iPhone 2.2 Firmware Released Today!

By Jimmy Rogers
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

That’s right – yet another upgrade to the mighty JesusPhone.  Why do we report on this stuff?  Because people want to know, that’s why!

iPhone users received an email today telling them to upgrade to firmware version 2.2.  It’s been a little while since a major upgrade was made, so not only will the new features be of immediate interest, but so will the enhancements to performance and general usability.  With the previous iteration of the firmware I had a lot of problems syncing and the device crashed much more often (though the latter may be the result of poor App design).

Here’s the actual change log, copied from the installer:

iPhone 2.2 Software Update

This update contains many bug fixes and improvements, including the following:
• Enhancements to Maps
– Google Street View
– public transit and walking directions
– display address of dropped pins
– share location via email
• Enhancements to Mail
– resolved isolated issues with scheduled fetching
of email
– improved formatting of wide HTML email
• Improved stability and performance of Safari
• Podcasts are now available for download in iTunes
application (over Wi-Fi and cellular network)
• Decrease in call set-up failures and call drops
• Improved sound quality of visual voicemail messages
• Pressing the Home button from any Home screen takes
you to the first Home screen
• Preference to turn on/off auto-correction in Keyboard

Products compatible with this software update:
• iPhone
• iPhone 3G

This is clearly a big update and it was rolled out in a strange way.  Normally Apple wraps their firmware updates up in an official keynote or big announcement.  Aside from the email announcement, this update is pretty much celebrated by iTunes popping up and telling you about it.

The new features look pretty snazzy.  Safari has a full on Google search box next to the URL bar (similar to most desktop browsers), the front home screen can now be reached from secondary screens by pushing the Home button, and Google Maps (the “Maps” App) has had a number of upgrades, shown above.  Thus far I have been completely unable to discover the location of the street view feature, but I will say I am impressed by the walking and transit directions that have been added.  Also, the maps seem to zoom in farther, but maybe that’s just me.

What is your favorite new feature?  Is there anything else hiding in there that we missed?