There’s been a raft of changes to the iPhone lately, and it’s clear we’re going to have to re-think our review. But while that happens, what do we make of all the changes?
Firstly, there’s the 1.13 update. Announced at Macworld Expo 2008 this software upgrade added many new features, fixed a few problems and made the iPhone interesting again without forcing people to upgrade to a new model. Let’s take these features one at a time:
Locate me in Google Maps By far the stand-out feature of the iPhone. The new ‘Locate Me’ button uses mobile phone masts and local WiFi points to triangulate your position. Contrary to popular belief it appears to be using both of these in the UK. It certainly has narrowed our location down to the correct street on many occasions, although it usually ends up being closer to within a mile. Even though it’s hardly GPS, it has proved to be incredibly useful.
Bookmark the home page You can now bookmark web sites to the home page and access them at a touch of a button. This has turned out to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand you can now access web sites at the touch of a button; on the other hand they don’t close when you go push the ‘home’ button. Because the iPhone can only really handle three to four websites before grinding to a halt, you often find yourself opening too many sites and slowing the phone down.
Having said that, it’s a nice feature so long as you remember to close down individual websites and is a tempting look at what the iPhone might be like when Apple eventually frees it up to third-party development.
Multiple SMS For some reason everybody but me wanted this. I don’t care. If I need to get in touch with multiple people I’ll email them. SMS is just for quickfire messages.
And you can add MMS to this category too. Use email for sending pictures instead.
On the whole though I’m impressed with the new iPhone. Especially now that o2 has changed the price plan (more on this later) and Apple has introduced a 16GB model.
I’m in the process of re-working Macworlds review of the iPhone, and while I don’t see the four-star score changing, our key criticism of the tarrif will obviously affect the ‘vibe’ of the review.
On an aside I’ve owned an iPhone for almost three months and can honestly say I’ve used it every single day.