Apple promised us that the iPhone 2.1 update would save us all from the iPhone 2.0's sins, but as it turns out, the software brings with it more than just bug fixes.

Everything else

Outside of the iPod app, there are a few other new features sprinkled around the iPhone OS update. For example, the Parental Restrictions setting now allows you to turn off access to the iPhone's camera, which not only removes the Camera application from the Home screen, but also disallows access from third-party applications that implement camera features.

For the security conscious, the Passcode Lock section of Settings now offers an option to erase all data on the iPhone after 10 failed attempts at entering the passcode. Apple also made a handful of security updates, including preventing applications from viewing each other's data and closing a loophole with the Emergency Call feature of the Passcode Lock.

Those who use the iPhone's stock earbuds (or have a third-party headphone adaptor with a click control) will also find that in addition to clicking once to play or pause music and twice to skip to the next track, a triple-click will now jump back to the previous track.

In addition, the SMS application will now alert you up to two additional times if you don't acknowledge an incoming text message. And Apple's also changed the icon in the menu for cell networks: instead of displaying white text in a blue box, the icons for 3G, EDGE, and GPRS are now just white text on a black background or blue text on a gray background, depending on the context.

In terms of bug fixes, Apple appears to have delivered a lot of the stability that was missing from the 2.0 iPhone software. As promised, iTunes backups take substantially less time than they did previously; installing third-party applications is definitely faster, even over 3G; and loading or searching contacts is definitely snappier.

Other bug fixes aren't quite as easily tested in the short-term, like better battery life, fewer dropped calls, and fewer hangs and crashes, but you can bet that we'll be keeping an eye on whether or not they measure up to Apple's claims.

OUR VERDICT

If you're an iPhone owner, you really should get the iPhone 2.1 software update.