Now that I’ve lived with the final gold master version of OS 3.0 for a week, I thought I’d share my first impressions with you. I’m not going to cover all the obvious stuff that you already know about (copy & paste, spotlight search screen etc) but mention a few of the little things that haven’t been so widely previewed and that I wasn’t expecting…
My installation didn’t go that smoothly. For a start it took hours rather than minutes and when it finally finished the iPhone seemed to be drinking battery juice faster than you could imagine. If the phone was on you could actually see the power draining and it was doing something in the background – there was constant ‘chirping’ interference on my Mac and in my car.
I tried restarting and leaving it on charge for hours, but in the end I was caught away from a charging point and it drained itself so completely that the screen wouldn’t even show the ‘plug me in’ warning. This turned out to do the trick though, and after a full charge, everything was back to normal.
The Good: They’ve changed the way the audio scrubbing works – sliding your finger up and down the screen adjusts the speed at which you fast forward through a track and you can actually hear the music playing while you scan (previously you just jumped to a new location). It works well and is pretty intuitive.
The podcast interface has had a slight tweak as well – there’s now a ‘jump back 30 seconds’ button and a playback speed control – half, normal & double speed.
The Bad: They’ve changed the way playlists are ordered which seems strange – smart playlists are now listed below regular playlists. They used to list them in the same order as iTunes (which perfect makes sense) but now it’s the opposite (which makes no sense).
This is annoying, if like me, you’ve spent time creating and naming smart playlists – for instance I have a couple of playlists called ‘1 Today’ & ‘2 This week’ to make it easier to fins new music I’ve just added. They used to appear at the top of the playlist screen – now they don’t 😦
Bug or ‘new feature’?
At last they’ve fixed the ratings! Now when I go to leave a review from my phone it doesn’t default to 1 star and actually prompts you for a rating if you try to submit without one. That should put an end to some of those ‘What a fantastic app’ 1 Star reviews.
I’m not too keen on what they’ve done with the screenshots though. Previously you could click on one of the thumbnails and it would expand to full screen, effectively showing you exactly what the app would look like on your phone. Now, you get to see a scrolling gallery of larger screens which you can’t enlarge to full screen.
This not only slows everything down, but means you can’t get that ‘what would it look like on my phone’ experience…
The App Store itself seems to take twice as long to load and the Updates screen has been moved off the options bar at the bottom into a new ‘…More’
Search fields everywhere
In case you hadn’t realized, Search fields now appear all over the place – not just on the Spotlight screen. You’ll find them in Notes, in Calendar, in Playlists and Podcasts – all over the place it fact. This is a good thing.
I’m not at all happy with the WiFi performance of OS 3.0. My phone can no longer pick up a WiFi signal in parts of the house where it did before ie. the side of the house furthest away from the wireless base station. Now I’ve got a WiFi signal powerful enough to kill next door’s cat but my iPhone can’t seem to connect reliably unless I’m nearly on top of it.
It also doesn’t seem to want to connect as quickly before – previously it would find the signal and log on virtually instantly – now it can take up to 30 seconds – long enough to launch Safari and be told you haven’t got an internet connection. The other iPhone in the house (which has yet to be upgraded) still seems to work as before so I’m pretty sure it’s got nothing to do with my WiFi network… Let’s hope OS 3.1 fixes it.
You can open links in a new window! A small, but time saving feature. You can also autofill forms (info is pulled from your address book) which is nice. On the other hand, I’ve seen this screen a few times too many…
I’ve got no idea what’s going on here as I definitely have an internet connection – although I can’t switch to another page by clicking in the bottom right, I can quit to the Home screen and open another web link perfectly, even the same one that it has got stuck connecting to. Once I get one of these pages it’s a pain to get rid of – it never actually connects at all.
Anybody else found any surprises or changes for the worse? Let us know.