Apple released iOS 5.1 for the iPhone today. This operating system and software upgrade brings a number of small improvements to Apple’s smartphone, but few major ones.
Smartphone users in the rest of the world will see just a few tweaks, a few of which are related to working with pictures. A camera button is being added to the unlock screen, the face-detection software will highlight all faces, and users can delete images from the photo stream.
AT&T users are in for a small surprise: they suddenly have a 4G smartphone. When their device is connected to this carrier’s HSPA+ network, a “4G” will appear instead of a “3G” one. Previously, it was thought Apple would reserve this honor for LTE.
In addition, there is a note that iOS 5.1 “addresses bugs affecting battery life.” When iOS 5 was introduced on the iPhone 4S, there were widespread complaints about battery problems. Apple quickly introduced iOS 5.0.1 which fixed the issue for many people, but the company has apparently kept working on it.
Available Now… Sort Of
Although this new version has been released, Apple’s servers are currently overwhelmed with demand. It might be some time before all iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS users can install it.
Unlike previous operating system upgrades, this one does not require hooking a smartphone up to a computer running iTunes. Instead, users can go to Settings > General > Software Update to download and install it. The download is 186MB in size, but you’ll need at least 1.1GB worth of available storage space in order to receive it.
The major reason for the release of iOS 5.1 was to support the third-generation iPad, which will be introduced later this month.