Apple iPhone Firmware Released

Apple released a new iPhone firmware update that offers new features and fixes a few bugs, one primarily applying to mobile security.

iPhone firmware version 1.1.2, a 160 megabyte download, is available through iTunes and will appear when the iPhone is connected. You can also tell the iPhone to check for an update.

The firmware offers the new international keyboard, jointly enabling users to change the language to French, German or Italian as well as the keyboard layouts. The iPhone’s battery now appears in iTunes adjoining the phone icon and will display if the battery is being charged or not.

Ringstones have also been rearranged and sorted differently, separating the standard ones from custom ringtones purchased from Apple along with ones created with reputable programs like iToner. The ringtones are now marked under “Standard” or “Custom”.

The TIFF exploit has been closed with the update. While the security hole actively allowed third party applications to be installed, it was seen as a critical security vulnerability with the way the handset rendered TIFF images.

Apple has been in a tug of war with some developers who have had to circumvent Apple’s security measures in order to get their software to run on the iPhone. Apple initially wanted to prevent all third-party code from running directly on its mobile device, but in recent months the international company has reversed the course and promised to generously give developers the amazing ability to run their code on the iPhone. This software development kit (SDK) will become available in February 2008.