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November 21, 2008
2 Min Read
Apple has rolled out a software upgrade for the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch that adds new features and fixes some stability bugs.
The Google Maps application has received the most improvement, as iPhone users can get a closer view of locations with Street View. To access this, users have to choose a location on the map and a red icon will appear next to it. In Street View, users can zoom and rotate using the multitouch controls, but the iPhone lacks the Compass Mode that T-Mobile's G1 sports.
The updates also improves Google Maps by integrating walking and public transportation directions, adjusting the user interface, and adding the option of sharing location via e-mail with a Google Maps link inserted. The Google Maps updates only appear to affect the iPhone 3G and not the original handset or iPod Touch, presumably because it involves constant network access.
The firmware update also adds the ability to download audio or video podcasts directly to the device on the go via Wi-Fi or cellular data networks. In September, Apple pulled the iPhone Podcaster application from the App Store because the company said it duplicated functionality of the desktop version of iTunes. The company faced criticism because at the time over-the-air downloads of podcasts to iPhones weren't possible.
The iPhone's Safari browser also has received some tweaks, including a search bar next to the address bar and performance enhancements. The App Store application has received some polish with the user experience, and customers are now encouraged to rate applications before they're deleted.
Other improvements include improved formatting of HTML e-mail, the ability to turn the auto-correction off, and improved sound quality for the Visual Voicemail. To get the update, connect your iPhone to iTunes and click the "Check for Update" button.
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