1.1.3: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

by Tanner Godarzi Feb 04, 2008

Although 1.1.3 was leaked a few weeks before being shown off at Macworld, there is still a lot not yet known, such as the methods used for Jailbreaking and other tidbits.

I Am Here

Despite having a GPS radio, the iPhone has miraculously made use of the standard hardware and can now find wherever you are,to a limited degree. Two methods are used (rumors point to a 3rd that is available in the US, is an acronym, and is watching you right now) to pinpoint your location: cellular Triangulation and accessing a Wi-Fi hotspot database.

Cellular Triangulation (Wikipedia has a great article on this containing many big words) is the least desirable of methods, providing mixed results. Usually it can find where I am within 4 or 5 blocks, or as little as 2, but that all depends on where you are and how far away cellular towers are.

Using a Wi-Fi connection is not only faster but a lot more accurate. The difference is leaps and bounds above Cellular Triangulation and can make up for the lack of a GPS radio; it’s that good. The company behind it, Skynet Skyhook Wireless, uses information from a database of local Wi-Fi hotspots to pinpoint your location. To put to rest the fears of all 3 of you afraid of upgrading, your iPhone will not become self aware despite the close naming scheme.

When using either method you get a big blue circle as your location, not as good as a latitude/longitude or the exact street address, but hey it works, and the center is usually the sweet spot.

Homescreen Sweet Homescreen

This time around Apple took a design tip from the unofficial development team and put in multiple home screens. It seems like a no brainer, but keep in mind it would be a cold warm day in Redmond before Steve Jobs allows anything to aid those who are working on altering the iPhone against his standards. To offset this, Apple now lets you create clippings of web pages because bookmarking them was a herculean task. Being able to rearrange your applications is very cool for the brief moment of laughter you get when your friend “inflicts a seizure on your iPhone.”

You Too Can Be A Karaoke Hero

Much to the enjoyment of those who live alone or are training for any spinoff of American Idol, you can now read song lyrics directly on your iPhone. Forget that you might spend a fortnight gathering said lyrics, but rather bask in the glory of being a Karaoke hero amongst your friends. Unfortunately, good singing is required for public performances.


The most sought out question for each new iPhone Firmware update is “how do I Jailbreak it?” After much debate, betrayal, and the opportunity for an indie-directed action film, we got an official and unofficial (do not use unless you have a large stack of papers that need to be weighed down) Jailbreak method. I was eager to Jailbreak my iPhone as soon as I could, but take it from me, patience is more than it virtue, it’ll stop you from [omitted due to graphic text] to your iPhone. However, you’ll need to downgrade if you just installed 1.1.3 (I’ve created a simple guide determining what you need to do depending on which version you’re running).

But the fun has only started: once you attempt a downgrade from 1.1.3, you’ll either have to follow through or start over. In this case Yoda puts it best, “Do or do not…there is no try.” The reason is that downgrading your firmware does not downgrade the Baseband. 1.1.3 updates it to support Cellular Triangulation, going back to anything below that can disable your calling capabilities. The only fix is to upgrade back to 1.1.3.


  • Hmmm, it’s getting quiet here in 2 digit IQ “MacSUX T-shirt wearing Mac/iPhone hating land.

    zato3 had this to say on Feb 04, 2008 Posts: 26
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