Apple fans have a few reasons to be ecstatic over the new iOS 5.1 updates. There's Japanese Siri, a new camera feature on the slide to unlock screen, and much more. The new iPhoto and Photostream updates have been the center of attention for some, but music players and listeners also have reason to make the upgrade.
1. Virtual band practice? A new feature called Jam Session may have musicians ready to ditch their rehearsal space and pick up their iPads. This app update allows up to four iPad users to connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, creating a virtual jam session. The feature also regulates tempo, rhythm and key, and players can save their own copy of the track to mix and edit themselves. This can open up new creative possibilities for musical artists, allowing them to connect and share new ideas anywhere with an Internet connection.
2. New instruments. In addition to allowing musicians to connect easier, the Apple team has also given them some new sounds to play with. The Smart Strings feature acts as the digital equivalent of an entire orchestra. The play style is kind of like bowing an actual violin with a forward and back swipe of your finger, CNet's Jason Parker wrote when describing Smart Strings.
3. Storing and sharing possibilities. With the release of the new iPad and iOS 5.1, Apple has been pushing the iCloud method of sharing and storing data. But GarageBand users also have the option of uploading their finished tracks directly to social sites such as SoundCloud, Facebook and YouTube.
4. Accuracy and precision. The Note Editor feature may be the most groundbreaking addition for some musicians. Users can now tap a track of their choice and touch the edit button, which then presents a different interface breaking down each note. From here, users can change and edit each note of a chord, for example. A feature like this could save a lot of time that would be spent re-recording and fixing tracks.
5. Listeners aren't left out. Although musicians have a lot to be excited about, Apple hasn't forgotten about music fans as well. The iTunes on iOS 5.1 enables anyone with iTunes Match to sync their Genius mixes and playlists. The App Store also offers some interesting new music additions, such as instrument tuning app ClearTune and an NPR Music app that combines great content and lovely design, according to MacWorld.