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Inside Apple's iOS 4.1 update: proximity sensor fix, GameCenter, more

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
The forthcoming iOS 4.1 software update will pack a number of fixes for Apple's mobile devices, including a problematic issue with the iPhone 4 proximity sensor. AppleInsider offers a closer look at the latest beta available to developers.

iOS 4.1 is currently in its third beta, released earlier this month. It addresses many issues that users have experienced, including problems with Bluetooth connectivity.

The official list of fixes and enhancements does not make mention of the proximity sensor or Bluetooth functionality. However, time spent with the latest beta build shows a marked improvement with those features.

The most recent update also added new features such as a new API that allows apps to access contact thumbnail pictures.

However, the software is still not ready for public use, as major glitches remain that prevent it from release. Most notably, there are memory leaks in beta 3 that can cause serious issues.

Proximity sensor

While not documented by Apple, experience with the iOS 4.1 beta has shown that the proximity sensor on the iPhone 4 is far more reliable. Since the device launched in June, users have reported that the handset's touchscreen will sometimes turn on in the midst of a call, resulting in accidental button presses that can end a call or place someone on hold.

At a press conference in July, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs confirmed that his company was aware of the problem and working on a fix. But the first two minor updates to iOS 4, in the form of 4.0.1 and 4.0.2, did not address the problem.

Game Center

Game Center has been touted by Apple as a major feature of iOS 4. It works much like Microsoft's Xbox Live, making it easy for users to play and talk about games.

With Game Center, users will create an alias that represents their online persona. The community service allows players to interact with one another anonymously via their alias. When Game Center is launched later this year, users will be able to create a friends list, set "status updates" and more.





Developers access the features of Game Center through the Game Kit framework API provided by Apple. The API includes leaderboards for scores, allowing players to compare their performance in a game to friends and others.

Game Kit also allows developers to enable player-versus-player matchmaking for their titles. Through a Game Center account, players will be able to compete in online games against one another, or with a group of people.



As noted earlier this week, the latest beta also added a Game Center restriction. The feature allows the owner of an iPhone, such as a corporation or parent, to restrict access to certain functions of the device.





Other changes

Users will have the ability to turn on or off a "Check Spelling" feature in the Keyboard section of the iPhone's Settings application. Users can have misspelled or unrecognized words highlighted without enabling the Auto-Correction functionality.

As previously reported, the latest beta of iOS 4.1 allows users to conduct FaceTime video chat via another person's e-mail address. This is likely how the forthcoming iPod touch refresh, widely expected to have a forward-facing camera, will allow users without a phone to engage in a FaceTime call.

Camera controls now reposition between portrait and landscape orientations. Currently in iOS 4, the flash and camera selection buttons will only rotate accordingly when the camera is physically turned. Now, the buttons transition to remain atop the screen, regardless of orientation.


Developers have access to new functions to identify the BSSID or SSID of the current Wi-Fi hotspot that the user is connected to.

iOS 4.1 carries a new modem firmware of 2.10.01.

Developers now have new methods to save images to a user's photo album.
iOS 4.1 also includes new capabilities that allow applications to control fonts.
In addition, an e-mail claimed to be from Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs was revealed Friday by MacRumors. A user complained to Jobs that iOS 4 currently runs very slow on their two-year-old iPhone 3G. Jobs allegedly responded with: "Software update coming soon."

It would be safe to assume that Jobs, if the e-mail is legitimate, is referring to iOS 4.1. The report noted that it has been said anecdotally by developers that iOS 4 performance is improved on the iPhone 3G with the betas.
post #2 of 54
it would be great if the screen shots were a bit larger...
post #3 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

it would be great if the screen shots were a bit larger...

lol...you stole my comment
post #4 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A user complained to Jobs that iOS 4 currently runs very slow on their two-year-old iPhone 3G. Jobs allegedly responded with: "Software update coming soon."

Here's to hoping the alleged email is real and also applies to the 2G iPod Touch.

Does anyone know if the 2G iPod Touch will support Game Centre? I can't remember if this was one of the new-hardware-only features.
post #5 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

it would be great if the screen shots were a bit larger...

yup, I was also almost not able to count the pixels....
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post #6 of 54
I don’t trust emails from Jobs as real until proven... they’re easy to fake, and now people know that. So you can bet on a flood of fakes from now on.

I hope this one IS real because my 3G has been very crashy under iOS 4 (but not slow, oddly enough).

P.S. I hope the look of GameCenter keeps evolving... the green felt thing is really well done but I just don’t like it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Here's to hoping the alleged email is real and also applies to the 2G iPod Touch.

Does anyone know if the 2G iPod Touch will support Game Centre? I can't remember if this was one of the new-hardware-only features.

Some recent beta version of GameCenter dropped support for older devices, but I’m assuming that was a temporary issue. There’s no need to make GC limited to only certain devices, and it would be absurd to do so: developers and users alike would hate that. If there are certain effects or features that older devices can’t handle, then just eliminate those, but have the basic service be universal! I predict GC will ultimately run on all iOS devices.
post #7 of 54
Anyone else try calling Steve Jobs? lol, it's not him FYI. I let em know that they could pretend to be though when other people call ( I was apparently the fifth person so far). They said, "Steve who?"
post #8 of 54
I think this has to be the most reviewed iPhone OS ever that hasn't even been released yet. I'm sick of hearing about it.
post #9 of 54
1) There are plenty of niggling issues with the iOS 4.1b3 still. More than just memory leaks.

2) Assuming it’s real, I had hoped Jobs would have stopped with these damn emails to people. Didn’t it already blow up in Apple’s face and make this silly “antenna-gate” issue worse than what it should have been had Jobs not been replying to people.

3) I hope the iPad gets the update alongside the other iOS devices.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

it would be great if the screen shots were a bit larger...

Just in case it’s not know that is the native screenshot from the iPhone 4.
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post #10 of 54
These screen shots don't look like something Apple would design. Just don't look right to me. I'm calling BS!
post #11 of 54
I assume that those who have jailbroken 3G phones will not be able to upgrade until a new way to jail break is discovered? Any news or comments on that.
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by storneo View Post

These screen shots don't look like something Apple would design. Just don't look right to me. I'm calling BS!

I ran the beta, this is it.
post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by storneo View Post

These screen shots don't look like something Apple would design. Just don't look right to me. I'm calling BS!

You really think that iOS 4.1 betas are so hard to obtain (anyone with $99, BTW) that AI would have to fake screenshots or could be duped into posting fake screenshots, especially with Kaspers name clearly labeled?
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post #14 of 54
Besides some of the fixes / new features sound nice. Believe it or not I'm love to have the ability to turn off auto correct yet have the highlighted spell checking. Auto correct just doesn't do it for me.
post #15 of 54
Ya! Proximity sensor fix! I was just on a call with an important client and my screen turned on and caused the speaker phone button to activate... could have been the hang up button if I was not so lucky.
post #16 of 54
Why have they waited so long. This was a problem on the 3G even.
post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post

Why have they waited so long. This was a problem on the 3G even.

There was no widespread problem with the iPhone 3G. This is purely an iPhone 4 issue. I think they may be using the front facing camera now instead of the infrared sensor, so the problem is the result of the iPhone 4 using a different implementation. It may have something to do with only one sensor instead of two on the new phone as well. My guess is that they are increasing the delay before the touchscreen is reactivated and maybe fine tuning their image processing algorithm a bit.
post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

There was no widespread problem with the iPhone 3G. This is purely an iPhone 4 issue. I think they may be using the front facing camera now instead of the infrared sensor, so the problem is the result of the iPhone 4 using a different implementation. It may have something to do with only one sensor instead of two on the new phone as well. My guess is that they are increasing the delay before the touchscreen is reactivated and maybe fine tuning their image processing algorithm a bit.

No way the front-facing camera is being used for proximity detection. That would be a crazy drain on the battery.
post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

There was no widespread problem with the iPhone 3G. This is purely an iPhone 4 issue. I think they may be using the front facing camera now instead of the infrared sensor, so the problem is the result of the iPhone 4 using a different implementation. It may have something to do with only one sensor instead of two on the new phone as well. My guess is that they are increasing the delay before the touchscreen is reactivated and maybe fine tuning their image processing algorithm a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macintel4me View Post

No way the front-facing camera is being used for proximity detection. That would be a crazy drain on the battery.

The proximity sensor has moved from its previous location to the left of the speaker to above the speaker to allow placement of the VGA camera. The sensor HW may be different or the new placement may mean the sensitivity needed to be tweaked, but its most certainly not using the camera, as macintel4me stated.
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post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post

Why have they waited so long. This was a problem on the 3G even.

Even on the 2G. Mine puts people on hold or hangs up on them sometimes. It's like it has it's own personality.
post #21 of 54
This next release had better fix the many problems iOS 4 introduced for 3G iPhones. They really fucked up that release.
post #22 of 54
My forth-coming Droid X combined with a FaceTime-enabled iPod Touch is going to be a killer combination. I'm on the network I want, with the phone that I want, and still have access to all of the unique features iOS 4 and the iPhone 4 provide.

Can't wait! Apple, don't let me down on this one.
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post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

There was no widespread problem with the iPhone 3G. This is purely an iPhone 4 issue. I think they may be using the front facing camera now instead of the infrared sensor, so the problem is the result of the iPhone 4 using a different implementation. It may have something to do with only one sensor instead of two on the new phone as well. My guess is that they are increasing the delay before the touchscreen is reactivated and maybe fine tuning their image processing algorithm a bit.

This doesn't make much sense to me. No way they are using the camera.

You are right that the sensor worked perfectly through all revisions of the three previous models of iPhone. But I think what that tells us is that it's less likely to be software/firmware related and more likely to be down to a physical difference with iPhone 4. Either a different sensor being used or maybe the refraction index of the glass has changed or something.

If it was a software/firmware mistake, again it would be more likely that having multiple versions of working code in multiple revisions of the OS, they could fix it quickly. The fact that the fix wasn't in the first update again indicates it's a new problem and not just bad coding.
post #24 of 54
I'd like to see the ability to stream content from iTunes libraries implemented. There are some third party apps which attempt to allow this (such as Air Video and Orb), but they're all rather clunky. I'd like the iPod app (on both the iPhone and iPad) to just see shared libraries as iTunes does, and stream from them. The Apple TV has been able to do this forever, so why not the iPad/iPhone?
post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by storneo View Post

These screen shots don't look like something Apple would design. Just don't look right to me. I'm calling BS!

Relax. There are always visual theme changes along the timeline of app development.
post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Here's to hoping the alleged email is real and also applies to the 2G iPod Touch.

Does anyone know if the 2G iPod Touch will support Game Centre? I can't remember if this was one of the new-hardware-only features.

I've got a Touch 2G running 4.0 Jailbroken to run multitasking and background wallpaper. Never had any issues with speed unless I ran more then 4 apps (unless of course on is a game at which point it slowed down significantly).

Gamecenter worked perfectly on my touch when the developer release was going around and I don't see why it would not work when it's finally released. I am sure jailbreaking community will figure out a way to put it on my 2Gen even if it does not come officially.
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post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I'd like to see the ability to stream content from iTunes libraries implemented. There are some third party apps which attempt to allow this (such as Air Video and Orb), but they're all rather clunky. I'd like the iPod app (on both the iPhone and iPad) to just see shared libraries as iTunes does, and stream from them. The Apple TV has been able to do this forever, so why not the iPad/iPhone?

Its *gotta* be coming for iTunes 10 this year. I'm predicting wireless sync, as well as iTunes library access over the air. Come on. Apple can't seriously end the decade without adding at least one of those two features.
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post #28 of 54
I hope the OS pops up a warning dialog when an app uses the contact photos API. Any old app could gather those photos and beam them back to their home server.

It's too bad that spell check is now optional, it was probably helping to improve the standard of spelling in the population in general.
post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

Ya! Proximity sensor fix! I was just on a call with an important client and my screen turned on and caused the speaker phone button to activate... could have been the hang up button if I was not so lucky.

You couldn't just press the home button as a temporary work around? You may activate another odd function, but you won't lose the call. Well at least not because of the proximity sensor. Maybe AT&T will drop your call....
post #30 of 54
You mention bluetooth connectivity but how about bluetooth audio controls (AVRCP)? Any word? There was a rumour a month-or-so ago saying it had more complete support such as adding skip/previous/next track alongside the current play/pause functionality. Was this just a nasty rumour or is the extra functionality there? I've never been able to get anyone to confirm it yet.

My car stereo supports it, but the iPhone doesn't and it's driving me nuts not being able to skip tracks while I'm behind the wheel.
post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkAllan View Post

You mention bluetooth connectivity but how about bluetooth audio controls (AVRCP)? Any word? There was a rumour a month-or-so ago saying it had more complete support such as adding skip/previous/next track alongside the current play/pause functionality. Was this just a nasty rumour or is the extra functionality there? I've never been able to get anyone to confirm it yet.

My car stereo supports it, but the iPhone doesn't and it's driving me nuts not being able to skip tracks while I'm behind the wheel.

That and fixing some of the WiFi issues would be great for me.
Don't really care about the Game thing.
post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkAllan View Post

You mention bluetooth connectivity but how about bluetooth audio controls (AVRCP)? Any word? There was a rumour a month-or-so ago saying it had more complete support such as adding skip/previous/next track alongside the current play/pause functionality. Was this just a nasty rumour or is the extra functionality there? I've never been able to get anyone to confirm it yet.

My car stereo supports it, but the iPhone doesn't and it's driving me nuts not being able to skip tracks while I'm behind the wheel.

I'm eagerly awaiting AVRCP as well. According to 9to5, its included in 4.1
http://9to5mac.com/ios-beta-brings-f...Mac-MacAllDay+

Look here for further testimonials, specifically in the later replies:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...3#post10539253
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerofTruth View Post

Even on the 2G. Mine puts people on hold or hangs up on them sometimes. It's like it has it's own personality.

My 3G does that too. I also get ridiculous delays just trying to answer a call. The unlock slider won't slide. I was thinking about downgrading this weekend, but if the new release is coming soon I guess I'll wait.
post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkAllan View Post

You mention bluetooth connectivity but how about bluetooth audio controls (AVRCP)? Any word? There was a rumour a month-or-so ago saying it had more complete support such as adding skip/previous/next track alongside the current play/pause functionality. Was this just a nasty rumour or is the extra functionality there? I've never been able to get anyone to confirm it yet.

My car stereo supports it, but the iPhone doesn't and it's driving me nuts not being able to skip tracks while I'm behind the wheel.

AVRCP is fixed in beta 3
post #35 of 54
My iPhone 3GS running iOS 4.02 has very poor battery life. I get only a few hours compared to all day

Any tips on how to fix? Or wait for 4.1?
post #36 of 54
Nothing on that list that will get me to update passed 4.0.1. Jailbreak is far too useful. I'm sure I'll be able to get game center another way.
post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I predict GC will ultimately run on all iOS devices.

Don't count on it being for ALL iOS devices. Do you really think that Apple will update the iPhone 2G and 1st gen iPod Touch? Apple didn't even release an update to fix the major PDF security hole for those devices.
post #38 of 54
I don't know about upgrading. My iPhone 3G became slower with each "upgrade" rendering it a frustrating device within a year - a far cry from the smooth user experience when I first got it.

I'm still on the original firmware with my IP4 and won't upgrade unless there's some really, really, really, really HUGE improvement or bug-fix.
post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1)
2) Assuming its real, I had hoped Jobs would have stopped with these damn emails to people. Didnt it already blow up in Apples face and make this silly antenna-gate issue worse than what it should have been had Jobs not been replying to people..



Tell you what. After you form a multi-billion dollar international conglomerate that changes the entire world, then you can start giving advice to Steve.

Until then, STFU.
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

I've got a Touch 2G running 4.0 Jailbroken to run multitasking and background wallpaper.


These excuses crack me up. There is no excuse for jailbrealing anymore. The iP4 already HAS multitasking. The iP4 already HAS wallpaper.

No, the real reason for all jailbreaking is the same as ever: To steal from Apple and to hurt the Apple community.
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