One of my single biggest complaints about the iPhone was fixed in the 2.1 software update, released this morning.
On an iPod, when you’re viewing the list of episodes within a podcast, and there’s a mix of both audio and video episodes, the iPod puts a little video icon next to the video episodes so you can tell them apart. For some bizarre reason Apple chose to leave this feature out of the iPhone. It’s been incredibly frustrating, since I subscribe to some podcasts that have both types of media in a single feed. The reason it was so frustrating is because if you unknowingly selected a video episode from within the Podcast list (instead of the video list) all you got was the audio. There was no indication that you were missing anything.
The 2.1 software update fixes both of these problems. There’s now a video icon next to the video episodes (illustrated by the red circle in the screen-shot above), and selecting a video in the Podcast list actually plays the video, instead of just playing the audio.
These features don’t appear to be documented in the list of changes, but they’re in there. I don’t know why this wasn’t in the iPhone since day one, but I’m so happy it’s finally fixed.
On a related note… if you choose a video from within the video list you must watch it in landscape mode (like it’s always been), but if you choose a video from within the Podcast list you can watch it in landscape or portrait. I’m not sure why they behave differently.