Upgrading to iPhone’s 2.0 Firmware
Yesterday morning Steve Rubel asked on Twitter if anyone spotted the iPhone firmware in the wild. Roughly 20 minutes later, he posts a link on FriendFeed, iPhone 2.0 Firmware (5A347) Available Early – Mac Rumors. (Note: if you are into social media and you’re not subscribed to Steve’s blog and/or FriendFeed stream, you should be.)
I’m not sure how it was found so quickly, but it was, and it was the real deal. Not wanting to wait for the official release (which is available right now), I downloaded the firmware and upgraded my phone. For me the whole process took about 45 minutes and was painless. All of my settings, SMS, etc were restored properly and I was ready to dig into the new features of the firmware. I’m also happy to report that when I click the Check for Update button in iTunes, it reports that I have the current version!
Everyone’s been talking about the App Store and I think it is pretty amazing, but for me, the iPhone is an email life line. When I moved to the iPhone, I lost the ability to over the air sync with Microsoft Exchange. Losing core functionality like that was a big step backwards.
With the newly added Exchange support, I’m able send & receive emails on my 3 emails accounts (NWCU, iTech Northwest, and personal). And I have to say, using the iPhone to check multiple email accounts is one of the best user experiences around.
Why I’m Not Upgrading to the iPhone 3G
There are 2 new features available in the hardware that are not available on first generation iPhone – 3G data rates and GPS. I’m sure the 3G speeds will be amazing when you can access the 3G network with speeds almost that of WiFi. GPS will be handy, but I doubt I’d use it while driving, and the first generation iPhone does a pretty good job of finding your location on Google Maps. But are those two features worth the upgrade and increased monthly expense?
I called AT&T earlier this week to find out how much it would cost to upgrade myself and Joanna. Both of us are in the middle of contracts, so our costs would be $399 or $499 per phone. Our monthly costs were projected to go up $20 ($10 each because of the new data rate plans), assuming there are no other hidden fees, that’s not too bad.
But is $399 worth two new features? One of which I kind of have already? No way. What if it was $199? Maybe, but doubtful. The 2.0 firmware included what I really wanted and that was free.
A week ago I was pretty sure this morning I would be in line somewhere waiting to pickup a new iPhone, but after careful consideration, I’m going to pass. I love the direction Apple is heading, but this version doesn’t offer enough bang for my buck.
Jake posted a comment this morning regarding the leaked firmware that a lot of people downloaded yesterday. He was right, the firmware that was leaked was for the iPhone 3G, not the 1st generation iPhone. If you manually patched your phone like I did yesterday, the fix is easy, just click the Restore button in iTunes and you should get the latest firmware. I confirmed this by finding the file that iTunes downloads, it should be: iPhone1,1_2.0_5A347_Restore.ipsw