Mixed response to latest iPhone 3G update

James Middleton

September 15, 2008

2 Min Read
Mixed response to latest iPhone 3G update

On Friday, Apple released the latest major update for its flagship iPhone 3G device, promising to fix the numerous connectivity glitches which have dogged the device since launch.

There’s not really any accurate way of gauging the effects of the 2.1 firmware update on the iPhone population, but the discussions on the official Apple support forums suggests the response is divided.

While there are plenty of users reporting that their iPhone no longer drops calls or fails to connect, there are still a good number who cannot get a good voice service.

Nevertheless, Apple maintains that users who install the 2.1 firmware will benefit from a, “decrease in call set-up failures and dropped calls; significantly better battery life; and improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display.”

Meanwhile, Apple’s App Store continues to court controversy. Developer Alex Sokirynsky has had his Podcaster app banned by Apple, because “it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes.”

But Podcaster allows users to download podcasts direct to the device, without going through iTunes, which is something Apple’s own feature set does not do. The requirements for getting an app into the store remain vague, and this is not the first time developers have had trouble getting their creations passed Apple’s censors. A number of applications have been bouncing in and out of the store like yo-yos as Apple apparently changes its mind on their validity.

As a workaround, Sokirynsky is using a development feature called Ad Hoc distribution to publish his application. By registering each new device’s ID with Apple, Sokirynsky is granted a licence allowing the application to run, even though it was not installed via the App Store.

This technique looks like it is being used by other developers ostracised from the App Store as well, and while it doesn’t give the exposure the official channel does, it also means Apple doesn’t get its 30 per cent cut from the app sales price. This distribution channel is also overshadowed by the presence of the mysterious kill switch, which may or may not allow Apple to remotely block and/or remove applications from user devices at will.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

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