The new iPhone 2.2 is here and we've been playing with it all night and morning. Like Apple says in their documentation, the stability and performance seems to have improved, but the spotlight falls on the new and improved Maps application, which has been polished up thanks to its public transportation and walking directions, as well as the smooth, fast Street View, and many other interface details. There are a lot of unexpected new features-no, no cut and paste-and fixes as well, and we've tried them all here:Enhancements to Maps • Public transport and walking mode: The most impressive part, at least for a public transport user like me, is the new public transport and walking directions mode. They work as you can expect, without many glitches. This mode has all the information you need, at least here in New York, and it showed me the fastest way to get from my house to Gawker offices (cleverly avoiding the damn 6, which is always arriving late for me). Not only it showed the route clearly, with nice new icons, but it also gave something unexpected: subway timetables. As you can see in the gallery, it tells you what's the departure time for the next Manhattan-bound L train, telling you how many minutes you have to get there on time. It can also calculate the total time of your trip, which is always useful. • Street view: It works great. You can't access street view by clicking on any place in the map, but the way Apple has implemented it kinda makes sense. When you do a search (or drop a pin) an new little guy icon will appear in the address pop-up. You just have to click on it and the map will zoom and smoothly change into Street View mode, rotating the display to the left automatically. From there you can navigate easily, using one finger to look around the panorama and clicking on the overlaid arrows to navigate. It works hot-butter-over-pancakes smooth. We'd like to be able to access the mode by just finding our current location and switching it on though.
• Other new features: When you drop a pin, it displays the exact address of the location. You can also share any location via email very easily, just by clicking on the location itself and hitting a Share this location button. It's a quick cut and paste substitute (of course, no cut and paste yet). iTunes and App Store • Podcasts over the air: As far as we can tell, they work flawlessly for both audio and video. I accessed the new feature and I was downloading podcasts in no time. Unfortunately, the artificially-imposed 3G network 10MB limit is easy to reach for video content, such as the TED Talks that download fine over Wi-Fi. One good thing: It leaves the podcasts in a queue so the next time you get into a Wi-Fi hot spot, they will download automagically.