In addition to their new iPad announcement yesterday, Apple also released a bevy of new software upgrades including the new version of iOS – 5.1. I have yet to take the plunge with the new mobile iPhoto app, but I did install iOS 5.1 on both my iPhone 4S and iPad 2. For the most part the majority of the changes in 5.1 are transparent, but their are some visual changes. The update enables the ability to delete pics from the device’s photo stream, which is key for users who like to keep their storage freed up on their iDevices. 5.1 also introduced the Japanese language to use with Siri, and the camera is now always available from the lock screen, so there’s no need to double-tap the home button anymore.
For me personally the most important improvement in iOS 5.1 is the increased battery life that I’ve already realized in just 24 hours since the update. Before iOS 5.1 my iPhone 4S would sometimes lose 2% of its charge within 15 minutes of taking it off of its charger, and by the end of the day I was typically around the 60% mark in regards to my remaining battery life. After upgrading to 5.1 the battery drop I experienced after taking my iPhone 4S off of its charger ceased to exist. In fact, I’m still at 97% charge, and my phone has been free of a charger for 3.5 hours! I have WiFi on, BT, did some texting, took some pics, and read a bit of the Steve Jobs biography on it, and my phone only lost 3% charge, which is much closer to how the iPhone 4 used to behave before iOS 5.
Overall, I think the iOS 5.1 update is an excellent improvement upon the 5th revision of Apple’s mobile OS. For me the battery improvement is key, but the addition of the quick access camera, and the new look of the photos app on the iPad are also impressive updates. For a full list of the iOS 5.1 fixes, and/or changes head on down past the break. If your iDevice is already at iOS 5 you can install 5.1 while on a WiFi connection, and it should take around 15 minutes to complete. You’ve been wishing it was March 16th already…
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