Dogged by battery drain issues for weeks after it had launched iPhone 4S with iOS 5, Apple released its first over-the-air iOS update to users - iOS 5.0.1 - in November last year, saying that it would fix the bugs affecting battery life.

However, that didn't happen as users again complained that devices running the iOS 5 operating system were still facing battery drain issues even after upgrading to iOS 5.0.1. Later on, Apple itself acknowledged that the software update couldn't fix the problem for some device owners.

After the release of the iOS 5.0.1 update, many Apple device users took to Apple's support forums to complain that the software update did not solve the battery drain problem and they were still experiencing low battery life.

Many users took to Twitter to discuss the issue and claimed that the upgrade actually made the problem worse.

Last week, the company released its third generation iPad with iOS 5.1, an incremental update to iOS 5. Apple claimed that the update contains a number of improvements and bug fixes that include the one affecting battery life on devices running iOS 5.

Users, who have already updated to iOS 5.1, say that they have been experiencing significant improvement in battery life after installing the firmware update.

A number of users have shared their positive feedback via a thread on reddit.

I thought they were making BS claims, but after a few days I can honestly say that yes... I've seen a dramatic improvement on the life of the battery. Kudos to the power saving iOS devs, according to a user.

Currently at Usage 7 Hours, 46 minutes, Standby 3 Days, 20 Hours.. with 17% left in the battery.. Was at 100% when I did the 5.1 update, said another user.

Since my last charge after updating, I went from 100% battery to 40% (when I decided to charge it) on 5 hours of usage and 51 hours of standby, said another one.

According to one user, the update has fixed the issue he had with the LED flash alert. I've noticed a dramatic improvement. Also, I always had the LED flash alert activated, but before the update it hardly worked -close to never. Now it goes off every time, said the user. These two things were all I really cared about, and now they're both perfect. Couldn't be happier.

There were also users, who seemed to be careful about the jailbreak they were having.

I've got to say this is tempting me to update but I just can't go without my jailbreak. It's nice that the battery fix actually worked and it looks like some pretty damn good improvements, a user said.

I want the battery life improvements. But I'm like you in that I cannot go without the jailbreak. I went for a months without it when I first got my 4S. Not again, said another user.

According to Apple, the iOS 5.1 has brought many improvements and bug fixes, such as:

  • Japanese language support for Siri (availability may be limited during initial rollout)
  • Photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream
  • Camera shortcut now always visible on Lock Screen for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation)
  • Camera face detection now highlights all detected faces
  • Redesigned Camera app for iPad
  • Genius Mixes and Genius playlists for iTunes Match subscribers
  • Audio for TV programs and films on iPad optimized to sound louder and clearer
  • Podcast controls for playback speed and a 30-second rewind for iPad
  • Addresses bugs affecting battery life
  • Fixes and issue that occasionally caused audio to drop for outgoing calls

The new firmware also comes with a number of security updates as well. Here are some of the key security updates of iOS 5.1:

CFNetwork

Available for: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation) and later, iPad, iPad 2

Impact: Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to the disclosure of sensitive information.

Description: An issue existed in CFNetwork's handling of malformed URLs. When accessing a maliciously crafted URL, CFNetwork could send unexpected request headers.

HFS

Available for: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation) and later, iPad, iPad 2

Impact: Mounting a maliciously crafted disk image may lead to a device shutdown or arbitrary code execution.

Description: An integer underflow existed with the handling of HFS catalog files.

Kernel

Available for: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation) and later, iPad, iPad 2

Impact: A malicious program could bypass sandbox restrictions.

Description: A logic issue existed in the handling of debug system calls. This may allow a malicious program to gain code execution in other programs with the same user privileges.

Passcode Lock

Available for: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation) and later, iPad, iPad 2

Impact: A person with physical access to the device may be able to bypass the screen lock.

Description: A race condition issue existed in the handling of slide to dial gestures. This may allow a person with physical access to the device to bypass the Passcode Lock screen.

Safari

Available for: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation) and later, iPad, iPad 2

Impact: Web page visits may be recorded in browser history even when Private Browsing is active.

Description: Safari's Private Browsing is designed to prevent recording of a browsing session. Pages visited as a result of a site using the JavaScript methods pushState or replaceState were recorded in the browser history even when Private Browsing mode was active. This issue is addressed by not recording such visits when Private Browsing is active.

Siri

Available for: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation) and later, iPad, iPad 2

Impact: An attacker with physical access to a locked phone could get access to frontmost email message

Description: A design issue existed in Siri's lock screen restrictions. If Siri was enabled for use on the lock screen, and Mail was open with a message selected behind the lock screen, a voice command could be used to send that message to an arbitrary recipient. This issue is addressed by disabling forwarding of active messages from the lock screen.

For more details on the security content of iOS 5.1 Software Update click here.

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