It wasn't worthy of a dedicated press release from Apple
today, but it's
news nonetheless for the 120+ million iOS users in the world. Apple has
today announced iOS
4.1, their first major point update since the
iPhone 4's antenna debacle. There's no mention of this release further
improving reception issues, but instead, it focuses on all new features
to coincide with the release of the newly redesigned iPod
The main new features in iOS 4.1 are TV show rental support, HD video
upload over Wi-Fi, the ability to take HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos,
the inclusion of 'Game Center' and a number of bug fixes (proximity,
Bluetooth and iPhone 3G slowness). That's a pretty major overhaul. Users
have complained for months about the terrible video upload quality from
the iPhone 4 to YouTube, and even over Wi-Fi users couldn't upload full
resolution clips. Now, it seems they can. Also, the proximity sensor
bug was nearly as large as the reception issue, and so we're certain a
good many iPhone 4 users are celebrating this fix. We're also anxious to
see how Game Center fares; will it topple Xbox Live in the portable
space? Will it go unused? Time will tell.
The most intriguing aspect of Game Center is the new multi-player
capabilities, which could take the iPhone and iPod touch's gaming
potential to an entirely new level. The new OS is supposed to go live
within iTunes next week, and it will support iPhone
3G, 3GS and 4 along
with newer iPod touch units.
The other operating system news from Apple today is regarding iOS 4.2.
Yes, the NEXT iOS build. Version 4.2 will apparently be the first build
to work on the iPad, bringing multi-tasking, wireless printing and
AirPlay streaming to the company's tablet. It will also bring over
everything from iOS 4.1. The update should be significant; enabling the
iPad to stream music wirelessly around the house will make it a suitable
media center control/source, and being able to print things off without
e-mailing them around will definitely be a breath of fresh air.
Unfortunately, this one will not be available until November.