Apple has made iOS 5.1, the newest version of its mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, available for download, announcing the update at Wednesday's iPad event. The latest version of iOS features support for a Japanese version of Siri, a new slide-to-open camera option on the lock screen, and a potential fix for battery problems that plagued many iPhone owners upon iOS 5's initial release in October.
Apple's first new version of iOS since November, iOS 5.1 is an update that Apple has been promising for several months, and which will supposedly address and fix the iPhone's much-noted battery issues. After iOS 5 was identified as the culprit for widely reported power problems on the new iPhone 4S back in October, Apple quickly issued iOS 5.0.1; that update, however, did not adequately solve battery issues for many users. Apple issued the following statement via email to HuffPost back in November:
The recent iOS software update addressed many of the battery issues that some customers experienced on their iOS 5 devices. We continue to investigate a few remaining issues.
iOS 5.1 is the result of that three-and-a-half month investigation. Aside from Japanese Siri and the camera button on the home screen -- users can now swipe up from home to open the camera app -- look for improved battery usage, as well as a fix to a well-publicized bug that was causing audio issues for some iPhone 4S owners, from the latest iOS update. The full list of new features, fixes and upgrades in iOS 5.1:
- Japanese language support for Siri (availability may be limited during initial rollout)
- Photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream
- Camera shortcut now always visible on Lock Screen for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation)
- Camera face detection now highlights all detected faces
- Redesigned Camera app for iPad
- Genius Mixes and Genius playlists for iTunes Match subscribers
- Audio for TV shows and movies on iPad optimized to sound louder and clearer
- Podcast controls for playback speed and a 30 second rewind for iPad
- Updated AT&T network indicator
- Addresses bugs affecting battery life
- Fixes an issue that occasionally caused audio to drop for outgoing calls
So, how can you download iOS 5.1? Well, if your iPad or iPhone is already running a version of iOS 5, and you're connected to a WiFi network, then you don't have to plug in a thing: Just follow the handy instructions in the slideshow below.
For photos from Apple's March 7 event, check out the slideshow (below).