Apple Releases iPhone 3.0 Beta 2 for Developers

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Apple released the second version of the iPhone 3.0 OS and SDK Beta today, bringing developers a number of feature improvements and stability fixes.

It’s good news for people like me who are using the beta on their primary phones — against their own good judgment and the advice of Apple and everyone else. The official build number is 7a259g, and this release marks only two weeks since the announcement and initial release of the iPhone 3.0 software.

I had a suspicion that this build’s release timing might have something to do with the recent discovery that if you’re using the brand-new Skype app with the 3.0 firmware installed, you can apparently make calls over your 3G connection instead of just on Wi-Fi. But, lo and behold, 3G voice calls still work with Skype using the new beta. In fact, a lot of the buggy issues I complained about earlier seem to have been resolved with the latest update, including the mic failure when used by third-party apps.

So far, most of the changes I’ve noticed have been improvements to overall performance, less freezing, and generally fewer bugs. Spotlight loads up a lot quicker, and returns results faster, too. Battery life seems to be better, or at least it hasn’t drained completely while streaming Internet radio over 3G. Using the first beta, I could literally watch it die none too slowly when doing this. The real test will be seeing how long the phone can go without a power cycle, since gradual OS slowdown and eventual failure was my biggest problem before. There’s also a weird “Store” menu in the iPhone’s Settings whose purpose isn’t yet clear.

If you were hesitant about using a pre-release build on your primary device, 7a259g may be reason enough to take the plunge. I’ll let you know if any major issues crop up with extended use.

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