iPhone 2.1 Firmware Update: Is it Magical?

Just as Steve Jobs promised, Apple released today the iPhone 2.1 firmware. The software update, which is being pushed out to all iPhones via an iTunes update, addresses a number of reported issues with the iPhone. When we downloaded the update for our iPhone 3G, we agreed to the terms and conditions and were presented with the following list of things that the update will accomplish.

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 e-mail reliability, notably fetching e-mail 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

Does Apple deliver on its firmware promises? It’s really too early to tell if the update is doing much for our iPhone 3G. However, I will say that our 3G signal strength is up in our office. In the past we didn’t get a consistent 3G signal at our office. A walk around our office now is showing a full 3G signal. Reactions to the update thus far are mixed in Apple’s Support forums. One individual “just downloaded and updated and my 3G signal I used to have no bars in my condo and now I have 3.” Another said he had been testing apps and had “no frustrating crashes so far.” We plan to report back on our impressions of the update when we have had some more real life use. In the meantime, let us know in the comments if the 2.1 firmware update has done anything for you.

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