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Apple Releases iOS Update – iOS 6.1

Apple released the latest update to its operating system, iOS 6. iOS 6 was initially released in September, 2012, and according to Apple’s Marketing chief Philip Schiller, 300 million iPhones, iPad and iPod touch devices are running on this platform. The release was followed by a couple of small updates to it in November (iOS 6.0.1) and December (iOS 6.0.2). These primarily fixed bugs and included some security updates to the iOS 6. The latest update iOS 6.1 is a major upgrade to the original iOS 6 version and includes some notable improvements and additions.

First, iOS 6.1 allows users to access LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks of 36 additional iPhone carriers and 23 additional carriers for iPad. LTE is a wireless broadband technology that supports roaming internet access through phones and handheld devices and is much faster. Moreover, with the latest update providing access to LTE carriers, users can expect faster browsing speeds not only in the US, but also in many other countries around the world. The U.S. carriers to which LTE access is now available are Alaska Communications, Bluegrass Cellular of Kentucky and C Spire of Mississippi. Outside the U.S., access is given to carriers in South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Croatia, Portugal, Italy and Denmark.

The second important improvement is in the Apple’s intelligent personal assistant, Siri. Siri was made an integral part of the iOS since iOS 5 and the application was improved in iOS 6 to include the ability to launch apps, dictate Facebook or Twitter updates and make restaurant reservations. The promise of Siri has been extended with the iOS 6.1. Siri will now perform tasks in addition to just finding information. Subscribers in the U.S. can now use Siri to purchase movie tickets through Fandango. No longer is a user needed to go through the process of checking the movie listings, timings, availability and entering credit card information to book a ticket. With the latest update to Siri, all this process can be completed within seconds with less effort.

The third change is that a new button has been included to reset the Advertising Identifier. Earlier this button was difficult to find even when users tried to find it. The switch allowed users to only limit ad tracking and was not a true on-off switch. Apple took some heat from privacy proponents for this feature. iOS 6.1 includes a reset button that enables users to seriously limit the tracking ability by providing the option to constantly change the device’s advertiser ID.

There are some more changes that are part of the iOS 6.1 update:

1. iTune Match users can download individual songs from iCloud to their iOS devices

2. Redesigned playback controls on the lock screen

3. Minor changes to Safari and boarding passes in Apple’s Passbook software

iOS 6.1 update is available as a free download from January 29, 2013 and is compatible with iPad (3rd and 4th generation, iPad mini, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPod touch (4th and 5th generation).

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