Not sure if existing iPhone 3G/3GS owners are aware – but you can upgrade your iPhone to the latest firmware that comes on the new iPhone 4’s. Yep! New features! FOR FREE! And you don’t need to buy an iPhone 4.
There’s a whole ream of new small features. But as I have an “old” iPhone 3G, I don’t get the whole lot.
What I like
Before this update, the only way to create a playlist on the fly was using the On the go playlist. It was definitely not the best way of saving a collection of favourite tunes or tunes you wanted to listen to.
At last, now you can create as many custom playlists as you like!
But one feature that is missing – the ability to add the currently playing song to a specific playlist. I would have thought that this would be a common use case – you’re listening to a song that you like, then want to add it to a playlist. Aargghhh!
I have an iiNet account and a Gmail account both for personal use. Previously on the iPhone I would have to navigate up and down the tree to check emails on both accounts. Now, I don’t have to. Fantastic.
Folders for applications
Alright – this is a great feature! Hands up who had screens and screens worth of applications? Me!
I’ve now re-organised my applications into groups on my first main screen. The result is just 2 clicks to get to my most used applications and games. Yes I hear people complaining that you can’t add more than 12 applications into one group. But hey, if you had more than 12 I don’t think you’d save any extra UI interactions to get to the application you want – you’d need more than 2 clicks/swipes.
I’m just struggling with the most suitable way to group the applications. Where should I put Flickr? In an “Internet” group for internet related applications, “Photography” since it’s all about photos, or “Social” since it’s all about sharing and engaging with friends?
I started with heaps of folders on my home page, but then realised that I only really used a handful of these applications all the time, and I now introduced two clicks to get to them. So I’ve now re-organised my applications so the most used are directly on the first screen, and folders can flow into the second screen.
Yay! Another digital book application to add to my existing Kindle, Borders and Wattpad apps. I spent a whole evening downloading as many free books as I could find thanks to Project Gutenburg – http://www.gutenberg.org/.
What could be improved
I was really looking forward to this, just so I can swap between applications quicker. A friend showed me how it works on his iPhone 3GS and it’s really quick to switch apps.
Unfortunately for him, he left a GPS application running in the background accidentally and it chewed up nearly all his battery without him realising! Hmmm..
5x Digital Zoom
It’s responsive, but hey, it’s just digitally zooming a 2 megapixel picture so the result is quite pixelated, especially at the 5x end of the zoom. I’m sure I would use a little bit of zooming if I can’t actually get closer to the subject I’m taking, but otherwise *yawn*.
So first thing I did was upgrade my iTunes, and then proceeded to upgrade the OS on my iPhone. But the first thing iTunes does is backup your phone which took hours! Then it puts on your OS, then puts all the applications back on it. For me, I had to leave this to run overnight – it was just taking too long.
And then the next morning when I checked to see how it went, I found that I had lost all my email configuration and emails and contacts! Even my Safari bookmarks were gone. Basically all individual application data was lost.
Since upgrading, I’ve found that the UI can be a bit sluggish at times. There was one time when my iPhone got “stuck” in the Phone application and pressing the Home button didn’t even go to the home screen anymore.
I decided to upgrade Miss 11’s iPod Touch to the latest firmware, and after that she found that she couldn’t play music anymore! The iPod music application would keep on quitting. A restore of a backup seemed to fix things.
So final verdict? Don’t upgrade yet. I’d recommend friends to wait until the next firmware update if possible so that these issues can be ironed out.