On the fence about downloading iPhone 3.1? Wondering what's changed since iPhone 3.0? Need a handy link to send your friends who may have questions? We've's got your back with our complete iPhone 3.1 Software Walkthrough.
Previously, we took you through all three beta versions, now we'll take you through the final release.
And we'll get started, right after the break.
What Hasn't Changed
A lot. Too much to list neatly this time around. When you finish reading this walkthrough, go back and read our iPhone 3.0 walkthrough. It's a giant compared to this.
Still, there are a few talking points...(opens in new tab)
iTunes 9 Features
It's also worth noting that a couple of new features touted for iPhone 3.1, like Genius Mixes, and App Management are actually contained in the simultaneously released iTunes 9. See our iTunes 9 Software Walkthrough for more.
Big .0 releases are typically followed up swiftly with quick .1 bug fixes. While the swift part here is debatable -- though on par with last year's update -- the bug fixes aren't. Among the issues addressed:
- Better iPhone 3G Wi-Fi performance when Bluetooth is turned on
- Fixes issue that cause some app icons to display incorrectly
Note, we'd heard iPhone 3.1 would also fix the Spotlight issue that displayed deleted emails, but Apple doesn't list it, and we've heard reports it isn't yet fixed. (Though it apparently was in iPhone 3.1 Beta 3. Strange.)
With the iPhone 3GS and its accessibility features, you can now enable triple-clicking of the Home Button to toggle VoiceOver, Toggle White on Black, and Ask (which then will pop up a menu offering Turn VoiceOver On, Turn Zoom On, Turn White on Black On).(opens in new tab)
Voice Control in iPhone 3.0, after holding down the Home button for several seconds, let you speak simple commands to place calls and control music. With iPhone 3.1, it will now also work over Bluetooth.
Just hold down the Bluetooth call button as you would the Home Button, let go, and Voice Control pops up. State your command into the BT mic, and Voice Control will "speak" the confirmation (whether it gets it right or not) through the BT earpiece.(opens in new tab)
MobileMe Find My iPhone Remote Passcode Lock
Expanding on the Find My iPhone remote tracking and wiping service that came with iPhone 3.0, you can now also remotely assign a passcode lock. This is a nice half-way ground between leaving your iPhone wide open, or having to wipe it clean, if you can't find it but aren't sure you've permanently lost it.
Still no MMS for AT&T users. That's being released on September 25 (though whether it will require an iPhone 3.1.1 update, or just a new carrier file is unknown).
For those outside the US with working MMS, you can tap the action button at bottom, left to save them to the camera roll, just like you could previously do with pictures under iPhone 3.0.(opens in new tab)
Calendar gets a minor tweak in iPhone 3.1. Now event alerts also display the location of the event in the popup. Presumably, this is now considered important glance-able information.(opens in new tab)
Video trimming is now non-destructive. Previously, if you trimmed a video, it was automatically saved over the original, meaning you could never undo or go back to the full clip. Now, a Save As... dialog gives you the option of preserving the original and creating as many version copies as you want (an short clip to email, a longer one to share to YouTube, and the full clip to sync and bring into iMovie, for example).(opens in new tab)
We haven't seen this show up yet ourselves, but during Steve Jobs' iPhone 3.1 overview, the slide behind him listed Sponsored Links in Maps as a... feature. (Maybe that's why Google CEO, Eric Schmidt was there?). Not quite sure how we feel about this in a built-in app either, as opposed to a site we choose to navigate to in Safari...
Setting usually accounts for the longest list of changes in a new iPhone firmware, but this time it's fairly short.
Settings: General: Usage now includes a separate meter for Tethering Data. Apologies again, AT&T users, but for those outside the US -- if it proves reliable! -- it could help avoid nasty overage charges if you exceed your data cap.(opens in new tab)
Settings: General: Accessibility includes that aforementioned toggle for the Home Button triple-click to enable quick Accessibility switching. Options include Off, Toggle VoiceOver, Toggle White on Black, or Ask which will launch a pop-up and let you choose between the above and Turn Zoom On.(opens in new tab)
Settings: Safari now, finally, has that toggle to enable Fraud Warnings for malicious web sites (like phishing sites, malware sites, etc.).(opens in new tab)
iPhone 3.1 lets you display available iTunes account credit both iTunes Store, and in the App Store, and allows you to redeem gift cards and other promotional codes.(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
Also, iTunes U is now "better organized".(opens in new tab)
In addition, displacing Podcasts (which moves to the other side of the tracks beneath the More tab) is Ringtones, displayed like music, and available ready-made for $1.29.
Since the App Store is closer akin to a local WebView, it's fairly easy for Apple to update the App Store (or iTunes Store) without updating the firmware. Case in point, the night before iPhone 3.1 went live, the App Store was updated to feature "Top Grossing" as one of the view options.(opens in new tab)
Apple has extended their Genius technology to recommend apps as well in iPhone 3.1. The Genius tab appears under Featured, taking the left-most slot. Once you log in, activate, agree to the terms of service (twice!), Genius will crowd-source other iTunes App Store users with similar tastes in an effort to suggest apps you don't have but might enjoy. (The app on which the recommendation is based is listed on top of the suggested app -- nice touch).(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
As mentioned above, you can now also see your current iTunes Store credits in the App Store, and you can now also redeem iTunes gift cards, promo codes, and certificates here as well. Feature. Parity.(opens in new tab)
Copy and Paste comes to the Phone Keypad. Just tap and hold and the input area will change from dark blue to light blue, and the Copy Paste menu will pop up.
The iPhone Paste feature is "smart" enough to change alphanumeric phone numbers to pure numbers (i.e. 1-800-FLOWERS to 1-800-356-9377).(opens in new tab)
Contacts also get direct copy, so you can hold your finger down on a contact field, just like a picture in Photo, to trigger the copy pop-up menu.
Like the recently released Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, iPhone 3.1 doesn't provide a lot of fancy user-facing updates (we likely won't see those until Mac OS X 10.7 and iPhone 4.0 respectively). What it does is fix things that needed fixing, and fill in missing functionality that needed filling in. And, it throws in a couple small feature enhancements, just because.
Free for both iPhone and iPod touch 3.0 users (iPod touch 2.x users will still need to cough up $9.95 to pay the subscription accounting devil's dues), if iPhone 3.0 was a must-have for the sheer magnitude of its new functionality, 3.1 is a no-brainer update to make the must-have that much nicer-to-have as well.
[Thanks to everyone who contributed screenshots and descriptions for this walkthrough, especially Justin, Jeremy, and James. If you noticed we missed anything, drop us a note in the comments and we'll update as needed.]
Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
You can now also enable triple-clicking of the Home Button to toggle VoiceOver, Toggle White on Black, and Ask (which then will pop up a menu offering Turn VoiceOver On, Turn Zoom On, Turn White on Black On)."
None of this is true for me. Not that it's a big deal, having the jigglies vibrate my phone, but still anyway and so on.....maybe these two things only apply to the 3GS? (for some strange and random reason - like the delicate sensors in the old 3G can't handle vibrating jigglies, perhaps).
Since the 3.1 update, I no longer get the annoying message "nothing to undo" when shaking the phone at the Home screen... Is that just me?
Anyone else confirm this?
my music and everything else is fine
One minute its working, the next its totally black, and won't come on. No buttons do anything. Even plugged it in to itunes and nothing showed up on the screen.
Plugged it into wall and it finally came up. Very weird, never saw this before. After it climbed out of what ever hole it was in, I powered down and restarted. Seems ok now.
Yes, its quite a bit faster for me too. Loading web pages on wifi seems much faster, and launching Settings, is about a third faster.
(Launching settings on a 3G usually takes a "one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three" count, but now its there before I get done saying "two". Not too scientific, but works for me).
Seems like you get the blue pin point much faster and much more accurately.
After reading your comment I tried it out on mine. It was way off. almost by half a mile. ROFL
Glad its more accurate for you but not for me after I read your comment. haha
Several notes not mentioned:
- Playlist sorting now finally matches my iTunes and iPod Classic
(I use ">>" to bring several playlists to the top, which now sorts properly
- If you use MobileMe to remote lock, the passcode becomes your new phone unlock code replacing the old code (if you had one)
Not sure if others are noticing this, but Bluetooth voice control doesn't seem to recognize well. I have a high-end Plantronics earpiece that is excellent on call quality.
Haven't seen it again.
The "Call" Button is what you use to answer a phone call.
Click sound veryyyyyy low
If you have an original iPod touch, you no longer have persistent access to the volume control. Double-clicking the home button ONLY brings up the playback/volume controls if a song from the iPod library is playing. Otherwise it takes you to the first home screen, the search screen, or the iPod app, depending on your setting.
Now I have NO VOLUME CONTROL at all when playing games or using music apps. This completely SUCKS. Whoever decided this was a good idea needs to be kicked in the nads.
I've already complained about it here, and I suggest all other 1st gen iPod touch owners do the same:
I just myself reverted back to the 4.0 carrier file since Tethering an MMS weren't working (so I saw no need to have a "hacked" carrier file).
I know that some have MMS working but I couldn't care less about MMS personally since I have full e-mail support.
Does anyone know of a fix or can this be altered??
it's = it is
its = belongs to it
Just remember, if the apostrophe follows "it," it means "it is," not "belongs to 'it'."
Two days after the upgrade, my phone (3G) was non-responsive, tried plugging in to the wall and itunes, hitting buttons, no reaction, black screen and unresponsive. Even tried calling it, the phone never rang and went to voicemail. 10-15 minutes later, hit the sleep/wake button, got a bright white screen that faded into my home screen. Got the runaround with support, and was told to bring to the apple store today.
Did it again on the way to the apple store this morning, however, it was responsive again by the time I got there, and they couldn't replicate the issue, so no replacement phone yet:-(
Never had this behavior on 3.0.1, but it now sounds like I'm not alone, so this may be a 3.1 bug?
MMS Max Message Size:
MMS UA Prof URL:
might be some better settings available to get it to send but i'm still searching for them. restart your phone after the changes.
MMS Proxy: 126.96.36.199:80
MMS Max Message Size: 614400
MMS UA Prof URL: [leave blank]
Safari has completely disappeared after the 3.1.1 update.
My iTouch was jailbreaked before update but I dont see why that would do anything to the Safari.app.
If anyone knows what to do please reply on this post.
I have a 3G and my phone has been randomly shutting off and unresponsive as well. The strange thing is, when I reboot it, the battery is completely drained, every time. I just did a restore, so hopefully that will remedy the problem. Let me know if you guys found solutions... I'm on twitter: siLLLyMander
And tech support has no idea how to fix it!
It's a relief to see that the issue, with shutting off, is wide-spread. That means it eliminates the optional hassle of going to the "genius bar" to get the phone looked at. At first I thought the problem was that I had it in my pocket at the time of shutdown, the first couple of times. But now, it happened twice today while it just sat on my desk. Apple and AT&T online support keeps recommending to going to an apple service center and chances are that it's defective hardware. No problems until the 3.1 update last week. Please pass along any quick fix or possible resolutions that you may come across
(To quickly fix, hold "home" button and "power off" button simultaneously for approximately 10 seconds which will restart your phone) Hopefully Apple will recognize this issue and swiftly product an update to ammend.
seems to be the only way to get it to turn back on.
This update is the shits, Apple needs to do something (which I'm sure they are)
On the positive side -- my GPS is working faster and much better!
All was well untill about an hour ago when with about 90% battery it just went off... blank screen/dead.. would not turn on, tried connecting to pc but nothing!!
It was like the battery was dead. I searched on my pc and it said hold menu and power buttons down together... this worked and now its fine... but why did the iphone do this, its been fine untill after this 3.1 update????
Same too with the keyboard clicking sound.
And it seems sometimes the screen does not quickly responsivily as before.
Don't know what to do here. Should i restore to 3.0 or wait for the next os update ?
I've heard some good things about it, but wanted to see if anyone else has used it.
Is there a way to change the view?
Never had this behavior before.
Now the only solution i found to turn on the phone is to hold the power and home button simultaniously.
Can any one found permanent solution for the problem or how to move back to 3.0 from 3.1
the ring is low and videos play with lower volume
has anyone else noticed this on 3g 3.1????
keyboard clicks sound VERY muffled... i HATE IT
One more solution is remove all the apps, i did and since then my phone is working properly, earlier it used to shutdown 3 to 4 times a day.
because it says that there is an time out in the network or something,.,..
plzz help me.. =D
Blueooth voice control is the only neat new add on that I'll miss.