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iPhone 2.2 firmware is out, with Street View and podcasts

iPhone and iPod Touch users can upgrade their software to version 2.2 today. The update, which weighs in at around 250 megs, adds some highly-anticipated features. The two biggest for me are Street View in the Maps app and the ability to download podcasts from the iTunes Store. There are some smaller tweaks that you might appreciate, as well: that bug that sometimes kept messages from downloading in Mail is fixed, and you can click the home button when you're on any page of the home screen to go back to the first page.

Street View on the iPhone is every bit as cool as it sounds. It looks good in landscape and is really smooth to control. I suspect it won't be long before we start seeing photos of people holding up iPhone street view pictures of the place they're standing. Less flashy, but just as useful, walking and transit directions are available in maps now, as well. If you're an iPod Touch user, you're unfortunately out of luck on Street View for now, so far it's iPhone only.

Downloading podcasts was at the top of my wishlist for the iPhone (although I know a lot of you have lists of your own). It's always frustrating to finish an episode of a good podcast while you're out walking or on a train, and then wait until you get home to hear the next one. Not a problem anymore, thanks to the latest iPhone update. All in all, 2.2 offers some excellent new features. The only thing I have to complain about is the new Safari layout, which feels cramped with the address bar and the search bar smooshed in next to one another.

Tags: Apple, Google-Maps, iPhone, iPhone-2.2, iphone-firmware, iphone-software-update, osupdates, podcasts, street-view