As expected, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rolled out the final version of the iOS 6.1 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to the public Monday following Saturday’s release of the fifth and last beta of the latest firmware update. Millions of iOS device owners the world over finally got the much-awaited update almost three months after the first beta of the iOS 6.1 was seeded to registered developers in November last year.
Redmond Pie reported that although the iOS 6.1 had created much buzz even before its release, the update is a minor release with no flashy new features. The firmware update, however, comes with a bundle of improvements to the iOS 6 firmware build that users and developers had asked for.
According to Apple, the iOS 6.1 firmware update includes bug fixes, as well as some key features and improvements highlighted below:
- LTE support for more carriers
- Enables purchase of movie tickets through Fandango with Siri (USA only)
- Helps iTunes Match subscribers to download individual songs from iCloud
- New button helps reset the Advertising Identifier
Other enhancements include an improved set-up wizard confirming the user’s Apple ID and password for iMessage and FaceTime, improvements to Passbook including a new sample card and a “Voice Dial Only” switch for Siri preventing it from carrying out any task other than calling contacts, “quite useful in case you need to call somebody quickly without having Siri launch iTunes and waste a good minute of your time trying to close it off,” the Redmond Pie reported.
In addition, iOS 6.1 brings Bluetooth keyboard compatibility to the Apple TV. Apple has also reportedly included new Map APIs for improved app integration.
"iOS 6 is the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, and with nearly 300 million iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices on iOS 6 in just five months, it may be the most popular new version of an OS in history," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in a press release issued Monday. "iOS 6.1 brings LTE support to more markets around the world, so even more users can enjoy ultrafast Safari browsing, FaceTime video calls, iCloud services, and iTunes and App Store downloads."
The Cupertino tech giant announced that iOS 6.1 added LTE capabilities to a total of 36 additional iPhone carriers, as well as 23 additional iPad carriers. The new LTE carriers of iPhone 5 supported in the firmware update are:
- USA: Alaska Communications, Alaska GCI, Bluegrass Cellular, C Spire, Cellcom, Pioneer Cellular
- Canada: MTS, Sasktel
- Puerto Rico: Claro, Open Mobile
- Croatia: T-Mobile, VIPNet
- Denmark: 3, Telenor, Telia
- Finland: DNA, Elisa, Sonera
- Greece: Cosmote
- Hungary: T-Mobile
- Italy: 3, TIM, Vodafone
- Kuwait: Zain
- Luxembourg: Tango
- Philippines: Globe, SMART
- Portugal: Optimus, TMN, Vodafone
- Saudi Arabia: Mobily, Zain
- South Africa: Vodacom
- Switzerland: Swisscom
- UAE: DU, Etisalat
A MacRumors report cited a tweet from Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge, saying that the new LTE carriers are only supported by the iPad 4, the iPad mini and the iPhone 5. The iPad 3 does not support any of the new carriers.
‘Smart App Banner’ Bug Patched
Apple Insider reported that the bug called “Smart App Banner” has been fixed in a tweak to the iOS StoreKit. Here’s how the official release note explained the issue:
For more information on security content of iOS 6.1 software update, click here.
Users Report Issues While Updating 5th-gen iPod Touch To iOS 6.1
Another report from Apple Insider, pointed to Apple's Support Communities website where some users reported issues while updating their fifth generation iPod touch to iOS 6.1. The affected users said they received an error message stating the system is "unable to verify update,” even though the devices were connected to Wi-Fi.
"iOS 6.1 failed verification because you are no longer connected to the Internet," read the error.
The report added that the update error under consideration was also found in the fifth beta of iOS 6.1 that was seeded with developers last week.
Meanwhile, the owners of supported iOS devices can download iOS 6.1 through the Software Update option in Settings app or via iTunes. You can also download the IPSW, or Apple Device Software Update file for your device from the list of direct links given below: