After the initial announcement at the iPod launch event, Apple finally rolled out the iOS 4.1 update for users of iPhone and iPod Touch. The update addresses a lot of issues and adds new features to the devices. Most new features are however, only available for the iPhone 4 and 3GS and the latest generation of iPod Touch, leaving iPhone 3G users high and dry.
High Dynamic Range Mode
The iOS 4.1 brings some note worthy new features to the iPhone including camera tweaks, addition of a brand new music based social networking platform and a gaming network. The iPhone camera adds support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos, which gives photographs at the most optimum exposure level. The feature is available only on the iPhone 4 and when enabled, takes three photos simultaneously which include an overexposed, an underexposed and a normal photo and combines all three to give the best photo.
With this feature, Apple wants to prove that it is a serious contender in the gaming arena and a challenger to the likes of Sony and Nintendo. Just like the Play Station Network and Xbox Live, it offers a platform to users to connect with each other, share scores, tricks & tips and find opponents through a dedicated Game center app. According to Apple, users will be able to download Game center supported games directly from the app and start new sessions. Game center is available on iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and the latest generation of iPod Touch. It is not available on the iPhone 3G.
HD Video Uploading
The iPhone 4 and the latest iPod Touch can shoot video in high definition at 720p and with the update will be able to directly upload video to YouTube and Apple MobileMe from the native app. However, this feature is only enabled over wi-fi.
The iTunes app now integrates the music based social networking platform Ping. The mobile app lets users keep track of their friends and artists and get updates from them. Users can write comments and ‘like’ their favourite tracks and even buy them from the iTunes store. Another addition in the app is the availability of tv show rentals (US only) inside the app which was missing till now.
iPhone 3G Performance Improvements
Apple had promised that it would fix the performance issues on iPhone 3G after a lot of users reported problems of unresponsiveness on upgrading to iOS 4. The update addresses these issues, though the device is underpowered to benefit from other enhancements offered by the upgrade. The iPhone 3G now runs smoothly after the 4.1 upgrade.
iPhone 4 Proximity Sensor Fix
The iPhone 4’s proximity sensor that basically turns off the touch screen at the time of the call was not working efficiently and lead to accidental dialing and ending of calls. The update fixes this problem as well.
Stereo Bluetooth devices on the A2DP platform will now have extended functionality and will let users go to the next and previous tracks via the buttons on the headset. This was missing in the previous iOS version.
Facetime will now also be possible by the use of e-mail ids as Apple extends the feature to the newly launched iPod Touch.
Image Courtesy - Apple & MacWorld
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