iOS 5.1

Apple announced during the Apple Event on Wednesday that the new iPad will ship with the iOS 5.1, and an immediate availability for current users with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

The iOS 5.1 is known to bring quite a few features that would be welcome by many, especially the ability to delete individual photos from Photo Stream and for folks in Japan, Japanese language support for Siri.

Some users over on Macrumors forums are reporting of better battery life since the update; however we’ll have to see how users feel about the battery life over the next several days.

As always, if you have a jailbroken device make sure you resist the urge to update for now until the DevTeam folks catch up with their jailbreak tools for the iOS 5.1. Also there aren’t any estimates as to when the iOS 5.1 jailbreak would be available; however stay tuned, you’ll get the details as soon as we hear anything.

If you have a jailbroken device and run into an error during the OTA (over-the-air) update on your device, don’t panic. Apple has made it so OTA isn’t available for jailbroken devices. Instead, you’ll need to use connect your device with iTunes for it to restore to factory state then carry forward with the update.

Here are the full list of changes with the iOS 5.1:

  • 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

 

Ready to hop on the iOS 5.1 train?

 

Preparing your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

iTunes Backup

First you would want to back up your device first, ‘just in case’. Apple’s updating procedures have become ever more stable recently that you probably won’t run into any issues; however backing up your device is always a good plan.

To back up your device, simply plug your device onto your computer and iTunes should automatically start backing up your device. Depending on how recently you’ve backed up your device, it may take as little as few minutes to 30 minutes or more. Before you think iTunes is frozen, check if the backup bar moves at all – chances are, it’s just backing up really slow, and this is normal.

If iTunes doesn’t automatically back up your device, simply right-click on your device on iTunes and select “Back up”.

If you have iCloud set up to back up your device, make sure iCloud backup is up to date and the appropriate applications selected for the backup.

To check this, simply browse to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Scroll down to see Last Backup. Also from here, if you want to check which apps are selected, simply tap on Manage Storage on the top of the screen.

I would, however, strongly encourage you to make a ‘hard’ backup using iTunes, just in case your iCloud settings haven’t been set properly. Also remember to transfer purchases as needed (right click the device on iTunes > Transfer Purchases) to make restoring your device easier.

 

Let’s Update! 2 ways to go about this – Over-the-Air and iTunes

1. Over-the-Air (OTA)

iOS 5.1 OTA

iOS 5 made updating the iOS extremely easy. Simply do the following:

          Settings > General > Software Update

Your device will then search if whether you’ve installed the latest version of iOS and will update your device to iOS 5.1 ‘over-the-air’, seamlessly.

2. iTunes

Going through a more traditional route, iTunes should prompt you to update to the latest version of iOS. In this case, just follow the directions and you should have your device updated in no time.

iTunes Check for Update

If it doesn’t however, follow these steps:

  1. iTunes > Click on your device on the sidebar
  2. In the overview screen that appears to the right, make sure that the Summary tab is selected and then simply click on Check for Update
  3. iTunes will then start updating your phone – do not disconnect your device until the process is complete.

 

HELP! If you run into an error that prevents you from updating, here’s what you should do.

  1. Check out the direct links to the iOS 5.1 update for your device here.
  2. Download the appropriate iOS 5.1 update for your device.
  3. Open iTunes. Hold down the Option button (Mac) and Shift button (Windows) then click on the Check for Update.
  4. This will prompt iTunes to open a window where you would select the iOS 5.1 update file that you just downloaded.
  5. You’ll be taken through the normal iTunes update process.

 

How do you like the iOS 5.1? Battery life? Please share your thoughts in comments!

Image Credit: DigiDNA, Cult of Mac, The Mac Observer

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