I don’t often have major gripes about software updates but this one has really gotten under my skin. The iPhone OS 3.1 update was officially released on Sept.9, 2009. While it brings a handful of good features it also broke a rather important pre-existing function. Anyone who uses smart playlists in iTunes knows how great that function can be to customize playlists to your liking. Now, after installing the iPhone OS 3.1 update, this is no longer the case on the iPhone side of things. For an as of yet unknown reason the iPhone is not reading the playlist properties correctly and instead organizes or rather unorganizes smart playlists into a seemingly random order. What’s rather interesting is that when you view the iPhones playlist using iTunes it appears in the order specified. So this is obviously not an iTunes 9 issue but solely an iPhone OS 3.1 issue. I have been to the Apple support forums and everyone there is complaining about this. Apple is fully aware of it and is working on a fix, so hopefully Apple will get this out fast.
My next issue is the continued lack of full Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) support. This protocol seems to only be half enabled by default so that you can use the play/pause button but no skip or replay functionality. So if you unexpectedly need to hear a song, podcast, audiobook, etc. again you still must take out your iPhone or iPod Touch and manually press the back button to replay it. I find this unfortunate since it did appear in the 3.1 betas leading up to the official 3.1 release. This is yet another feature many consumers of bluetooth headsets such as myself have been complained about for awhile now. Merely a speculation but Apple could possibly still be working on a stereo bluetooth headset and refuses to release it until theirs is ready for sale. I am in no way making excuses for them but I can understand the reasoning behind it. I hope this function is also included in a soon to be released update.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the iPhone OS 3.1 update goodness:
- Organize apps in iTunes right from your computer (requires iTunes 9)
- Improved syncing for music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and photos
- iTunes U content organization
- Genius Mixes
- Genius recommendations for apps
- Wirelessly download ringtones
- Redeem iTunes Gift Cards, codes, and certificates in the App Store
- Display available iTunes account credits in the App Store and iTunes Store
- Save video from Mail and MMS into Camera Roll
- Option to “Save as new clip” when trimming a video on iPhone 3GS
- Better iPhone 3G Wi-Fi performance when Bluetooth is turned on
- Remotely lock iPhone with a passcode via MobileMe
- Use Voice Control on iPhone 3GS with Bluetooth headsets
- Paste phone numbers (including alpha-numeric) into the keypad
- Option to use Home button to turn on accessibility features on iPhone 3GS
- Warn when visiting fraudulent websites in Safari (anti-phishing)
- Improved Exchange calendar syncing and invitation handling
- Event alerts now display the location of the event in the pop-up
- Fixes issue that cause some app icons to display incorrectly
So as you can see it’s not all bad. Decide for yourself whether or not this is a big issue for you.