Why I think the iPhone firmware 2.2 is (a bit) broken

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22 Nov 2008 00:21

Today Apple has released new firmware v 2.2 for their iPhone. Of course immediately I have rushed to upgrade my phone, although I knew that I would loose my jailbreak and a few really useful apps (like Terminal, Scrobbler, Stumbler Plus and a few others).

Honestly I was tempted by the new wireless podcast download option — I am really tired of synchronizing over cable every morning to get the freshest episode of Buzz Out Loud to listen to it on my way to the office. In fact it really makes me mad that I need to connect the phone to my Mac to get new podcasts. Almost everyone hates it.

The blogs are full of the new firmware 2.2 reviews, but actually there are a few things I hate about the new iPhone.

Podcast sorting

In the previous iPhone version podcasts (in iPod) are ordered "fresh on top". Like in iTunes. In 2.2 however you get the newest podcasts at the bottom. Why?

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Getting new episodes sucks

OK, so I am listing episodes of a particular podcast. I want to check if there are any new ones. Click and… it takes me to the iTunes Store? And there is no distinction between what I already have on my iPhone and what is really new. In fact you can download the episodes you already have without any notice.

And in iTunes Store the sorting is different — the freshest episodes are on top.

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There is no way to "subscribe" to new podcasts from the phone — when you get episodes of new podcasts from the iPhone they do not sync back in iTunes. To subscribe to them you need to find the podcasts from iTunes on your computer again and subscribe to them.

Canceling downloading is counter-intuitive

I have started downloading an episode of a podcast. Whooo! Not the right one. How to cancel the download? You can pause it, but how to cancel? It took ma a few minutes — you have to slide your finger horizontally over a downloading episode in the "Downloads" tab.


Street view — why do I need to place a pin?

I do not really care about the street view — it is not available in my area. But I did want to try it and navigated a looong way to California. So how to enable it? It looks like you need to place a pin first! And remember to remove it later of course.


End of the world?

When you move to quickly in the Street View you can place yourself (for a quick moment) in The Matrix.


In general the update is nice, but I just do not understand why Apple made such bad decisions regarding the interface.

UPDATE 23 Nov 2008 After playing with the new firmware I need to admit I got used to the changes. I still think getting new episodes is non-optimal, but so far everything else seems to be more or less in place.

In fact this is what I like with Apple — they are not afraid of changing the interface, although some users (like me) can complain. But the changes are almost always positive and one can get used to it.

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