Apple recently released the biggest ever update to its iOS 6 that was launched in September 2012. The update – iOS 6.1 – is something which iPhone, iPad and iPad users have been waiting for quite some time. Why? Well, I suppose many just wanted to go to the next level, while some have been looking to solve the issues associated with previous updates. The latest upgrade improves its predecessor with some additional features, bug fixes and providing support for LTE. So, how is iOS 6.1 going to help your iDevice? Let’s explore the details.
- No need of Mac or PC for set up
- iCloud backup and recovery
- Broadens LTE support
- Allows Facebook and Twitter integration
Not so positives
- Few features work only with latest hardware
If you already have iOS 6 in your iDevice, download the upgrade via iTunes or over the air. For new devices, set up as new, or simply restore from iTunes or iCloud Backup. Now you’re ready to sync apps, music, photos, etc. between your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with Wi-Fi via iTunes.
If you’re an iOS user, you’ll be familiar with the home screen, i.e., background and apps. And, now the 3D imagery and info have gotten better. Apple has added new lock screen music controls, i.e., just double tap your home button on your lockscreen while playing music to see controls on the top of the display.
There’s Passbook, an app exclusive to iPhone and iPod touch, to streamline processes for passes and tickets. With it, you don’t have to hand over a paper coupon or ticket at the store or theatre, instead your device will show the relevant item when you go there. Of course, it will work only for companies supporting the feature. Airbnb, American Express Pass, Starbucks and American Airlines are a few of the companies that support this feature now.
That’s about more flexibility in managing incoming calls that you want to decline. When you get a call, just swipe upwards to see your options. Instead of declining the call, you may reply via text message or create a reminder for follow up. The update also broadens LTE support.
Siri, the voice control software used for messaging, making phone calls and scheduling appointments, will now allow U.S. users to buy movie tickets via Fandango with the personal assistant app. It recognizes a host of languages – English, French, Korean, Spanish, Japanese and German to name a few. I can now use Siri to get sports scores in addition to finding local restaurants.
Apple seems to have addressed Wi-Fi issues, ensuring that the connection is stronger and more stable. Complaints about random rebooting seem to have been solved. Now it’s easier to report issues on Apple Maps using a more prominent button.
iCloud, the web-based storage and synching feature, lets you access FindMyiPhone and FindMyFriends features. The former lets you lock you device if you’ve lost or misplaced it. The latter is especially useful if you have iOS users on a map and want to share location info. Or perhaps, just keep track of your children when they are out! The Sharing feature and facility to integrate Facebook and Twitter are welcome updates.
And, for those who are keen on a jailbreak for the updated platform, there seem to be options that require installation via a computer instead of an over-the-air download. Jailbreaking expands the device capabilities, letting users install software from other sources instead of relying on iTunes App Store alone.
In a nutshell, the update allows faster downloads, better iTunes Match and a great new way to buy movies for U.S. users. A few features work only with latest hardware, but the additions and tweaks are worthwhile. So, if you have a compatible device, I consider that the upgrade is a must-have. And, all those updates do not eat up your iPhone’s battery life.