Apple has released iOS 6.1 to the public. It is available for all iOS 6 devices.
The latest version of iOS 6.1 is beta 5. Please scroll down to read about the included features in this release.
Beta 5 appears to be the Gold Master (GM) release and is not available for installation over the air.
iOS 6.1 doesn’t seem to feature any huge, noticeable changes for the end-user. iOS 6.1 features some more Mapping tools for developers to add the new Maps into their apps. This means that developers will be able to make better use of the new Mapping software which was introduced in June 2012.
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iOS 6.1 Beta 1 Features:
“REPORT A PROBLEM” (or two)
The “Report A Problem” button in Maps is now more prominent, taking up two buttons worth of space. Looks like Apple is really keen on knowing every thing they can do to fix the Maps app. The buttons are also much slimmer. Here is a comparison of the old and new style:
NEW LOCK SCREEN MUSIC CONTROLS
Apple has finally reflected the new Music app on the lock screen with these new look controls. They are essentially the same with more spacing and with that new silver look. The clock moves to the status bar. You can get to them by double-clicking the home button on the lock screen. And yes, the volume slider icon does reflect in the light when you tilt the device, just like in the Music app. A very similar interface has been added to the iPad, but it also has an option to scrub through the song – right from the lock screen.
“RESET ADVERTISING IDENTIFIER”
There is a new option in About >; Advertising, that allows you to “Reset Advertising Identifier”.
BOOK CINEMA TICKETS WITH SIRI VIA FANDANGO
Soon, you’ll be able to book movie tickets using Siri via the Fandango service. You can already book tables at restaurants, and the ability to book movies will be even better.
WI-FI NETWORKING TOGGLE
In System Services, a new toggle has been added which turns ‘WiFi networking’ on and off.
iOS 6.1 Beta 2 Features
PASSBOOK MAKES DEFINITIONS
When Apple introduced Passbook in June 2012, they didn’t really make clear what it actually was. They described it roughly as ”an app to hold your tickets and boarding passes”. It left end users confused. Apple has now added a sample card in Passbook describing what it does and how to use it. They even describe what the ‘App Store’ button was for.
POSITION OF LENGTH OF SONGS CHANGED
The minutes and seconds of a song are now listed beneath the song title. It was moved to make space for the iCloud icon for downloading music down from the cloud.
HEARING AID MODE RELOCATED
The hearing aid mode is no longer turn on with a simple toggle in Accessibility. You now have a new menu for it called ‘Hearing Aids’.
NEW LIVE LISTEN FEATURE
A new feature has been added in that new hearing aid menu. It’s called Live Listen and lets you use your iPhone as a remote microphone.
GENERAL UPDATES WITH iOS 6.1 Beta 3:
This is not a feature per se, but iOS 6.1 beta 3 seems like a bug fix release than anything else. It also feels a lot more stable and snappy. It is unclear if there is a signature feature missing from 6.1 that will debut at launch but you can expect a GM release soon.
ICLOUD SETTINGS UPDATE
Apple has updated it’s iCloud settings and in this beta of iOS 6.1 you are asked to confirm your Apple ID password for FaceTime and iMessages when starting your device for the first time after installation. It asks you to confirm how people can reach you and tells you that you can change these settings at any time. It is not clear if the end user will also see this screen when the software is finally released.
PASSBOOK SAMPLE CARD SLIGHTLY UPDATED
The small text on the sample Passbook card has been updated – the UK version at least. The updates to the card are very minor with some American English words written in British English – such as ‘movie tickets’ replaced with ‘cinema tickets’. Below, the UPDATED card is on the RIGHT.
IMPROVEMENTS TO RESET ADVERTISING IDENTIFIER
Previously, when you clicked ‘Reset Advertising Identifier’, nothing would happen. The button would just blink because it didn’t actually do anything. Now, you are given an option to confirm your choice and it is now working.
VOICE DIAL ONLY
With the advent of Siri on more and more devices, it seems weird that Apple would update something that is as old as the iPhone 3GS, but if you still use Voice Control, there is a new section in the settings for it that allow you to set it to ‘Voice Dial Only’. You can choose a language from the list to use Voice Dial with.
NEW MOBILE/CELLULAR DATA OPTION
There is a new toggle for mobile/cellular data for iTunes. It was removed in the previous betas. It’s made a come back and by default, it is turned off.
iOS 6.1 Beta 4 Features
GENERAL UPDATES WITH IOS 6.1 BETA 4
There doesn’t seem to be any huge or noticable changes in the latest build of iOS 6.1. Seems like yet another a bug fix release, with minor changes. This could all change with the GM release expected next, preceded by an Apple Keynote. Since there isn’t many new features in this beta, you should scroll down to the ‘Other Notable New Features in 6.1″ section of this post.
On Monday 17th December, Apple released the 4th beta build of iOS 6.1. This section is currently being updated with beta 4 content. Please check back soon for the most in-depth beta coverage on the internet!
APPLE MAPS – REPORT A PROBLEM
Despite the return of the superior Google Maps on iOS, Apple still wants to know to do with their Maps app. When you report a problem in Maps, you now have more options to choose from.
iOS 6.1 Beta 5/GM
There are no new features in beta 5. It seems to be another new bug fix release. Beta 5 can be installed without a developer account, so if you want iOS 6.1 now, look out for beta 5 leaks 😉
Unless Apple made a mistake, Beta 5 is not available OTA (Over The Air). It must be downloaded from the developer website and its just over a gigabyte large.
Since there isn’t many new features in this beta, you should scroll down to the ‘Other Notable New Features in 6.1″ section of this post.
SPLIT KEYBOARD TOGGLE
Apple has quietly added a toggle for turning the split keyboard on or off on the iPad. It can be found in General > Keyboard > Split Keyboard. Split Keyboard is a feature which was first introduced in iOS 5.
OTHER NOTABLE NEW FEATURES WITH iOS 6.1
- Slightly revised music app with the ‘Artists’ tab more consistent.
- Snappier experience with iPad 3rd Generation and iPhone 4S
- Improved App Store experience
- When checking for updates in the App Store, clicking the inverted triangle for an update is more accurate.
- More cities in Maps are in 3D (this is expected with every release of iOS 6)
- Maps is a bit more accurate in the sense that more countries are covered with better satellite imagery
- Album art is better centered on the lock screen.
- 4G LTE on the “EE” network in the UK has been improved
- 4G LTE software support has been added to a network in Denmark
- Improved Siri functionality over Wi-FI
- Performance on iPhone 4, 4S and iPod touch 4G is greatly improved.
- New lock screen Music controls on iPad
- Download single tracks from iTunes Match, rather than whole albums
- Improved battery life on iPhone 4S and iPhone 4.
- iOS 6.1 Beta 3 is more stable than the previous beta versions of 6.1
- New setup for users running the 3rd beta version of 6.1.
- 4G LTE enabled on the Portugese network; TMN
- Ability to delete music from device while keeping a copy of the track in the cloud for download later
- The YouTube icon in the share menu has been updated to match the downloadable YouTube app icon
- Improve noise cancellation during calls on iPhone 5
- Notification bug fixed with the release of beta 4
- Removal of background audio playing from Safari
- Safari improvements (seriously, its true!)
- Split Keyboard toggle for iPad 2, 3rd gen, 4th gen and iPad mini
KNOWN ISSUES WITH iOS 6.1 OVERALL
The Panorama mode on iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 is broken and crashes.FIXED iOS 6.1 is not working too well on iPad 2. Seems laggy.FIXED Using Siri on 3G networks is slower (A confirmed bug, that Apple is said to be improving over the next few days)FIXED
- Exchange doesn’t seem to be fixed properly
- Bluetooth MAP doesn’t seem fixed properly
- Weak WiFi on some devices.
Poor sound quality from A5 processor and later devicesFIXED
- App Store says there are updates pending, when there isn’t.
- Even if you are using Wi-Fi, iPhone indicates that you are using 3G. Going to the Wi-Fi settings will temporarily fix it.
- iPhone 5 loudspeaker problems – although some users are reporting that this has been fixed
Lag on iPhone 3GS with beta 3 –REDUCED Problems accepting the iTunes terms and conditions. Can be done if you try again though.FIXED A bug in the Mail.app causes it to freeze (hang)FIXED
- With beta 4, some updates appear in the app store again, even though the app may already have been updated.
- Music.app lags on iPad – iPad mini in particular
- “Mountain Lion” style dock (That beautiful dock in OS X 10.8 hasn’t made its way to iOS yet. Click here to view example)
- Translucent Camera app bar on iPhone 3GS/4/4S for consistency with the iPad Camera App – may not happen in all trueness
- ‘Kill All’ button in the multitasking bar – iOS 7 feature perhaps?
- ‘Close All Tabs’ button in Safari for quick tab closing
- Private Browsing button within the Safari app.
- As of beta 4, there STILL NO mountain lion dock. Come on Apple! I thought it was about unifying the experience?
- Widgets – Unlikely in a 0.1 release but there isn’t even a slight hint that they are coming
- Missing a refreshed QuickTime interface to match the new controls found on the lock screen and Music.app
- A new Music.app interface to match iTunes 11
Please come back and check this post for the latest run down of iOS 6.1.
What is the release date for iOS 6.1?
iOS 6.1 Release Date: Between January and February 2013 after an Apple Keynote
Schedule: Apple Keynote to be held between January and February (I cannot disclose the nature of this event, however all I will say that it is a software orientated event) Gold Master Seed with one new signature feature to be released on the same day as keynote Public release within 1-2 weeks of GM Seed, possibly a few days before the ‘topic’ discussed in the keynote is released This information was obtained from a source which believes they have some inside information about how Apple is going to handle 6.1.
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What are your current thoughts on iOS 6.1?
- iPhone 3GS
- iPhone 4
- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 5
- iPad 2nd/3rd/4th Gen
- iPad mini
- iPod touch 4th and 5th gen