Why upgrade your iPhone software to iOS 5.1?
iPhone or iPad user? You might have seen push notifications pop up on your screen about a new software update that's available - iOS 5.1. It's available for all iPhone and iPad devices except the iPhone 2G and the iPhone 3G. You can also download it for the iPod Touch 4th Gen.
Upgrading your software is now quick and easy, as you don't have to plug your device into your computer to update it anymore. Just access Settings >General > Software Update, select 'check for updates', and wait for it to download over Wi-Fi.
So that's how you upgrade your iPhone's software, but why would you upgrade? What's included with the iOS 5.1 update?
Battery drain fix
Apple are notoriously cagey when it comes to revealing details on bug fixes, but they state that the update will “address bugs affecting the battery life”. As some updates tend to worsen battery life, it's good news that this one is set to improve matters.
If you've got iCloud setup on your iPhone or iPad you might have been annoyed by the fact you can't delete pictures from your photo stream. Thankfully iOS 5.1 fixes this, and you can now delete images from Photo Stream on your iPad or iPhone by following these steps:
- Tap on a photo in the stream section of your pictures
- Tap the the trash can in the bottom right,
- Tap delete and you’re finished!
iPhone & iPad camera app enhancements
On both the iPad and the iPhone, the camera app now has better face detection software that highlights all detected faces in a photo. This is handy when making sure that everyone's in shot.
On the iPhone, you can now access the camera from your lockscreen, so there's no need to go to the bother of unlocking your smartphone and routing around for the camera button every time you want to take a snapshot.
There is also a minor (but important) interface tweak to the iPad camera app. The camera shutter has moved from the menu bar at the bottom of the viewfinder to the right side of the frame, and to make it easier to snap photos the button rotates alongside the iPad screen orientation.
Along with the release of the latest iOS 5.1 software, a great numbers of important and much-needed improvements have been integrated into iTunes. Notably Genius Playlists and Genius Mixes are now combined, and Genius will help you access your entire iTunes library via iCloud, so you get a better selection of possible tracks when creating Genius Playlists.
So, iOS 5.1 for the iPhone and iPad is all about refinement and stability rather than any wholesale changes. In our early tests the results have been really positive, with increased battery life and improved stability. While we haven’t tested every single app in the iTunes library for compatibility, we haven't seen any issues with apps we have installed on our devices either - all very encouraging really.
The iOS 5.1 update is free, easy to install and full of tweaks and improvements. What are you waiting for?!