As promised, Apple has released the iPhone 2.1 firmware update this Friday. Installation took about 20 minutes including a slow download period probably associated with the high number of people trying to download the update.

List of Fixes

– decrease in call set-up failures and call drops
– significantly improve battery life for most users
– dramatically reduced time to backup to iTunes
– improve email reliability, notable fetching email from POP and Exchange accounts
– faster installation of 3rd party applications
– fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes if you have lots of 3rd party applications
– improved performance of text messaging
– faster loading and searching of contacts
– improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display
– repeat alert up to two additional times for incoming text messages
– option to wipe data after ten failed passcode attempts
– Genius playlist creation

First Thoughts

The first thing I noticed is the major improvement in over all speed. When scrolling the different home screens, and the contacts list, lag is virtually gone. The backing up process that use to take upwards of 30 to 45 minutes is down to about 5 or 10 minutes.

The Genius playlist creation is a nice addition and is handled exactly the same way as the iPod Touch. Another added functionality that I like is when updating applications, it no longer sends the app to the back of your icons list. It keeps your app structure while updating. This is a nice addition for someone like myself that organizes apps and games on different home screens.

The biggest change I noticed is the improved 3G signal. I use to get 1 bar or no bars of 3G service in my office, so I would have to enable and disable 3G when I came and went from my office. I now have 3 and 4 bars while sitting at my desk. This is a great improvement! I can finally leave my phone on 3G all the time!

Overall the bug fixes are great, and the overall speed is greatly improved. The update is said to improve battery life, but I am unable to test this just yet because I have only been running the update for about 1 hour. This free update is a must get for any iPhone owner.