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Apple iOS 6.1 released for iPhone and iPad: Summary of the highlights and changes of iOS 6.1

Updated on February 14, 2013

iOS 6.1 release highlights and summary

iOS 6.1 was released on Jan 28, 2013. The highlights and change log of the most significant features are discussed in this articles.
iOS 6.1 was released on Jan 28, 2013. The highlights and change log of the most significant features are discussed in this articles.

iOS 6.1 release

On January 28, 2013, Apple released their mobile operating system iOS 6.1 for the devices iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. In addition, iOS 6.1 was also released for the Apple iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2 as well as the iPod Touch of fourth and fifth generation.

As always, the release of a new iOS version is associated with updates, improvements, bug fixes but also confusions. This article will thus summarize the highlights of the iOS 6.1 operating system for Apple mobile/portable devices.

iOS 6.1 highlights

This section will highlight the newly added functionality and other significant changes to the iOS 6.1 operating system.

  • Enhanced LTE (4G) support: The 4G capable iPhone 5 and iPad of fourth generation can now access the 4G LTE network of several more carriers primarily in the European and African countries. Some additional American carriers have also been added. This is probably the single largest update in iOS 6.1 and a comprehensive list of the now supported carriers can be found on the Apple homepage here.

  • iTunes Match subscribers can (once again) download and delete individual songs that are stored on the iCloud service.

  • Reset Advertising Identifier: The setting which resets the advertising identifier is now working as intended and accessible by all users.

  • Confirmation for iMessages and Facetime on new devices: When a new device is set up using iOS 6.1, the user will be prompted to confirm their Apple ID account through their password. In addition, the user will be able to select how they would like other users to reach them, i.e., through their Apple ID or through their phone number, when iMessages and Facetime are used.

  • Siri Voice Dial Mode: The Siri assistant has been updated, and a voice dial only mode has been added.

  • Music control on lock screen: A new interface for the music control has been implemented for the lock screen which is accessible by the users when they double press the home button when the lock screen is visible.

  • iTunes on cellular data: A new option has been added which enable the user to control how iTunes should behave when on cellular data network instead of Wi-Fi.

  • Easier to report a problem in Maps: The Maps app has been updated with a larger "Report a problem" button that is significantly easier to access.

  • Passbook: Several updates have been made to the passbook that allow it to be more comprehensive and easier to use.

  • Various bug fixes and security fixes (not listed): As always with every new iOS release, iOS 6.1 fixes several bugs and mostly security flaws of the operating system. These fixes are primarily on the system level and it is unlikely that the users will notice them in every day use.

The above points constitute the major updates that are found in iOS 6.1. As seen, iOS 6.1 is actually a quite small update in comparison to former iOS x.x updates that could easily have ten times more changes and improvements made to the system.

How to upgrade to iOS 6.1

Upgrading to iOS 6.1 is very simple and the process is basically identical to the process while upgrading to previous iOS versions. The user who wants to upgrade to iOS 6.1 can do so either by connecting their device to their computer and use iTunes to upgrade or they may upgrade to iOS 6.1 using the OTA (over the air) feature that can be found in the Settings app under About.

As always, any users who potentially want to jailbreak their devices should not upgrade using the OTA option but instead upgrade fully using iTunes. Upgrading through OTA will probably make any future jailbreak approach useless and the user will be forced to restore to iOS 6.1 through iTunes before they can jailbreak their device.

iOS 6.1 jailbreak available

Shortly after the iOS 6.1 was released by Apple, the tool redsn0w was updated and released to support it. Currently a tethered jailbreak using redsn0w is available for the iOS 6.1, meaning that the user needs to connect their iPhone to the computer every time it reboots.

However, as of February 4, 2013, untethered jailbreak is now available through the tool evasi0n which was released by the evad3rs jailbreak hackers team. Using this tool, all Apple devices that support and run iOS 6.x can be jailbroken, such as the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 and iPod Touch 4. The procedure is relatively simple and is described in detail in the article found here.

Related articles on iPhone and iOS 6.1, 6.1.1, 6.0.1 & 6.0.2

iOS 6.1: Conclusions and Summary

While many previous iOS updates have sported significantly more updates and enhancements to the system, the iOS 6.1 update does make a lot of sense for one single reason, which is the enhanced support for the 4G LTE cellular networks. In particularly for the European users, prior to the iOS 6.1 update, actually very few users could use the 4G capabilities of their iPhone 5 and iPad of fourth generation. The iOS 6.1 fixes this issue somewhat, but satisfactory support is still not implemented and it is unlikely that such support will be added before the next generation of iPhone.

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