Apple Performs Mid-Summer Cleaning with Release of Firmware 2.0 : Applications Galore!

I’ve had my sunglasses on, prepared for this moment. Sure, all the bright light’s and sounds buzzing for the debut of iPhone 3G has finally won over first-timers, and tempted many early-adopters into upgraders.

But not this guy. No thanks.

So let’s cover the basics: it’s plastic, it’s faster (which is very subjective), and it has GPS.

And?

While great for those who haven’t been able to enjoy the touch screen splendor, us grounded folks are fine with what we have. Sexy-gun metal back, comparable EDGE network speeds (it’s a cell phone: let’s be realistic here). And, what’s great is Steve Jobs and co. haven’t left us in the dark.

Firmware update 2.0 rolled out over the past couple days, introducing a slew of new features to non-upgraders, Gen 1-sustainers. While they do not transform your phone completely, the latest and greatest offerings from Apple certainly will change your experience significantly enough, so that those 3G’rs don’t leave us feeling cheated.

Push-email (getting your e-mail updated as they come in, versus timed updates) makes keeping up with correspondance simpler and more organized. For the workaholics out there, iPhone 2.0 now accepts Microsoft Exchange accounts, allowing to check work emails while trying to relax during the weekends. Blah, it’s there, use it if you need to. And, when trying to get delete all those pesky e-mails you have been so carefully trying to avoid, users can now multi-trash messages, rather than the painful one-by-one method the earlier system has adopted.

Email aside, the biggest addition, and probably the only one really worth mentioning, is the App Store, providing applications created by developers world-wide. To iPhone Jailbreakers, this isn’t the latest and greatest under the sun. But this official introduction’s fixes the jailbreak battery drain, which came from applications continuing to run and use power, even though they technically aren’t in use. Jobs alluded to this in the iPhone 3G keynote earlier this summer, and seems to have made good on it.

Downloading applications doesn’t necessarily require a wi-fi connection that the iPhone iTunes store does, but you certainly do benefit from being able to download and install apps at a much faster rate. You can read more about the finer workings of the App Store at Apple’s official site.

Apple really does offer an application for almost everything and anyone, and does feature a decent amount of free apps. While I have only partook in the freebies, there were a few relatively cheap apps, such as a complete NY Subway System listing, that I will most likely purchase.

Also, not to downplay my own critique, but Gizmodo live-blogged their app testing, which, of course, puts mine to shame.

So far, my free favorites are:

Remote : allows users to control their iTunes library wirelessly over their home network. The response time is super quick, and displays just as if I were playing music on my phone:

Save Benjis: a great app for those who like to price match ANYTHING. Say you’re in Best Buy, and you’re not totally convinced they have the best deal on that LCDTV you have eye on. Save Benjis’ easy to use search by keyword (and for even more specific terms, search by Barcode!) blankets the web for the product, and lists out prices the competitors offer. Certainly going to be using this gem in a few weeks. Samsung LCD here I come!

PageOnce :pulls in almost any online account, social network, and email you may have. You can view your upcoming cell phone bill, update your Twitter, while you make another business connection on LinkedIn. I love being able to access all my credit card debt that is crushing my financial future all at once!

Facebook: Not bad-mouthing the very-sleek web app that rolled out last summer, but the new officially iPhone integrated Facebook app allows much easier browsing in a semi-familiar setting. The app lets users utilize the new Facebook chat feature, which actually will run simutaniously while signed on with a computer, and also separate Inbox messaging. Anyone with an iPhone can attest to the annoying “Post” button that’s wedged in too tight.

Midomi: one of my top favorite amongst the group, mostly because it subtly tells Chris Cornell and Verizon’s V-Cast Song-ID service that they DO NOT STOP RUNNING AT THE MOVIES to kindly suck it. Midomi IDs a song based on your own humming and singing, and finds that song that you don’t know, but is stuck in your head. Plus, it blends in a social network aspect, by allowing users to create profiles and showcase their own humming and singing tracks. Try and find my singing. It’s the one that sounds like a cat getting a Brazilian waxing.

[iPhone image via Four Starters] [Remote image via CNET Asia] [Wireless News]

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About helloimwes

22 year old nobody from Jersey with some ish on his mind. Boo-yah. View all posts by helloimwes

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