iPhone OS Update Earns Mixed Reviews
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Apple's latest update for the iPhone operating system fixes three bugs, but it appears to fall short of addressing ongoing issues with poor battery life and Wi-Fi glitches.
The iPhone software update released by Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) brings the current version to OS 3.1.2 just a month after the last upgrade. The 200MB upgrade file for the iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS can be downloaded through iTunes.
In this latest release, Apple fixed a "sporadic issue," in which the iPhone would not wake up from sleep mode, dubbed "coma mode" in user forum discussions.
The update also "resolves intermittent issue that may interrupt cellular network services until restart and fixes a bug that could cause occasional crashes during video streaming," according to Apple's release notes.
"iPhone OS Software Update 3.1.2 is a free update for all iPhone customers that provides a number of bug fixes," an Apple spokeswoman told InternetNews.com. "We encourage all iPhone customers to keep up to date with the latest version of iPhone OS via the free download from iTunes."
Apple also rolled out a minor upgrade to iTunes, version 9.0.1, which resolves some browsing, syncing and sorting bugs.
Unless Apple deems OS upgrades as particularly significant, it generally does not notify the media or iPhone users of update details beyond the release notes. This typically means iPhone owners are left to find out on their own if existing bugs not mentioned in the release notes are going to be fixed after they install the update. This prompts lots of discussion in the forums over these topics.
Owners of Apple's iPhone who upgraded recently to the new operating system version 3.1 have been flooding the company's forums with reports that battery life is severely diminished after updating to the new OS.
While complaints of limited battery life for the iPhone aren't new, close to 95 pages of posts fill the Apple Support discussion board on the issue of battery drain after a very short period of use.
Apple several weeks ago responded by polling a number of users on the matter and evaluating data gathered by iPhone owners, but the company did not mention the topic in the latest release notes. Users today are posting that the issue is still not resolved.
"The 3.1.2 did not improve the battery issue. I hate to say this but I might have to go get another phone since I can't be tethered to the power company," writes one forum member at the Apple support board.
Meanwhile, the battery life drain is not the first snag iPhone users are experiencing in regard to OS updates. Owners of the older model, the iPhone 3G, similarly complained in the Apple forums that Wi-Fi wasn't working consistently after they updated to OS 3.0.
Many speculated that the issue would be resolved once 3.1 was out, but posts at that forum show iPhone 3G owners remain disgruntled over the matter, citing the failure of 3.1 to fix the problem and failure on Apple's part to formally respond or address it.
It appears the Wi-Fi glitch on the iPhone 3G running OS 3.O and 3.1 has not changed with OS 3.1.2, with recent posts by users reporting that Wi-Fi is still not working properly after updating.
"I'm very disappointed with Apple. [I] have been looking forward to the update (3.1.2) for some time, which did not fix the Wi-Fi," writes one forum member at the Apple support board. "Will probably switch to another phone as soon as I can afford it, or (wait until) Apple issues a release that fixes the iPhone, whichever comes first."