Updated: iPhone Firmware 2.1 Now Live!

Update: Chad let's us know that Apple already has an iPhone 2.1 info page up on their website!

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: 

  • decrease in call set-up failures and call drops 
  • significantly improved battery life for most users 
  • dramatically reduced time to backup to iTunes 
  • improved email reliability, notably fetching email from POP and Exchange accounts 
  • faster installation of 3rd party applications 
  • fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes if you have lots of 3rd party applications 
  • improved performance in text messaging 
  • faster loading and searching of contacts 
  • improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display 
  • repeat alert up to two additional times for incoming text messages 
  • option to wipe data after ten failed passcode attempts 
  • Genius playlist creation 

If you're downloading as well, please let us know what, if any, issues you encounter, and what delights you find therein!

(Thanks to Tim, justapps, Garret, and everyone else for sending this in!)

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Updated: iPhone Firmware 2.1 Now Live!


I hope this fixes the GPS function failing. It works on hard reboot, but then after a couple of hours have to reboot to have it work again.

@christbone change your wifi ntietsgs and put it on the wifi your house is on and if not plug it in to your computer, sign out of your itunes then sign back in

After downloading and attempting to update my iphone, I got an error message while it attempted to sync. Unable to sync due to unknown error (-19)

Usman: You too? I'm glad I'm not the only person experiencing that. it's an easy fix (reboot) but pretty annoying when you need GPS in a hurry.

@Yeraze, that is the point when I need it I find myself having to reboot and by that point its useless, cause either a) ive driven by turn already or b) i just forget about it cause it takes 5 solid minutes for a reboot.

The d/l is done but the backup is taking forever :) Hopefully WinPwn releases a jailbreak this weekend.

My download is taking forever!!! Could be my works crappy internet though. Anyone else? It's taking over an hour.

My d/l took less then 5 minutes, but I started mine at 9:50am. Apple might be getting flooded by now.

When I try to install, I get an "Invalid Signature" message. Apple's own software has an invalid signature. Cripes!

My download went fine. The first back up after updating took forever. But, after that initial one, backups were FAST. And, I have a ton of apps. For that error -19, that always happens if iPhone is still syncing during its normal process. That happens at same time of the initial download of the update. Once it is done syncing I just clicked Update again and boom it went through fine. I didn't have to reboot or disonnect the phone. Haven't poked around with the phone much but I had zero bars when on 3G in my area. After the update suddenly I am full bars. We shall see after this first day how things go.

My backup after iTunes 8 and firmware 2.1 only took 3 minutes for 9 gig!!! Wonder if these backups are incremental now.

I'm in the process of updating at the moment. Sadly, it insists on doing a backup which is crawling along at the moment. By my reckoning, it'll be at least as long as the last update which took me 7 hours. Why didn't I think to delete most of my apps from the phone first?? so looking forward to faster backup times once this is over!

The first several times I tried the update it gave me an unknown error. Rebooting the iPhone however fixed it.

Wow! Before the update I was not able to run applications in the background or copy/paste and now I can!..........................not

new 3G icon, contacts and SMS messages load quicker.
I'l wait and see what a sync/backup is like!

Wow the 2.1 update is much better... this is how 2.0 SHOULD of been. It's actually syncing my appstore applications now.

No problems here...backups are indeed faster. I did not however that no in iTunes 8 the phone number no longer shows up on the device summary tab. Anyone else seeing that?

Thanks Jason, that did it maybe that's why I got the "iPhone is activated" message... it didn't even back up after reconnecting. Sweet...

Hm, iTunes has been sitting at the "Updating iPhone software" message, with my device at the "Apple + spinning thing" stage for 30-45 mins. Something seems to have gone wrong. Think I should try to kill it and start again? How could I do that?

Can someone who has successfully installed 2.1 (I can't because I keep getting "Invalid Signature" messages) tell me if it has a landscape mode now for texting and email?

Just downloaded it and it seems to be a little better but text input is still shitty on websites. Text messages are a little bit better. And sync times are alot better. Also, my 3G signal icon looks different...

finished downloading. email and testing still can't turn landscape. Contacts seem to open a good deal faster - I'm happy about that. My bars in my house went from 1 to 3 but actual reception is no better (I can only transfer at 35KBps.) I did get a huge boost in reception out if the las update so maybe rhtr why i'm not getting much more now. I'm VERY excited about extended battery - right now I go through 2 full charges per day. Let's hope that changes.

Charles Brett was kind enough to let me see a pre-publication vresion of this eBook which gives an excellent explanation of Apple's peculiar habit of facilitating what it thinks is good for you while preventing other behavior which might seem entirely rational, even required, for you. Windows users have a different point of view about technology. They are accustomed to being able to customize their systems and to try out new software and web offerings which the equipment vendor might not have had in mind. This book is a handbook for Windows users who also use an iPad or iPhone and are trying to understand just why they can't do what they please and (sometimes) how to get around Apple's high-handed parental controls. Charles is a very good writer and even thought this book is mainly technical information for everyday humans (a hard thing to do well), he also manages to be humorous. I would consider this an essential companion for a Windows' users iPad and iPhone.

Now when browsing comments in the Appstore, when you go back to the search pane it doesn't take you all the way back to the top. Good fix Apple!

All of my 3rd party apps are still crashing while trying to load and i'm thrown back to the home screen. Is anyone else having this problem or is it just me? This problem has just come up recently and I thought it would have been fixed with this update.

So far it's exactly as advertised. Sync post update was like blinking compared to the hour it took before. Contacts load immediately and I have 700 of them. Now I just need to see if the battery life and phone connectivity are similarly upgraded and I'll be very pleased.

Finally got it installed. The "Invalid Signature" was due to my firewall on my PC. No landscape typing in email. :-( Oh well. The phone is great in so many other ways, I will just patiently wait.

Downloaded in about 25 min I had no problems. I have noticed you can now pause app downloads by tapping their icon. No landscape in SMS or email.
Sent My Now 2.1 iPhone

I just now noticed that when you insert headphones after hav ing listened through the speakers at full blast,ipod volume defaults down to a level that won't have you begging for hearing aids for your college graduation present. I'm happy about that. Is that new with 2.2?

I tried update and i am getting "invalid signature" responce. I tried going to unistall>apple update< change, and that does not work. anybody have an answer on fixing this problem?

im having the same issue... looks like charles above said it was his firewall.. im going to disable now and see if that helps.. ill give an update.

updated to 2.1 got error -19 unplugged phone then said backing up got everything back execpt my dang contacts

I noticed that updates download a lot faster very early in the morning or really late at night. Hopefully it's not because those are the hours my neighbors aren't leeching off my wireless.

i was upgrading my 8gb iphone to 2.2.1 but on the half way iphone restarted and got message in itune"unable to recover an unknoen error14 occured"
can someone please help me to resolve my problem