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iPod Touch 2.1 Firmware Features and Availability

Apple's iPod Touch 2.1 firmware appears to be consistently available now. While the iPod Touch 2.1 firmware seemed to be available shortly after yesterday's keynote, many users had some difficulty in installing the update early on. The official list of changes include:

- Genius playlist creation
- dramatically reduced time to backup to iTunes
- improved email reliability, notable fetching email from POP and Exchange accounts
- faster installation of 3rd party applications
- fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes if you have lots of 3rd party applications
- faster loading and searching of contacts
- other bug fixes

Forum users have been compiling a list of other changes they have found. Some of these are said to include:

- Faster App updates and installation
- When viewing songs it says Artist And Album underneath the Song title.
- Podcast has more descriptive information
- Can now selectively mute certain sound effects (new mail, key taps)
- More responsive
- Much faster backups

The iPod Touch 2.1 firmware is available for free via iTunes for existing 2.0 customers. iPod Touch owners still running 1.0 software can purchase the software for $9.95.

Apple also announced the 2.1 firmware will be released for the iPhone this Friday. The features are generally expected to be the same for the iPhone update. Nike+ support, however, is notably absent for the first generation iPod Touch and iPhone users due to the lack of proper hardware support at this time.