iPhone 2.2 Software Update

Apple announced today a software update for the iPhone and iPod Touch. This firmware update, version 2.2,  brings with it new features as well as improved security, stability and performance.

To begin the update process, simply connect your iPhone (or iPod Touch) to your computer. When iTunes launches, (make sure you update iTunes to the most recent version 8.0.2), choose the “Check for Update” selection.

You will be notified that an update is available, download to install immediately or at another time. Most updates have kept the iPhone and iPod touch in lock step. However, the previous update revealed Nike+ to be an iPod Touch only feature.

In this update, Google Maps enhancements are iPhone only features.

Google Maps Street View allows you to view street-level photos of Google Map locations.

Public Transit and Walking Directions gets you walking directions, public transit schedules, you can also check fares and estimate travel time.
Share Location lets you share locations via email of the Google Maps web address.

These Google Maps enhancements are truly remarkable as they bring even more useful functionality to an already essential application.

Access to millions of free Podcasts on the iTunes Store over Wi-Fi or cellular network is now available. Two months ago, when Apple denied the Podcaster application a spot in the App store, it reasoned that Podcaster duplicated the function of the Podcast section of iTunes.

A number of iPhone developers voiced their frustrations at this seemingly unjustified rejection. As it turns out, Apple had already been developing this feature for the iPhone and they released it today through this update.

Safari Improvements include a new search friendly user interface, better performance and stability. The look of the navigation portion of Safari now more closely resembles it’s older desktop sibling.

Perhaps the rationale behind these changes was not only to improve the user interface but also to give the browser a more recognizable appearance and familiar experience to a growing iPhone audience that may decide to use Safari on their desktops as well.

Home Screen Shortcut takes you back to your first home screen from any of your additional home screens by, you guessed it, hitting the Home button!

If your iPhone is crucial to your day-to-day activities, you may want to hold off on updating at this time until more feedback is available from users to see how this version fairs in real world conditions.

Any comments on your experiences would be greatly appreciated!

Update: One of my most favorite features is back from v2.0, the “Update All” option has returned when multiple applications require an update.

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