iOS4.1 is here. This is the operating system we wanted in when it was originally announced back in April as iPhone OS4.
We saw Apple‚Äôs Tentpole features, one of which included Game Center, an App that is only today becoming available.
We‚Äôve walked you through the new features in the past, but now it‚Äôs time to take a look at all the official updates, straight from the update list provided by Apple upon download of the new OS:
Game Center (iPhone 3GS and Higher, iPod Touch 2G and Higher) – This was one of Apple‚Äôs Tentpole features. Players can create an ID and join the social gaming network created by Apple. It‚Äôs best described as Apple‚Äôs version of Xbox LIVE or PlayStation Network. Owners of iOS devices can post their highscores, join others in games and learn about new games through their online friends. This may be one of 4.1‚Äôs most welcomed features.
HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photos (iPhone 4 Only) – This was an unexpected update. News of it came from Apple‚Äôs September 1st event. By turning HDR on, users are instructing the device to take three photos in rapid succession. One is underexposed, another is ‚Äúnormal‚Äù and a third is overexposed. The phone then combines these photos to create one image that better represents highlights and shadows. It can even be set to store the original picture as well.
Support for TV Show Rentals in iTunes – When Steve Jobs announced the new Apple TV, he also announced plans for an updated way to watch TV shows and movies. Select TV shows will now be available as 99-cent rentals, and it‚Äôs said that others should follow as Apple negotiates more deals with content providers. Movies will be available day of their DVD/Blu-Ray release and will be rented as well. By the sounds of it, the service will no longer offer movies for purchase.
Upload HD Videos to YouTube and MobileMe Over Wifi – With devices that can record video at a beatiful 720p resolution, it‚Äôs strange to believe that it wasn‚Äôt possible at first to upload HD video via your iOS device. This eliminates the need of having to import the video to a computer, then upload.
Additional Support for AVRCP Accessories – If Game Center is the most welcomed feature, this is probably the most important feature. It‚Äôs going to add capability for Bluetooth pairing with compatible devices that can serve as iPod controls for your device. Rather than having to look down at your iPhone‚Äôs screen while driving, you can control it via your car‚Äôs dashboard. This is a huge step towards driver safety.
FaceTime Calling Directly From Favorites – Initiate FaceTime calls directly through your Favorites. It‚Äôs also possible to use a contact‚Äôs email address to reach them for a FaceTime call. This is also partly a work-around because the iPod Touch will be able to make FaceTime calls, but obviously doesn‚Äôt have a way of initiating the call via phone.
Proximity Sensor Performance – Thanks to the proximity sensor fixes, iPhone users will no longer suffer accidental hangups because because their cheek touches the screen in the middle of a phone call. Because several of the phone‚Äôs functions are on the touchscreen while making a call, having the proximity sensor act up can lead to anything from said hangups to accidental speakerphone or muting the call. When the issue becomes familiar, you know it‚Äôs a problem. This one became all-too-common for some.
iPhone 3G Performance – Slow. Very slow. That describes iOS4 on an iPhone 3G. Though using the phone may have been barely tolerable for most users who upgraded their 3G to iOS4, some said it was an absolute nightmare. We will be posting first-hour/full day impressions on this later this week.
Nike + iPod Fixes – Users were reporting problems with Nike + iPod. Some said that their running distances were being recorded incorrectly, others had problems calibrating the software. This update should fix those issues.
Bluetooth Improvements – Many had trouble with paired Bluetooth devices. Their headset would disconnect from the iPhone, some would be able to hear their calls perfectly, but the person on the other end wouldn‚Äôt be able to make out what they were saying. To put it simply, there were various problems, and they all seemed to differ somewhat. Those issues should be resolved with this update.
More information here: iOS4.1 New features
We are currently looking into the OS and trying to see if Apple hid anything in some of the menus. We will let you know if we run into anything interesting.
If you happen to find anything we miss, please let us know in the comments. Stand by for our ‚ÄúFirst-hour‚Äù impressions later tonight, as well as our ‚ÄúiOS4.1 – 24-Hours Later‚Äù post tomorrow night.