iOS 5.1: What you need to know.

The Apple event on the 7th of March was primarily an event meant to show off Apple's latest iPad, and, to a lesser extent, the Apple iTV. However, something that did end up staying out of the radar was the update of the operating system powering those devices - iOS 5.1. While the change log of the latest iOS comprises of mainly tweaks (rather than anything revolutionary), there have been a few notable additions made to what is already an excellent OS.

iOS 5.1, via Wikimedia Commons

Photo Stream
Introduced in iOS 5.1, the Photo Stream was a nifty feature that made the most of the iCloud - syncing photos across every Apple device you owned. However, for all its benefits, it had an inexplicable bug - once you chose to sync a photo through the Photo Stream, you simply couldn't delete it! iOS 5.1 changes that, and makes it a lot less likely for you to have embarrassing photos of yourself on your Photo Stream for all of eternity.

Lock Screen Camera Shortcut
iOS 5 made it convenient to click photos instantly, right from your lock screen, as it added a camera shortcut there. However, the likelihood of accidental presses increased a lot as well. iOS 5.1 makes it necessary for you to slide up the lock-screen while holding the camera shortcut, making the entire process more reliable.

Audio Improvements
Apple claims that iPad users are in for improved performance from their tablet's speakers, but that hasn't been conclusively verified so far.

iPad Camera Tweak
In what should be an improvement, at least ergonomically, the camera shutter button of the iPad camera interface has been shifted to the right of the screen.

Podcast Player Improvements
Apple has added an essential set of controls to the existing podcast interface. Rewinding back and forth by half a minute is an extremely useful feature when listening to a podcast.

You can download the new iOS 5.1 update either over the air on your Apple device, or through iTunes on your computer. There have been a sufficient number of bug fixes and performance improvements for this update to be considered a must-have for every iOS user.


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