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iPhone 2.2 Update Brings Better Maps

Early this morning, Apple released its second major software update for the iPhone since this summer's debut of the iPhone 3G. The new 2.2 software -- a nearly 250-megabyte download -- makes its major contributions to the iPhone's Maps program.

That application now features Google's Street View interactive panoramas (which only came online for the Washington area two weeks ago). To bring one up, search for an address, then tap the orange circle that appears in that address's label -- and the phone will smoothly flip into a full-screen perspective of the scenery at that address.

iphone_street_view.jpg

The 2.2 update also adds the option of walking and public-transit directions, both badly needed features in a device people often use on foot. The transit routing, however, doesn't integrate Metro's trains or buses -- it suggested I travel from downtown to Georgetown on a Maryland MTA bus. (This isn't Google's fault; WMATA needs to get with the program and provide Google with the necessary route data, as dozens of other transit agencies have done.)

Outside of mapping, the two other most significant features are a simpler search interface in the iPhone's Safari browser and the ability to download podcasts over the air. (That second option could have arrived months ago if Apple hadn't banned a third-party podcast-downloading program from the iPhone's App Store.)

If, however, you were hoping that this upgrade would bring copy and paste functions or support for multimedia messaging, you'll have to keep waiting.

Apple also advertises that the 2.2 software brings "improved stability and performance" in Safari (which would address one of my biggest ongoing gripes about the iPhone review unit) and a "decrease in call setup failures and dropped calls" (which might stop my colleague Michael Rosenwald from complaining to me about how his iPhone cuts him off). You can help me judge how well this update delivers on those and other promised improvements: If you've installed iPhone 2.2, how is it working out for you?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  November 21, 2008; 4:30 PM ET
Categories:  Gadgets  
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Comments

The new 2.2 update has been a disapointment for me, they should have named it 2.1.2. But I'm happy with two changes that 2.2 brought.

- Being able to turn off the auto correct feature. Which becomes pretty annoying if you are not typing in English.

- Being able to send mail with all the addresses in the BCC field. In the old version you had to put at least one address into the TO field if you wanted to send a mail with multiple addresses in the BCC field.

Posted by: ugur1907 | November 22, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for explaining how the Street View feature works, Rob. It's not at all obvious when you first launch Maps how one accesses it.

I'm actually more impressed with Google's release of its mobile version for the iPhone and it's speech-recognition-enabled search.

I watched the PBS special on the British royal family this week and was interested in knowing just how many Corgi dogs ER II owned. So this morning I said "Queen Elizabeth's Corgis," and damned if the software didn't pick up the full expression and provide a complete list of references on the pups!


Posted by: CafeBeouf | November 22, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I am pleased with the iPhone 2.2 Update changes so far. Street View in Google Maps is wonderful. It solves the problem of disorientation. One can actually match what one is seeing with directions.

Posted by: query0 | November 25, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

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