lack of product parity means Apple has no chance in the market. Or they mock an Apple product as underpowered and overpriced. They want a long feature list that Apple doesn't type up for them. These people don't get it.
By the way, you also neglected to mention one of the new functions that makes Maps on the iPhone more powerful with this upcoming iPhone update. You can now drop a pin onto the map after getting your location and quickly plot your trip from it. This "pin drop" will prove to be quite beneficial.
Anyway; disruptive technologies that can only be used in small markets (something Apple excels at) removed from the mainstream market are disruptive because they can become fully performance competitive within mainstream market against an established solution. This is what is happening with the Google Maps/Apple UI enhancemented approach.
Once this iPhone firmware is released, I think you should compare the iPhone's mapping to the Nokia N95's GPS; see which one you prefer to use and write about it. As an Apple fanboy, I'm not afraid to make this suggestion.

I liked the wiggle on the video, though I reserve the right to get tired of it in application (though whether I'll ever be able to upgrade my "Canadian" iPhone is a mystery, and even if I ever can, whether I'll really rearrange the icons much is unlikely).
In general, I really like the trend Apple is pushing with the animated effects. (And, though I'm not sure what the relevance is yet, ever girl I've shown the video to has found the wiggle adorable).
Web links on the home screen is also interesting, though I'm not sure how the snapshot-ing of icons will hold up (what is it, upper right corner of whatever magnified pageview you have when you clip it?)
I like the swinging of icons too. And I also like how the icon name swings with it.
The clippings are based on whatever is shown within the screen from the top down (to get an enlarged view, zoom in first). This will not include the bottom portion because icons are square and the screen is of a different proportion. It appears to be sensitive to the orientation so if you are viewing a website with the phone turned horizontally, it will capture the screens contents from the left side, leaving out the right most portion but then getting everything top to bottom.

Thanks Archie! That (the clipping method) should allow reasonable control for icon creation (e.g. zoom tight on a web logo before clipping).
I'm interested in how the Google maps location works, but am a bit dense on your previous explanation. I saw conjecture on another forum that Google has been building a database of cell tower locations based on users? Any chance you could explain (low level :) ) how that works?

Now that everyone does have that information and presumably understands how this is achieved, you should correct your report/post to reflect the facts.
Thanks -- actually i should have known better myself. The really interesting thing about this method to me is that I've heard that google collected GPS data from their maps app and correlated it with tower IDs much in the way that navizon is doing. Presumably that was buried in the EULA somewhere, but if it's true google collected it (even though anonymous), i bet some people would feel a bit uggy about that.
I mean, imagine if Microsoft collect that information for their Live Search app?

Ah, yeh, the Google video describes it only as a footprint I think. This basically means the particular cell towers range, its power, and how the signal degrades as it extends out. The tower that you are connected to in order to get information from Google Maps has its own characteristics. This info is compared to other nearby towers and then basically Google deduces that you must be closer to some particular tower (which has its own particular characteristics) than the other unused tower with its own particular characteristics.
Fake triangulation that gets better with time as more and more data is collected from within a tower's range when compared to the other nearby tower's ranges.

The funny thing is how the iPhone is finally getting a software upgrade which came to other phones months ago, and is using data collected from more functional devices like the Tilt which has real GPS.
Surur

Yes, Surur, but iPhone's ease of use and elegant design is more than enough to make a normally impatient person like me a far more patient person! (perhaps even sainted for patience --- St. Patience! :)
Having used the Tilt and everything Palm, I've almost made the full conversion to the iPhone. The promise of 3rd party apps is enough to numb the pain I'm feeling of using those last couple of Palm straggler-apps until there is a fitting replacement on the iPhone. Then, I'll never look back. I miss Palm less and less each passing day, and I've NEVER missed WM5, 6, or any incarnation of Windows Mobile. For ME, the iPhone is the best thing that could have happened, and the steady firmware updates are a breath of fresh air (especially when contrasting Palm's lack of innovation, updates, etc.).

REALLY! It came out months ago.
WWWOOWWWWWW!
I suppose if you count the last day of November and the first day of January it would seem like "MONTHS" to you. Though I personally would say one month ago.
So tell me more about this Tilt that is so superior to the iPhone. Yeh, I know the Tilt is twice as thick with only half the battery life, but really...
I know it doesn't matter that the iPhone's screen only has twice the resolution and 32 X the memory and that what really matters is that the Tilt uses the tried and true, time-tested USB 1.1 connector to sync. And you know what, screw plain old phone functionality; it doesn't matter that phone functionality is incredibly user-unfriendly because most hardly use it for that anyway. Screw one-handed ease of use. I too would rather have the larger, yet unwieldy, keyboard that still only allows for half the typing speed of an iPhone. Yes, what really counts in typing is not the speed and accuracy, but the squeaky, creeky, keypress pops you get when pressing the keys is what is truly satisfying. I like the familar desktop paradigmn that comes with the Tilt too - that being the start-up and shut-down times. And all the applications remind me of the good old desktop too. Yup, the applications take just as long to start up too.
I particularly like how they put the speaker on the bottom of the Tilt so that when you set it down next to you, the ringer doesn't scare you to death — it gets muffled. And the slow response of the screen probably helps save battery life too.
I also like the added touch of AT&T constantly providing the option of partaking in their many little software offerings for only small charges. And the way they break up all the functionality into monthly subscriptions is nice too.
Standard voice services $39.99 a month
Voice Mail $1.99 a month
SMS $9.99 a month
Data Connect $59.99 a month
GPS $9.99 a month
Detailed billing $1.99 a month
Seriously?
My wife and I have two iPhones with unlimited data for each including more than enough SMS messaging, and superior voice mail service by far, AND detailed billing AND 700 minutes all for 1 flat fee of $89.99 a month. I can't believe you ragged on the iPhone for being so expensive. This thing is twice as expensive per month and exponentially increases with each month passing.
Oh, and the iPhone's camera blows away the Tilt's.

And this is to say nothing of usability... or in your words, how did you say it... I think you said "the iPhone's utility in context would suck". Which is of course the exact opposite of reality.

I don't understand product loyalty. They don't pay your bills; you pay theirs. Companies need to be loyal to customers. If Palm had not wasted the last few years, they could have given us an iPhone class cell revolution long ago and I'd have jumped at it. Same with WinMob if they worked as hard at dev as they work at FUD and vapor-ware (Cairo style).
iPhone is getting the same functionality as the recent Gmaps app, but a few weeks ans umatchef client-side fit snd finish later. Palm and WinMo gotta skate real fast past where the puck is going to be in 2009. (Really, as Apple can get as lazy as anyone without legit competition in innovation).

I don't understand product loyalty. They don't pay your bills; you pay theirs. Companies need to be loyal to customers. If Palm had not wasted the last few years, they could have given us an iPhone class cell revolution long ago and I'd have jumped at it. Same with WinMob if they worked as hard at dev as they work at FUD and vapor-ware (Cairo style).
Yes, I can probably be seen as an Apple fanboy (and so knowing this, I oblige by referring to myself as such). And yes I am willing to pay their bills. But I do so knowing full well that Apple has the best products for me on a consistent basis — that and having made hundreds of thousands of dollars off of their stock performance over the last four years.
Disclosure aside; I have never had anything on my home machines standing between them and the outside world except for a router. They are just inherently designed to be more secure, plain and simple. I have been able to use the Macs at work and at home with every bit of confidence and next to nothing for upkeep and maintenance. They have proven to be more and more stable with every OS release since 1997. The amount of Mac OS X development now overshadows Windows machines in both quantity and quality.
I do want to interject here by noting that this may sound like I'm lecturing but that is just my lame-*** tone in my writing style, so please read on.
I have been attending or watching or listening to every Apple keynote for the last 14 years. Having seen the presentation last year showing off the iPhone, I knew (and trusted) that the iPhone would perform above and beyond as shown for the keynote. Nobody (at TreoCentral and other Microsoft oriented sites anyway) seemed to believe this to be the case. They didn't want to believe it anyway.
To continue, I used to hold some loyalty, to a degree anyway, to Treo products. I loved the Handspring Treo 180K and then the Handspring Treo 600 was another huge leap. BUT THEN, Palm bought Handspring; then the Treo 650 was released. I had owned previous Treos so I decided to follow it and make the purchase (with some reluctance and little confidence in Palm preceding the purchase). It was complete crap. I couldn't take a picture without it crashing. The phone was so incredibly slow. It was ridiculous. I had to wait to dial... even after every key press. It was painful to use. Palm took a good product and made it worse but had the guts to refer to it as an upgrade; less stable, less memory, slower operation. They even took away syncing capabilities AND also made it incompatible with Macs. I returned it after 3 weeks. Had I waited one more day, I would have needed to explain why it was in multiple pieces after having thrown it against the wall.
I got a Blackberry to tied me over until the iPhone's release - up to September of 2006 anyway. Didn't like that either.
Anyway, back to Palm. I have no confidence in Palm. I cannot believe that they will ever give us an iPhone class phone to say nothing of "long ago" had they not wasted their last 3 or 4 years.
But to return to my original thought, the reason I am loyal to Apple is because THEY are loyal to their customers. They listen AND they are capable of performing accordingly. That, and they have this incredible ability to surprise by innovating and creating products that we did not realize we should be using. They show us better ways to do stuff. Those with closed minds might refer to this as drinking the kool-aid. Myself, I refer to it as innovative, and in the case of the iPhone, I refer to it as revolutionary.

Archie, so many many words you typed, but not a word of thanks to the smartphone owners who chose function over style and generated the data which Apple hopefully eventually will let you use on their phone.
Where's the gratitude Archie, where's the thanks?
Surur

Having seen the presentation last year showing off the iPhone, I knew (and trusted) that the iPhone would perform above and beyond as shown for the keynote. Nobody (at TreoCentral and other Microsoft oriented sites anyway) seemed to believe this to be the case. They didn't want to believe it anyway.
I believed, or at least wanted to. Turns out I was only partially right to do so, which isn't enough.

Archie, so many many words you typed, but not a word of thanks to the smartphone owners who chose function over style and generated the data which Apple hopefully eventually will let you use on their phone.
Where's the gratitude Archie, where's the thanks?
SururUmmm... your delirious. "Maps" and the My Location feature is technology developed by Google and Apple. I don't know why you want credit or a thank you.

Ummm... your delirious. "Maps" and the My Location feature is technology developed by Google and Apple. I don't know why you want credit or a thank you.
Archie, I know I have to make allowances for your limited reading (despite writing so copiously) but dont you know that the data that correlated the GPS position to the cellphone tower locations were collected by Google using smartphone users with real GPS using Google maps?
Dont you know this at all? I am really disappointed in you.
Surur

Looks like the new firmware also gives the Mail app better Gmail support with it now showing labels.
I still think its funny that all those iPhone FUD spreaders went off on how the iPhone didn't have real PUSH e-mail support.
[SIZE="5">imap.next.mail.yahoo.com[/SIZE]

I stopped using labels when Gmail went IMAP, since it started downloading multiple copies of messages (one for every label, mapped to directories) and really slowed down my system. Even now, I dislike have 2 copies (all mail vs. inbox) to the extent I remove anything older than 3 months from the inbox. (Unless I'm using labels completely wrong...)