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iPhone update impresses.

by Brandon on August 1st, 2007

It might not contain new “features” per se, and Apple certainly didn’t make much hoopla about the release (as far as I know, there’s still no official changelist apart from the security fixes).  But I’m incredibly happy with it.

What’s great about this update is that it fixes every issue that I wanted them to fix (in terms of bugs, not features like EAS support which it still needs).  Here are the major ones for me:

  1. Bluetooth to my car no longer drops out if it’s not plugged into power.  From what I read on forums this seemed like a specific interaction between the iPhone and Audi’s handsfree system.  Because of that I was afraid it wouldn’t get fixed.  But it was!
  2. IMAP folder support works now.  Previously I could only sync my “inbox” folder.  At one point I managed to get the IMAP Path Prefix thing to work and could see my folders for about a day, but then the mail app started crashing whenever I tried to run it, and I had to reset the account.  Now it just works – no fancy configuration steps needed, the other folders just magically started showing up after the update.
  3. Album view UI bugs are gone.  It used to be that if you went into Album view, selected a specific album, and then hit the “home” button, when you went back to the iPod app you would still be in Album view inside the album you’d selected, but without a “back” button to get back to the main Album list.  Also, hitting “Album” again at the bottom had no effect at all.  So you had to switch to another mode like Artist and then back, if you wanted to change albums.  Now it’s doubly fixed – because not only does the “back” button show up as it should – but tapping “Album” at the bottom also takes you back to the top level view.  Sweet.

 I’m really glad they were able to fix these things so quickly, as well as the security vulnerabilities reported.  When the patch was first announced, it sounded like that was all they’d addresses.  I was extremely happy, then, to find these other issues fixed – and fixed well.

My previous phones (BlackJack, PPC-6700, PPC-6600, Treo 600) all had issues and quirks that were never fixed.  Thus, I was actually prepared to live with the above annoyances because that’s what I was used to doing.

To the iPhone developers / PMs / QA people – thank you for working so quickly to address these real customer issues and not putting them off because individually they only affected a small subset of users.  My impression of Apple (a company I quite honestly disliked a great deal until a year or two ago) just keeps getting better.  I can only hope that competitors (in the form of Microsoft, Samsung, HTC / UTStarcom, Palm, Motorola, etc) take note.

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  1. David permalink

    I notice significant improvements to joining wireless networks. Before if a network had an encryption key you would have to pick the auth type. Now it figures it out for itself a la Vista. I am impressed, UI changes like this usually dont make it into dot releases (at least at MS).

  2. You folks shouldn’t be surprised. If a product’s innovation is based on usability the people who do it should be responsive. Usability implies pleasing users.

    Likewise, frequently when Apple does something that isn’t intended to please users, they fail.

  3. My BT connection to the Acura RL has actually been a bit flakier since the update. It’ll first tell me that “no phones have been found”, despite already having a readout of battery and signal FROM the device on the car’s dashboard. Methnks there are still a few ghosts in the machine, but a 1.0.1 makes me hella more confident that they’re on to ’em.

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