New iPhone firmware (1.1.3) now available


Even though I slept through the big Macworld 2008 keynote this morning (7 a.m. HST) and haven’t had the time or the interest to watch the video yet, Apple made sure I’d know about the latest iPhone firmware update as soon as possible by emailing me (and the millions of other iPhone owners out there) the image you see above.

My iPhone. Even better. Again. How could I resist?

I turned my iPhone into an iPod touch several months ago, so I had to pop the SIM back in and install the 65MB iTunes and QuickTime update (version 7.6) before downloading the 162MB firmware upgrade.

It installed without any issue and looked like this after it was done and disconnected from my computer.


Finally! Home screen customization without jailbreaking.

This isn’t meant to be a review of the firmware, so I’ll just provide a list of all the new features:

  • New Maps application (wifi-based triangulation to find your location, improved UI)
  • Send SMS text messages to multiple recipients
  • Customize home screen (rearrange icons, create up to 9 screens, add Safari bookmarks to home screen for quick access to specific websites)
  • Integrated IMAP support for Gmail (Gmail has supported IMAP for a few months, so this just makes configuration automatic)
  • Compatible with new iTunes Store movie rentals
  • Enhanced video player (chapters, subtitles, alternate language tracks)
  • Lyrics support in iPod


I’ve been looking at the same odd-numbered icons on the home screen for months, so my favorite new feature is being able to add Safari bookmarks (webclips).




I use the iPhone exclusively for quick web access and email, so the webclips feature is really handy. It somehow isn’t able to provide an image for this website (figures!), but I like that it eliminates the need of having to launch Safari, open my bookmarks, and find what I want. It already isn’t the fastest-loading browser around (and I’m not even talking about EDGE speeds), so saving a few seconds here and there is great.

Once third-party applications become available (the SDK is being released next month), the ability to rearrange the icons will be nice to have. For the way I currently use the iPhone, though, I’m just happy about the webclips.

Update 1.16.08: Create a custom webclip icon.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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7 thoughts on “New iPhone firmware (1.1.3) now available

  • I must say this update does look pretty good. My biggest gripe with iPhone though is this: Apple got different mobile providers to big against one another. As a result, the most desperate provider would offer the best deal to Apple. The most desperate provider would be the worst one. By buying an iPhone, I would be tied to the worst provider.
    It may be exaggerated a little, but it is certainly the case here in the UK. iPhone here is offered by O2 – and O2’s coverage outside of London is virtually non-existent. iPhone without at least the EDGE connection doesn’t make much sense to me as the much touted software on it (YouTube – don’t really care, Google Maps – do care) won’t even start without it.
    By the way, I wonder why Apple wouldn’t let Google maps etc. work over GPRS. Sure, it would be slower, but it would work – I used to use it on my previous smartphone and it was quite useful.
    In short, I did buy an iPhone (well, two of them) but returned it shortly thereafter. It is a beautiful toy and probably the best thought-through mobile device I have seen in a long time, but has too many drawbacks so far.
    Having said all that, the new software update does look good indeed :-)

  • All it needs now is better Bluetooth support, video recording, cut-and-paste, MMS, and 3G. Then most everyone will be happy. :-)

    I’m surprised that O2 “won” the contract with such shoddy coverage. AT&T is good here (at least in Hawaii). The coverage is more widespread than T-Mobile, who I was married to for nearly 10 years, so I’m glad I switched.

    Is there an iPod touch in your house? I remember you mentioning something about a solitary one moving in a while ago, but it doesn’t seem right. Everything in Bruno’s Ark must have a partner!

  • Jenn, you misunderstood the concept – any gadget I buy for myself needs to have a twin for my fiancee. But if I buy a toy for her, it needn’t have a twin for me :-) There is indeed a (solitary) iPod Touch in the house and it is a very nice toy, I am impressed with it. I wish it could be tethered to a mobile phone for internet access, now that would be interesting!

  • What are your thoughts on the $20 upgrade? It’s a good thing the Ark concept isn’t a blanket rule at your house. Otherwise you’d be out $40!

  • Well, I am severely tempted by the Touch so it may be $40 after all :-)
    My thoughts on the paid upgrade? The first thing that comes to mind is – how come that Apple gets away with it? If Microsoft tried to charge for updates to their products they would be crucified. $20 is about 7% of the cost of a new iPod Touch. Does not sound reasonable at all. Combined with the fact that new iPods are likely to have the update incorporated, Apple once again squeezes as much as they can from early adopters.
    I would (and will) get the update as it does provide good functionality – and by buying Apple, we got locked into a proprietary system. Nevertheless, as a business practice I find it inexcusable.

  • I didn’t think of it in terms of percentage of total cost. 7% (for the 8GB version) is completely unacceptable! Despite the general outrage, I’m sure that countless credit cards have been swiped since the announcement. Customers who begrudgingly pay $20 are still customers who pay $20.

    If you do add a matching touch to your lives, at least you won’t have to pay for the upgrade. :-)

    Actually, I wonder how many “old” models are still in stock at Apple B&M stores. It’s unreasonable to think that all the shops returned their old stock to Apple and replenished the shelves with units that have the new software preinstalled.

  • Avatar of Igotcharged30bucks

    I got charged 30 bucks for my update to my iphone. i don’t have a data plan though


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