iPhone 2.1 Available – Free Download

“The iPhone 2.1 software update contains many bug fixes and improvements,” Apple says

As promised, Apple has released iPhone software update 2.1 for iPhone users. While iPod touch owners have been granted the update three days ago ($9.95 for upgrading from V. 1.x), owners of an iPhone can upgrade for free, no matter the firmware they're currently running.

Upon launching its second-generation iPhone, the iPhone 3G, Apple also issued a new software update for users of its devices, including first-gen iPhones and the iPod touch, while iPhone 3G shipped with the 2.0 firmware preinstalled.

Everything seemed oh-so well (with the new App Store kicking in and all the new syncing features), up until the point where people started complaining about crashing apps, poor 3G signal, and other 2.0 issues. Apple struggled to fix some of the problems by releasing two additional updates for iPhone users (firmwares 2.0.1 and 2.0.2). Neither managed to wipe the tears off users' faces, and so Apple was forced to announce a major software update for iPhone users worldwide, at its September 9 event, “Let's Rock".

Steve Jobs promised on stage that iPod touch users would get the update on that very day, while owners of an iPhone would have it delivered on Friday. And it's here, packing quite a number of fixes and tweaks. Check them out!

“The iPhone 2.1 software update contains many bug fixes and improvements,” according to Apple.

From Apple's official website:

Update includes:

- Decrease in-call set-up failures and dropped calls;

- Significantly better battery life for most users;

- Dramatically reduced time to backup to iTunes;

- Improved email reliability, notably fetching email from POP and Exchange accounts;

- Faster installation of 3rd party applications;

- Fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes for users with lots of third party applications;

- Improved performance in 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.

To install the update on your handset, Apple advises to...

1 - Make sure you are using iTunes 8.

2 - Connect your iPhone to your computer.

3 - When iTunes opens, select your iPhone under Devices in the Source List on the left.

4 - In the iPhone Summary pane, click Check for Update.

5 - Click Download and Install. Do not disconnect your iPhone until the update has finished.

We are waiting for you to confirm how the update has worked for you, mostly as far as battery life, syncing, and 3G signal strength are concerned. To get iPhone OS 2.1, connect your iPhone to your computer using iTunes 8, and click "Check for Update."

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