Apple releases iPhone Software v2.1

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Apple early Friday morning released the much-anticipated iPhone Software 2.1 Update recently billed by company chief executive as a "big update" that fixes "a lot of bugs."

What it fixes

A page dedicated to the release on Apple's website details a dozen major enhancements including:

  • Decrease in call set-up failures and dropped calls.
  • Significantly better battery life for most users.
  • Dramatically reduced time to backup to iTunes.
  • Improved email reliability, notably fetching email from POP and Exchange accounts.
  • Faster installation of 3rd party applications.
  • Fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes for users with lots of third 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 [Illustrated by one reader] .

How to install

Before installing the update, make sure you are using iTunes 8 [Download Link], then connect your iPhone to your computer.

  • When iTunes opens, select your iPhone under Devices in the Source List on the left.
  • In the iPhone Summary pane, click Check for Update.
  • Click Download and Install. Do not disconnect your iPhone until the update has finished.

Security fixes

iPhone Software 2.1 also patch six security vulnerabilities.

  • An application may be able to read another application's files.
  • Multiple vulnerabilities in FreeType v2.3.5.
  • mDNSResponder is susceptible to DNS cache poisoning and may return forged information.
  • Predictable TCP initial sequence numbers generation may lead to TCP spoofing or session hijacking.
  • An unauthorized user may bypass the Passcode Lock and launch iPhone applications.
  • Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.

Other fixes

Some of the other enhancements and observations reported by readers thus far:

  • No sign of background push notification or turn-by-turn GPS support.
  • The texting memory leak problem seems to be fixed.
  • Apps are running a lot faster.
  • No scrolling lag, faster launching of SMS app.
  • New "3G" logo in the menu bar sans box.
  • Updating applications keeps their icons in place on the home screen.
  • App syncs still sluggish compared to media syncs.

Readers are encouraged to share their own discoveries in the AppleInsider forum thread for this article.