iPhone 3G Debuts; Some Glitches Reported

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Firmware Update? Please Hold

Meanwhile, Apple has apparently not yet begun offering older iPhones the long-awaited 2.0 software, which is needed to access the App Store, install third-party applications and synchronize e-mail, appointments and contacts with company servers or Apple's revamped online service.

Some users, however, have successfully downloaded and installed the new firmware after finding it on Apple's servers. They reported no problems reaching the App Store, Apple's online market that debuted yesterday with more than 550 applications, a quarter of them free for the downloading.

A link to the firmware update made its way around the Web Thursday night, allowing intrepid iPhone owners to install it directly from their computers rather than waiting for it to appear in iTunes. The upgrade consisted of a 225MB file that could be downloaded to a user's desktop, then installed through iTunes by holding down the Option key when clicking on "Check For Updates" in the iPhone window in iTunes. That allowed users to navigate to the file locally and begin the installation process.

Updating the iPhone firmware took about 20 minutes, according to a Computerworld editor who downloaded the file and successfully updated his phone. The iPhone restarted at the end of the process and had to be re-synced through iTunes to restore data such as contacts, mail accounts, photos and songs. Once that re-syncing was completed -- the time to do so will vary depending on how much data a user has on the phone -- the editor installed several free applications from Apple's App Store over a home Wi-Fi connection. The installation process took only a few seconds for each application.

At the App Store, the most popular for-fee applications continued to be games. Three of the five top paid downloads, according to the App Store's tally on Friday, were games -- Super Monkey Ball, Enigmo and Texas Hold'em -- while the second and fourth spots were held by MLB.com's At Bat, which delivers baseball scores and highlights to the iPhone, and iLoveControl, a universal remote-style application.

Of the free applications available on App Store, Apple's own Remote led the way with the most downloads, while AOL's AIM instant messaging client and tools from Facebook, Google and Weatherbug rounded out the top five.

This story, "iPhone 3G Debuts; Some Glitches Reported" was originally published by Computerworld.

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