Apple Reveals iOS 4.1 and 4.2; Bug Fixes, Wireless Streaming, Game Center

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 touch.

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.