So as you know, the iPhone got an update today, normally I’d point you in the direction of MyiTablet, and I still recommend you go there and check it out for more info. Today though, is a special day because there were actually some fairly cool updates this time around.
There are four new features, the WebClips, aGPS for Maps, the ability to move and re-arrange icons on your SpringBoard, and multiple person SMS. The ability to move and re-arrange icons isn’t that big of a deal since other than the web clips and re-ordering the existing apps, there isn’t much to move, but when the SDK and subsequent software comes out, it will be useful then. What is nice about it is how easy it is to move things around, you hold your finger on an icon, any one, and then when they start to wiggle they are in their movable mode, then you just drag them where you want them up to 9 pages worth, you can even change the bottom 4, then you just hit the home button and everything stops and you are set.
The WebClips are pretty cool because you can literally go to any website, hit the plus sign that is usually just for bookmarking, and you get the option to bookmark, set as home page, or send to home screen and viola! You have a WebClip on your SpringBoard that goes directly to that site. I tried it with the SlashGear website and it worked great, sadly it wasn’t my iPhone, it was a display model, so I was courteous enough to delete it afterwards, which is another thing you can do with “wiggle mode” on the SpringBoard.
I’m not much of a text messenger, but I am sure if I had an iPhone I would be, so the multiple person SMS is probably on par with a miracle to those of you that are heavy texters. It works a lot like the Mail app on the iPhone, allowing you to select multiple recipients, but just like always, it tracks your conversations, so if you have a certain group of friends you message all at once frequently, you can do it easily without having to re-select all of their names each time.
Now for the new Maps features, the assisted GPS thing they have going on with Google and SkyHook is probably the coolest new Maps feature, but there is another feature. You can drop a pin anywhere on the map, and its like a bookmark, but on a map allowing you to add your own locations and name them without having to search for them. So lets say you stumble upon a really good restaurant, instead of having to search for it and hope you find it to save it, you can drop a pin on the map approximately where it is, and name it after the restaurant, and bam, you’ll be able to get directions to it either from where you are, thanks to the new aGPS feature, or from any other location.
There is also a new update that makes the iPhone compatible with the new movie rental service. There is also support for lyrics, which display semi-transparently on top of the album art while a song is playing.
Gmail’s new IMAP feature is also officially supported, and the 1000 SMS limit has been lifted, and you can pre-type, whatever that means (something to do with not having to lift your thumbs off the screen as often and thus shaving a few milliseconds of your texting time). That’s pretty much it kids. These updates and probably some bug fixes are available via a free software update from Apple.