Apple rolls out major software updates for iPhone, iPods [updated] | iLounge News

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Apple rolls out major software updates for iPhone, iPods [updated]

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2008
News Categories: iPhone

Apple today announced the release of iPhone software version 1.1.3, a free update for the device which adds several new features including Maps with location, the ability to send SMS messages to multiple recipients, and the ability to customize the home screen. “iPhone doesn’t stand still—we’re making it better and better all the time,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve delighted millions of users with this revolutionary and magical product and it’s great to share these improvements with them.” The location feature of Maps uses both cellular and Wi-Fi triangulation technology to provide an approximate location to the application, which also sports a new interface. The iPhone’s home screen now allows users to move and rearrange application icons, and also allows the user to create multiple home screens, which can be filled with Web Clips, direct links to web-based applications and web pages that appear on the iPhone’s home screen alongside the standard applications. The update also adds support for chapters, subtitles, and alternate languages for videos, as well as support for the display of lyrics when listening to music. iPhone software version 1.1.3 is available now through the update feature in iTunes.

Alongside the software update for the iPhone, Apple has also released a similar upgrade for the iPod touch which adds the new features implemented in the iPhone update, including Web Clips, customizable home screen, and the new video and audio capabilities. This update is a free download and is available through the update feature in iTunes. Separately, Apple has announced a paid update for the iPod touch that brings the iPhone’s Mail, Maps (with Wi-Fi triangulation), Stocks, Notes, and Weather applications to the iPod touch; the application pack is available now from iTunes and sells for $20.

Updated Jan. 29, 2008: During the rush of new product and software announcements at Macworld Expo, we accidentally skipped specifically mentioning two software updates that were released alongside iTunes 7.6 — firmware version 1.1 for the iPod classic and firmware 1.1 for the iPod nano (with video). According to Apple, the updates add support for iTunes Movie Rentals and contain unspecified bug fixes, although users have reported Cover Flow and Click Wheel improvements, as well as a new audio bug affecting some iPod classic users. iPod classic firmware 1.1 and iPod nano (with video) firmware 1.1 are both available now through the update feature in iTunes.

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Comments

21

I’m definitely one of those iPhone owners who would have gotten an iPod touch if it had all those apps upon release and skipped the 2 year contract with AT&T.

That said, I’m happy it worked out the way it did and am glad I have an iPhone instead of a Touch.  The EDGE connection while slow compared to WiFi is super useful when you’re out of free WiFi range and this way I don’t need to carry a separate phone and could finally ditch my craptastic Motorola SLVR.

Posted by Dyvim on January 15, 2008 at 7:39 PM (PDT)

22

I’d rather that they provide an easy fix to be able to connect my Touch to my home wireless network.

Posted by Jim on January 15, 2008 at 7:53 PM (PDT)

23

@BJ Nemeth

I guess that’s my other point, if Apple had the foresight to account for the AppleTV on an ongoing basis then why not do the same for the iPod Touch.  They must have known that both products had   the potential to be upgraded with new features. 

I absolutely agree that Apple is in a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” predicament.

I’m with you about Version 2 of the MacBook Air smile

Thanks for reply BJ Nemeth.

Posted by Andrew on January 15, 2008 at 7:58 PM (PDT)

24

My basic comment on the $20 update topic is that, had Apple wanted to release this update for $5, it would have. That’s all that’s needed to satisfy what I believe to be its self-imposed accounting requirements, which incidentally don’t seem to stop Sony from updating the PlayStation 3 every few weeks, Microsoft the Xbox 360 every couple of months, Nintendo the Wii every quarter, etc.

My belief is that Apple is readying people to pay for iPod touch and iPhone applications via iTunes. And that it did so with the hint that apps should cost around $5 each, perhaps less if you get them in a bundle. Obviously this has put a lot of people off, which doesn’t in any way surprise me.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 15, 2008 at 11:42 PM (PDT)

25

Thanks for the early analysis, Jeremy. I value your opinion on these matters far more than my own, which is why I consistently find myself visiting iLounge.  grin

Posted by BJ Nemeth on January 16, 2008 at 12:18 AM (PDT)

26

Dear Jeremy & BJ,
Thanks for the explanations although it’s regrettable that Apple has decided to allow ‘accounting issues’ to dictate its customer service policy for EXISTING iPod Touch owners. How Apple decided to give the new apps free to NEW buyers and ‘discriminate against’ the OLD buyers is still beyond me. Personally, I don’t mind paying $20 but this ‘price discrimination’ is rather peculiar and seems to be a ‘PR disaster’ for Apple.

I too own an iPod Touch and bought it the very first day it arrived in my favourite Apple retailer in Malaysia. I love it a lot and have refused to ‘jailbreak’ it as I knew Apple would release new apps for it in time to come. Now the sad part is even if I cough out $20 for the new apps, I can’t even get it because there is NO iTunes Store in Malaysia or even in neighbouring Singapore. The nearest iTunes Store would be in Australia but flying there just to download the new apps would be downright silly.

I just wished Apple would release the new apps inside the firmware upgrade like what Sony does. In that way, all iPod Touch owners (both old and new) will have no cause for complaint. Or alternatively, charge $20 to the NEW buyers as well so that existing owners/early adopters who would readily buy Apple products without hesitation cannot cry ‘discrimination’.

I also wonder what my favourite Apple retailer will do with all of its existing stocks of iPod Touch now that new customers are going to demand for the ‘new’ iPod Touch with the new apps installed. Looks like Apple just took us all for a big ride.

Posted by heart of joy on January 16, 2008 at 2:01 AM (PDT)

27

Good point Jeremy. I think you are right - Apple is attempting to establish a new business model for iPhone/iPod Touch applications. Basically the other thing that developers would need in addition to the forthcoming SDK.

Jon

Posted by Jonathan Graves on January 16, 2008 at 7:28 AM (PDT)

28

Give me a break, iTouch owners. You either pay for the upgrade or you don’t. Is $20 really going to break you? If it is, how about not stopping by Starbucks for a couple of days to make up for it? How about holding off on buying that new blouse at the mall that you really don’t need?

Posted by oksurya on January 16, 2008 at 7:32 AM (PDT)

29

Jeremy’s point is a salient one—this is clearly Apple’s litmus test for software packages to be released later. I don’t think there will be much griping later this year when the SDK byproducts start showing up, and people are forking over a few bucks for simple games and such.

That being said, it was uncharacteristically bad form for Apple to offer a suite of programs that were (1) built into the iPhone from its inception and (2) will be included in subsequent editions of the Touch. I understand the machinations behind selling the Mail/Maps/Stocks/Weather suite for $20 rather than giving it away, but as I said in a comment yesterday, the whole thing stinks because of the context in which it was released.

And oksurya, I don’t think anyone is quibbling about the cost, per se, of the update. It seems to me that iPod Touch owners are justifiably upset about being “penalized” for early adoption and, again, the circumstances surrounding this issue. It’s not a matter of whether $20 is too much, but a matter of whether this expenditure is fair under the circumstances.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on January 16, 2008 at 8:14 AM (PDT)

30

Here’s a twist….

My mom heard about the new apps just added to the iPod touch and she was so excited to get one that she ran down to the local Apple Store and bought an 8GB touch on Thursday afternoon.  It doesn’t have the new apps preinstalled (obviously), but she didn’t realize that.  I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal since they’d been announced, that it would just be a matter of using Apple’s “Up to date” program to get the update for free, just like buying a Mac the day after an OS update was released, you get the new OS free.  However, I can’t find anything about a free update for post-announcement purchasers anywhere.

Anyone have any ideas?

Posted by Matt on January 18, 2008 at 10:03 PM (PDT)

31

I can’t find it now but I could swear that I saw something about ipods purchased after 1/15 get the upgrade for free, unless Apple “changed their mind.” Like the way they did when I first bought the Touch expecting calendar and contact entering capability (I had called Apple and asked, first), and found that they “changed their mind” and it didn’t have it, and I returned it, and when they “changed their mind” again I re-purchased at the beginning of December, and now have to pay $20 to update the software on a less-than-two-month-old item.

Is it the price of a few lattes? That’s not the point. These are not extra, optional apps. These are the new base set that current ipods will (now) ship with. The accounting defense is BS. They could charge 1 dollar if that was the only reason. As an Apple user since 1988, I am appalled at this type of money-grab from Apple. And I’m very glad that I reined in my lust for an iPhone until the next gen 3g hardware. All the early adopters got screwed. Some of them just apparently have so much cash to throw away they don’t care, and are annoyed that anyone else does.

My suggestion to them: just go give Steve your bank routing number…

Posted by Susan on January 29, 2008 at 4:15 PM (PDT)

32

Look at it this way:

The lowered the price of the iPod touch by $20 (as evidenced by the fact that old stock without this update is selling for $279 / $379 at retail) and then put out a software package that costs $20.

The only people spending an EXTRA $20 are the early adopters, and that’s nothing new. Early adopters ALWAYS spend more, and the price drop ALWAYS comes after a few months on the market—Especially after the holiday season.

A new iPod WITH the software costs $299 or $399.  A new iPod WITHOUT the software costs $279 or $379. Apple DID lower the price of the iPod touch, and then tacked on the price of the hardware in the new ones as a “bundle” of sorts.

Early adopters did pay $20 more for their iPod touch without the software. This is not anything new, though. It’s the standard early adopter fee.

Really, I think the people getting screwed here are the new owners who want to purchase an iPod touch for the $279/$379 price without the software, once the old stock is sold out. They’ll have no choice and will have to pay the extra $20 for the software over the last retail price of the iPod touch without it.

I’m fine paying for it… Of course, I’m doing it by returning my 8GB that I recently purchased and getting a 16GB with the software pre-installed, instead of paying for a download.

I COULD buy one without the software package for $379, but the new stuff is worth it to me.

Either way, a price drop DID occur. The $20 extra paid by early adopters isn’t unfair when you consider this a price drop combined with a retail-priced software package.

Posted by Wilder_K_Wight on February 3, 2008 at 9:59 PM (PDT)

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