iPhone firmware 2.0 is live (plus hands-on)

That's right. If you've been dying for a round of Super Monkey Ball, now's your chance. The firmware is available only through a direct link, not iTunes, so if you want it, follow the read link to sweet, succulent 2.0 paradise. We're loading it up as we speak, so we'll let you know what's good ASAP. If you want to update, just download the file, then hold option when checking for an update in iTunes -- find the file and let the party begin.

Update: Okay, all systems are go! Updating with pics after the break. We're installing AIM and some other apps on to test -- we'll have photos in just a moment.

Update 2: Looks like our upload of Super Monkey Ball caused iTunes to crash out! We've got the wheel, folks.

Update 3: Alright, we've got it syncing again -- but it's taking forever. Hard to tell if this is due to apps uploading or not. It's like watching paint dry.

Update 4:
Our bad -- music was syncing. Applications are up and running smoothly -- take a look at the new batch of pics in the gallery below. Also, the update has been tested on both a jailbroken and non-jailbroken phone and it's working as it should.

We've got more specific info on apps and changes after the break, so take a peak.


[Via MacRumors]

So right now, it looks like AIM is working when the phone is sleeping, though it doesn't seem to alert you to new messages until you've woken the device up and checked AIM. Then they come at you rapid fire, which is a little unusual. Thus far, we have discovered no way to turn off the sounds in AIM. If you know the sounds, you know how annoying that is.

Push email is kind of working, though it doesn't appear to push changes from webmail to the phone (we can't check MobileMe yet since it isn't live), but Yahoo! Mail works just as badly as it did before.

Google Maps now has 3D buildings, which is a nice change, though little else seems to have been altered.

Most of the applications remain largely unchanged. Take a look at our App Store roundup post to see some more of the interesting downloads available.