iPod Touch v2.0 Firmware

/ 12 July 2008

This morning I bought, downloaded, and installed the iPod Touch v2.0 Software Upgrade. The server was down most of yesterday, so I couldn’t perform the upgrade the day it was released, but I did it first thing this morning. The upgrade file was a 222.6 MB file and took just under 5 minutes to download. The Mac then had to make a backup of all the data on the iPod except the music (as the music is there anyways). The installation involved the erasing of all the data on the iPod, but after the installation it restored from the backup to put it all back. The whole process from purchase to being abe to use the iPod again took about 3 hours. Here are my first notes on this newer firmware (organized by app): Calendar: The iPod now stores calendars as separate color-coded data sets. You can’t choose the colors, but the calendars being separated like that allows you to show just one calendar at a time. The “Today” and View switcher is also now at the bottom of the view instead of the top.

Mail: The Mail apps main new feature is the addition of bulk functions. But, when filing a single message, the sender and subject is shown above the folders (for your reference).

Contacts: The search bar, quite useful and well-appreciated. It shows up only when at the top of the contacts list, though, but I actually prefer that.

Maps: The icon for options has changed (I think…).

Calculator: Square buttons and the scientific calculator view.

Settings: Added MobileMe support.

I also downloaded a few 3rd Party apps already. Here’s that list and a short review of each:

NetNewsWire: This app works generally well. The NewsGator syncing is seamless and the feeds get downloaded into a simple view that only shows the unread items (or items that you’ve read?…). But, problematically, it has crashed my iPod twice already.

Mobile News: This app has some great potential as a good and reliable real-time news source for me. I can set up the categories that I want (currently Top News, Local, Politics, and U.S. News). I can read the full articles right on the screen and go from page to page with toolbar buttons. I can send it to friends and save it for future reading.

WeatherBug: Though this app doesn’t replace Apple’s own Weather app for quick checks, it does provide a huge amount of detail for those times a tornado is in the area or your just simply wanting more complex and in-depth information on the curent local weather. I can also view the radar and cameras.

Evernote: For those who’ve signed up for an Evernote account, this little app is a must. It provides a cleaner and more powerful interface to get at your online (or “cloud” as some may now say) notes.

Facebook: This native app strikes farther than their web app did, and therefore is a must for any who have a Facebook account. You can have chats and view photos with the Photos app’s feel. It also provides a cleaner interface to update your status with.

AIM: Provides a text-based “iChat” app for your iPod or iPhone.

Google: Provides a basic and clean interface for iPod Touches and iPhones to access Google services.

Twitterrific: Provides a clean interface to access your Twitter feed and update your own Twitter status.

iMaze: A little maze game. You tilt the iPod (or iPhone) to move the ball.

Enigmo: Just a neat game that Eric and I both find soothing. It’s whole goal is to get water and/ or other substances into a certain container with just a few items to bounce them.

eBay: A clean and iPod-friendly eBay browser.

Remote: Apple’s handy remote control for iTunes (on a Mac or PC) or an Apple TV. It pairs based on Bluetooth-like passkeys and amazingly works magnificently. The one problem is that when a song is playing the iPod’s interface is the same as for the music on the iPod.

Well, that is my quick review of 3rd Party apps and the notes on Apple’s new features. The two apps I’m certain to purchase/ get soon are Bejeweled 2 and some sort of Sudoku app. Enjoy, Alex.