iPhone gets firmware 2.2 update

Apple today released the iPhone's 2.2 firmware upgrade that includes Google Maps upgrades, and the ability to directly load podcasts to the device.

While today's update does improve issues with mail fetching, stability in Safari, and sound quality of Visual Voicemail, it is not a critical fix for problems like the 2.1 update was. Rather, it adds some welcome features to the device that have been floating around the blogosphere as rumors for a month or so.

Primary among these is the ability to download video and audio podcasts directly onto the iPhone from the iTunes Store via Wi-Fi or cellular network. iPhone and iPod Touch podcasting applications have been of increased interest lately with Apple's rejection of Alex Sokirynsky's Podcaster app for "duplicating the functionality of iTunes," despite the fact that the iPhone did not actually have that functionality at the time.

Also, the Google Maps application has received Street View compatibility, which was one of the features strongly pushed with the launch of the Android G1. It still lacks accelerometer compass function present in the G1 that allows for motion-based Street View POV changes. It has, however, included directions for mass transit and walking, as well as location sharing.

The ability to turn keyboard auto-correction on and off has been added, as well as the security option to wipe all data from the device after ten failed passcode attempts.

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