Hopes were high that 2.0.2 would decisively crush the reception woes some iPhone 3G owners have experienced since taking delivery of their cracking beauties; dropped calls, latching onto EDGE reception when 3G (also known as "the good stuff") is available, and general signal strength wonkiness have all plagued a select group of handsets since launch, making for a decidedly MobileMe-like user experience. Some upgraders are actually reporting just the opposite, though -- for these lucky few, 2.0.2 seems to be making reception somehow worse than it already was, and what's more, there are intermittent reports cropping up of broken third-party apps, too. With the 1.x line of builds having chugged along with relatively little drama for a year, here's our question: what the hell is going on? Why does 2.0, after two post-launch builds, still feel like a beta? MobileMe took the lion's share of the fall for Apple having spread itself too thin through the launch-heavy summer months, but did some of that fire-drill mentality trickle over to the breadwinner, too? Sound off in comments with your experiences putting 2.0.2 through its paces so far!

[Via Mobility Site]

Update: Apparently Steve Jobs, who should have his face buried in a developer workstation somewhere in Cupertino slaving away on iPhone bug fixes, somehow found the time to slack off for half an hour and fire off an email to some guy who wrote him complaining about third-party apps that are crashing on startup. Jobs allegedly says that the issue is a "known iPhone bug" and that it'll be fixed in the next update come September -- but frankly, we wish he'd let his assistants attend to this sort of needless communication so he could get back to, you know, writing code and inventing phones. Thanks, Alexander!

Update 2: An Ars Technica reader seems to have developed a workaround to the crushing pain of dead third-party (and installed first-party) apps and iPod player weirdness: go back to iTunes 7.7 from 7.7.1. It's not for the faint of heart because you've got to reset the phone and delete some files off the computer, but until this supposed firmware update (and possible iTunes update) rolls around in September, it may be the best thing affected users have going. Thanks, Garrett!

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Is Apple shooting in the dark to fix iPhone 3G issues?