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Apple Seeds iPhone Firmware 2.1 To Developers, Includes Better GPS Support (And Hopefully Bug Fixes)

It appears that iPhone application developers have been given access to a new version of the firmware for the Apple device. Among the changes readily found in the system software is a new Core location feature, which could power turn-by-turn directions. But what about eradicating all those nasty bugs?
It appears that iPhone application developers have been given access to a new version of the firmware for the Apple device. Among the changes readily found in the system software is a new Core location feature, which could power turn-by-turn directions. But what about eradicating all those nasty bugs?After spending two weeks with the 3G iPhone, I've found lots of bugs in it. I've already highlighted some of them, such as wonky -- or nonexistent -- 3G service, system crashes, application crashes, and so on. One thing I have not had any problems with is the GPS system.

In fact, I've found the iPhone's GPS to be one of the most accurate I've ever used. Wednesday, for example, I was walking between appointments in New York City. I decided just for the heck of it to start off by using Google Maps to locate me. The GPS system pinpointed my location to within 10 feet -- even though I was deep in the urban canyons of midtown Manhattan. Using Google Maps, the worst the iPhone's GPS has done is perhaps 25 feet from my actual location. That's really not too shabby at all. Other phones I've used range as far away as 100 feet, so the 3G iPhone's capabilities appear to be a bit more fine-tuned.

But at the moment, it doesn't support turn-by-turn directions, which Apple has admitted can be easily fixed by software. It looks like firmware update 2.1 will make those fixes. According to GearLive, the beta version of iPhone 2.1 sent to developers supports new Core location abilities. What's so exciting about that? It tracks your direction and speed when traveling in a car, which would allow the 3G iPhone to become a true GPS unit.

That's not all. Apple has also issued a new SDK for the iPhone, though the new SDK can't be used to publish applications to the App Store.

Who knows when any of this will be finalized and available to end users.

I can wait for the improved GPS functionality. As for bug fixes? There's no word that firmware 2.1 fixes anything, and I find that to be disappointing. Perhaps an intermediary step will take care of the iPhone's woes, such as the 2.0.1 firmware update that's been seen floating around the Web. Whatever is used to get the 3G iPhone up to par with its predecessor, I hope the fixes will be on the way sooner rather than later.

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