Well it is here at last, and this time it seems to be all gravy as they say. Apple has made the iPhone 2.1 upgrade as promised at the Let's Rock event available, and oh boy is it a little beauty!

The full list of bug fixes and improvements, according to Apple during the install, is:

  • 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

However, the ones that have really hit home here have to be the battery life improvements, 3G signal accuracy and third party app overload stability.

Battery life has always been a bit of bug-bear with the iPhone although obviously you cannot expect miracles from a GPS satnav swinging, web browsing, music playing winder. You can expect not to have to charge the damn thing twice a day though. Well, iPhone 2.1 seems to have improved battery life for me by around 15 percent. Not a lot, but a welcome improvement anyway. It is, I admit, early days and it needs a few recharge cycles to start really measuring this in earnest. Hence the 'around 15 percent' figure.

There is no doubting the improved 3G signal though, that has gone up from 1 bar to 3 bars, and consistently so here. Which is great. Or it would be were it not for the fact that my Nokia N95 shows a consistent 4 bars. I am not going to complain too loudly though, as iPhone 2.1 does seem to be able to hang on to that 3G signal during voice and data connections, which is more than it was doing before to any consistent level.

Considering just how popular the App Store has become, with it outperforming iTunes in terms of apps sold when compared to music sold according to some reports, the third party app overload problem could be most important to many folk. Basically, if you had gone App Mad and installed a ton of games and utilities, the iPhone did a Star Trek on your ass with an 'it canna take it Captain' before falling over. The new update seems to have cured this, and I am happy to report not a single app overload crash no matter how hard I try.

Of course, for now, it will mean those of you with pwned phones will most likely have to wait a bit to get the next jailbreak update. But to honest, I can't see the point of pwning any more. There are plenty of legit apps these days, they work well, many of the good ones are either free or as near as dammit, and your phone remains above board.