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Apple releases iOS 4.1 beta, SDK to developers

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Apple on Tuesday began widespread testing of iOS 4.1, the first update to the company's new mobile operating system shipping on the iPhone 4, delivering changes to the way the handset displays signal strength.

Build 8b5080c of iOS 4.1 beta 1 began making its way to developers alongside iOS SDK 4.1 build 10M2304. People evaluating the software say one visible change is the new signal bar, which presents taller bars at the low end of the scale to make it easier to read. They also report the signal bars seem to better exaggerate signal drop off, with fewer bars visible when in an area of with limited reception.

Responding to widespread criticism over reception problems with the new touch-screen handset, Apple earlier this month penned an open letter to iPhone 4 users, in which it claimed that the formula used to calculate bars of signal strength on the device is inaccurate, and would be corrected in the coming weeks through a free software fix.

"Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength," the company said. "For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars."




Apple added that users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone 4 in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they dont know it because their handset is erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. "Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place," said the company, which maintains that the iPhone 4s wireless performance "is the best [it has] ever shipped."

For their part, wireless experts and well-regarded product research firm Consumer Reports have disputed Apple's claims through their own research which alleges that the iPhone 4 suffers from reception issues when held by a user in a particular manner.

In a dizzying blow to Apple, Consumer Reports announced on Monday that it would no longer recommend the iPhone 4 to potential buyers due to reception problems that it believes to be a result of the design of the handset. The research firm issued the statement on its official electronics blog, stating that it reached that conclusion after testing three iPhone 4 handsets that were purchased from three separate retailers in the New York area inside a controlled environment of a radio frequency isolation chamber.

While iOS 4.1 beta appears to deliver Apple's controversial 'fix' to the reception issues, there's yet to be reliable word on wether the beta also addresses inaccuracies in the phone's proximity sensor, which have similarly helped to sour the iPhone 4 experience for many customers.
post #2 of 48
Whoa, just noticing this. Downloading is fast so this must have just gone up.
post #3 of 48
Well without knowing the details of this beta release, it must be something big to jump from 4.0 to 4.1 I would think the current issues would be 4.01.
post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has sent a notice to developers informing them that a new iOS 4.1 beta is now available for download, along with an updated SDK for the new release.

I would point out, before anyone gets excited, that this is not the "fix" for iP4 signal bar display and any other issues that release will contain. That will be v4.0.1 (or something like that), not v4.1.
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I would point out, before anyone gets excited, that this is not the "fix" for iP4 signal bar display and any other issues that release will contain. That will be v4.0.1 (or something like that), not v4.1.

Maybe it fixes the switching languages glitch that when you switch to another language the default apps remain in the previous language for a few seconds before changing.
post #6 of 48
I've seen the beta and the signal bars have changed from 4.0. Changed display wise, who knows if it's the actual "fix".
post #7 of 48
I wish there was a feature to automatically turn on soothing Genius music on iPod.app when the call drops! At least a saving grace for some unfortunate users!

Let the firing begin!!!
post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post

Maybe it fixes the switching languages glitch that when you switch to another language the default apps remain in the previous language for a few seconds before changing.

iOS 4.1 is likely the version expected in the Fall that will provide iPad support.
post #9 of 48
What or how did it specifically change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I've seen the beta and the signal bars have changed from 4.0. Changed display wise, who knows if it's the actual "fix".
post #10 of 48
Still waiting for the ability to use a more readable font such as Helvetica for Notes.

And the ability to sync notes with Exchange server.

How about putting a silent mode indicator on the status bar, so you don't have to keep checking the side of the phone to see if the switch has been moved?

Why is the orientation lock feature only available for IPhone 3GS and higher? Exactly what extra processing power is required to disable screen rotation? Wouldn't the ability to prevent screen rotation be a benefit for older, slower phones?
post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

iOS 4.1 is likely the version expected in the Fall that will provide iPad support.

If you mean mid-August back to school for a new iPod Touch, then sure.
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadash View Post

What or how did it specifically change?

To be honest, they are taller. That's it. Nothing else.
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Twitter user @alchemistmuffin reports iOS 4.1 (Beta 1) includes a new type of encryption which allows Apple to check if a device has been jailbroken. He explains below

Quote:
Also, iOS 4.1 has new encryption technology, that will constantly check if iPhone or iPod touch, have been jailbroken. This is done by digital watermark that appears when iOS is jailbroken, and this watermark cannot be removed, even if reverted to unjailbroken status. Apple store employees will check for the watermark during iPhone service.

http://www.razorianfly.com/2010/07/1...ally-updating/
post #14 of 48
I'd like the ability to delete individual calls on the Recents list
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by William 3.0 View Post

I'd like the ability to delete individual calls on the Recents list

Afraid your SO will see your calls to sex chat numbers?
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

http://www.razorianfly.com/2010/07/1...ally-updating/
Quote:
iOS 4.1 has new encryption technology, that will constantly check if iPhone or iPod touch, have been jailbroken. This is done by digital watermark that appears when iOS is jailbroken, and this watermark cannot be removed, even if reverted to unjailbroken status. Apple store employees will check for the watermark during iPhone service.

If this is true, then I'll be using iOS4.0 for an awfully long time. \
EDIT: A post to the site with the watermark claim now says that it is not true and was just a troll.
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I've seen the beta and the signal bars have changed from 4.0. Changed display wise, who knows if it's the actual "fix".

As a developer, could you tell me, quickly, how did you make that determination?
post #18 of 48
Sweet, does anyone know if I install the beta if I can still backup to iTunes, I remember the 4.0 beta on a 3GS I had borrowed didn't let me, was a real bummer.
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

If this is true, then I'll be using iOS4.0 for an awfully long time. \
EDIT: A post to the site with the watermark claim now says that it is not true and was just a troll.

**Phew**
post #20 of 48
Bar displays still don't address this.

[IMG][/IMG]
post #21 of 48
It appears that the issue is a hardware issue on select phones. You can't really fix a hardware issue with a software update. Apple is rumored to be making new aluminum bands that are coated to not be conductive which may help the situation.

The only thing 4.1 will do is make your bars more accurate, which really does not do much for anything.
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post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by apple4life View Post

Bar displays still don't address this.

Thank you for your posting your results.

Qualitatively, how would you describe your usual 3G reception in general. Excellent…poor?

For consideration, I found this excellent and enlightening overview of usable 3G signal ranges by a Vodacom3g:
Quote:
There's been a few requests for info on usable signal ranges. I asked the Radio guys to comment on ranges from GPRS or 3G towers:

The general LOS distance for GSM 900 varies as follows:
  • The basic frame structure allows a theoretical around 35 km when assuming propagation at the speed of light and without considering the impact of path loss.
  • Free space attenuation as well as losses associated with bending/scattering of the radio waves due to topography and morphology also have a major impact on the situation.
  • With small terrain undulation and rural environment you may see actual distances of a radius of more than 20 km and in extremely ideal conditions up to 30 km.
  • Once you have heavy terrain undulation, and extreme clutter in an urban environment this will reduce to smaller radii of well under 10 km.

There are other factors that can influence the above:

  • we can slip time frames and introduce deliberately extended range cells (theoretical 70 km radius and more, practically up to 140 km).
  • ducting (through temperature inversion), most often at the coast can take a normal cell and extends its received signal strength significantly and unexpectedly.
  • design can of course also impact this and we deliberately dimension cells with very small radii (through power adjustment, antenna optimisation and other parameter settings) where we have to achieve very tight frequency reuse.
For GSM 1800 the above comments generally hold true theoretically, but the impact of greater free space attenuation of the 1,8 GHz band when compared to the 900 MHz band now also play a role.


The issues that impact coverage in the 3G environment are vastly different when compared to GSM.

In essence, GSM coverage is constant and your ability to use the coverage available is then limited by capacity and the C/I requirement for the service that you intend to use. Adding capacity is undertaken by adding transceivers on separate frequency spectrum and this is done to the extent that the suitable C/I can be maintained to support the required services. To some extent the effectively available power is retained per user as capacity is added due to the TDMA access methodology per transceiver, save for combiner losses.

In a W-CDMA environment the use of capacity within a cell effectively shrinks the available coverage since in simple terms everyone uses the same frequency spectrum but different coding is used per signal sent. What this means is that the total available power is used for the first user and then shared and shared again as more users are added. This loss of power per user added effectively is the main contributor to the cell coverage shrinkage as the number of users increases since lower power implies shorter propagation distances.

Furthermore, since everyone uses the same frequency at the same time the type of service requested is also material to the power equation. In simple terms, greater throughput requires more power so a 384 kbit/s user vastly reduces available capacity for other users compared to the impact of a voice user (12,2 kbit/s). Also as the users are added so the noise floor in the cell deteriorates and this in itself reduces capacity since each service requested needs to be able to generate a signal sufficiently higher than the noise floor to be successful.

Depending on the number of users assumed and the mix of services assumed coverage can in the extreme reduce to a few hundred meters in radius and at best is unlikely to be more than a few kilometres in radius.

http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/archive/...p/t-17660.html
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by apple4life View Post

Bar displays still don't address this.

[IMG][/IMG]

Too bad it doesn't have a "held in hand 'properly'" column.
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post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

As a developer, could you tell me, quickly, how did you make that determination?

Just the way it looks. They are taller. Does that mean anything? Who knows. For me, it's purely cosmetic.
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by SendMe View Post

This is even less scientific than CR. And the software is still in beta.

As the cat is out of the bag anyway, http://gizmodo.com/5587334/initial-r...ix-as-expected, who cares? Apple knows there's a problem.

I admire the hangers-on, defending Apple to the end... haha.
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Programmer View Post

Too bad it doesn't have a "held in hand 'properly'" column.

By 'properly' I guess you mean the way *you* hold it? You also mean that actors in Apple's own adds don't hold it 'properly'?

http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/25/h...ding-it-wrong/

I'm left-handed and, like millions of other people around the globe, hold it with the lower left corner sitting in the fleshy part at the base of my thumb when making calls. A lot of right-handed people hold it this way too when they are using it for non-phone related activities like surfing the internet (see Apple ad).
post #27 of 48
Hahahahahahahaha. The new bars look sooooo retarded!!!! Did anyone have trouble seeing the bars before? Thankfully I returned my iPhone 4 cause I'm sick of dealing with Apple's retardedness lately.

Seriously, these new bars look really weird because they no longer go up in an even fashion. It's like the bars swoop up instead.

Good job Apple for ruining this for everyone.
post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by thespaz View Post

Hahahahahahahaha. The new bars look sooooo retarded!!!! Did anyone have trouble seeing the bars before? Thankfully I returned my iPhone 4 cause I'm sick of dealing with Apple's retardedness lately.

Seriously, these new bars look really weird because they no longer go up in an even fashion. It's like the bars swoop up instead.

Good job Apple for ruining this for everyone.

The fool of the day. Thanks for the laugh.
post #29 of 48
It appears they added bluetooth tethering. Mine just prompted me to setup the iPhone USB network interface.

The bars now match what I had with my 3GS in my home (4 bars). The bars still drop the same amount (up to 3 bars), and I still can't get a No Service, so no apparent change other than the bar height in the display and a more accurate reading.

Haven't had any dropped calls, and I use a cover, so irrelevant for me. More interested in the USB/Bluetooth Tethering.
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post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Why is the orientation lock feature only available for IPhone 3GS and higher? Exactly what extra processing power is required to disable screen rotation? Wouldn't the ability to prevent screen rotation be a benefit for older, slower phones?

I think they did this because screen lock is on the new multitasking bar...even the ipod controls are the old style on the 3G...It was the easy way of keeping the 3g out of the multitasking, and the screen lock was collateral damage. Just my 2 cents
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post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

If you mean mid-August back to school for a new iPod Touch, then sure.

Do they usually do a full point release for the iPod Touches? Well, maybe 4.1 will be for that and the release supporting the iPad will be 4.2 or something. But they aren't likely going to release a beta for the "bar fix" (and whatever else) release, and it won't likely be a full point release, but 4.0.1, so this isn't it. The "bar fix" release will be out before this goes GM.
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by apple4life View Post

As the cat is out of the bag anyway, http://gizmodo.com/5587334/initial-r...ix-as-expected, who cares? Apple knows there's a problem.

I admire the hangers-on, defending Apple to the end... haha.

Well, that's a stupid article by gizmodo. The "bar fix" release isn't going to wait til 4.1, it will be 4.0.1, and they are probably on different development branches, with the 4.0.1 changes to be merged with 4.1 at a later date. This 4.1 beta is just a developer release, it's not meant for general distribution.

EDIT: I see there's an actual story now, that claims the "bar fix" is in this beta, but I still think the public release that's supposed to address this will be 4.0.1, and this 4.1 beta may or may not yet contain all the 4.0.1 changes, so one can't reach any conclusions regarding antenna/signal related changes based on this beta.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 15inchbrich View Post

I think they did this because screen lock is on the new multitasking bar...even the ipod controls are the old style on the 3G...It was the easy way of keeping the 3g out of the multitasking, and the screen lock was collateral damage. Just my 2 cents

The lock has been available on every phone beyond the 1st gen phone but only within certain apps like Photos. Just hold your finger on the photo for a second or two and you should get the lock option. To undo if I recall, you just click the home button. There is not a general rotational lock since the 3G doesn't get the multitasking bar, and double-clicking the home button will just get you the phone app by default.

I assume the rotation lock still functions in 4.0 in those same apps, but I haven't tested.
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post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe hs View Post

maybe it fixes the switching languages glitch that when you switch to another language the default apps remain in the previous language for a few seconds before changing.

電腦 - " 請穿的褲子在我為你做任何事情 "
post #35 of 48
Personally, I love my iPhone 4, and have never had these reception issues (London, UK based user here).

However, my personal gripe is with the photo software - if I want to flick back through my pics, I often find 'extra' blank photos (all black) inserted between some pictures I took earlier.

And then, randomly, one pic in a series that was fine before will re-centre itself partially off screen so I can't get it back to full screen again (i.e. it's only showing me the top left of the picture down in the bottom right of the screen) and some pics show up partially overlapping others.

Also, when editing a contact from my address book and clicking on 'edit picture' and then trying to take a brand new picture to use as a contact photo just doesn't do anything - it takes the picture, but doesn't let me edit it nor does it make it the contact photo.

So tl;dr - biggest gripe is with the handling of photos and profile pics.
post #36 of 48
I put a single layer of duct tape across the gap as Consumer Reports suggested. I did notice more variance in the results - maybe more 3G traffic at 10pm EST? If you're dubious, I'll run it again tomorrow at the same time I ran the other tests and include another taped couch test afterward to verify the variance. There is improvement, but the numbers are still far below not touching the phone.

These results tell me that insulating the "gap" may not work (as we'd optimally hope), whether with a bumper, different tape, nail polish, silicone, or any of the other ideas I've read about - although the robotic hand sounded promising, lol.

post #37 of 48
It's stupid how people deny this problem to so many people. I can put my finger in the corner and stop all data transmission. I use the Speed Test app to check speeds and i usually get 1.7 mbps, but when i put my finger there it just wont go through. And if a test has already started and i put my finger there it just goes back down. i have a case on mine and it does "fix" it, but come on this is real. you might call this unscientific, but seriously, it HAPPENS. the fact of the matter is that data just wont go through. PERIOD. Hope the press conference does something for us people. unscientific or not, the end result is the same, its not good. a cosmetic change will not change that
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post

電腦 - " 請穿的褲子在我為你做任何事情 "

Computer - "I wear pants do anything for you" via google translate.

Anyway, like Alex Albrecht said this looks to be the "red ring of death" for iPhone 4. Hopefully a bumper or new antenna coating can solve the problem.

That said, this is not gonna stop people from buying a whole bunch of iPhones in US and outside.
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post #39 of 48
Suppose that this new fix simply allowed the iPhone to be capable of analyzing antennae interference to determine if the gap is being bridged or not.

When the iPhone is resting on a table and receiving a good signal it could visually suppress the signal strength by 23 decibels at all times (or whatever amount the signal drops when in the death grip). When the antennae has been bridged the iPhone stops artificially suppressing the signal strength so that the user perceives that there is minimal difference in signal strength regardless of how the phone is held.

The end user assumes the general drop in signal strength is normal because Apple has already told them that previous firmware overestimated signal strength and that their bars weren't real to begin with. Phones in areas likely to be affected by call dropouts due to the death grip are unable to make a call in the first place because you can't complain about losing something you never had to begin with.

Apple saves billions of dollars by preventing a product recall by convincing the media that a hardware problem has been resolved with a firmware update because it is no longer visually reproducible.

Next year Steve Jobs announces the new iPhone 5 featuring a "scratch-proof coating" on the antennae and Apple have miraculously found a way to bend the laws of physics and squeeze a further 23 decibels of signal strength at all times.

The next morning Steve Jobs looks into his bathroom mirror and knows he is staring at the face of God.
post #40 of 48
Bluetooth tethering is good news. Lets hope they also bring a Bluetooth keyboard to the iPhone 3G and iPod touch (1g). It's insane not to give recent Apple products feature smart phones had in 2004.
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