Apple has officially announced the first decimal point update to its iOS operating system since the release of iOS 4 with the launch of the iPhone 4 in June.
The Cupertino giant formally revealed the update in a press event in San Francisco where it also unveiled the new iPod Touch and a range of other products.
The update, albeit incremental, overhauls a number of existing features on the iPhone and brings new ones. These include the ability to take High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos, upload videos in HD resolution over Wi-Fi, the inclusion of TV show rental support and a new online gaming service called ‘Game Center’.
It also fixes a proximity sensor bug that has been as much an issue for the iPhone 4 as its ongoing antenna troubles. Other improvements include a Bluetooth fix and optimisation for the iPhone 3GS, which has been widely lambasted for its sluggish performance since the leap to iOS 4.
The standout feature here however, is Game Center, which brings multiplayer gaming and social networking capabilities to the iPhone similar to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Whether or not it will be as successful in the mobile space remains to be seen but with Apple’s vast catalogue of games and the availability of Internet on the go, there is no reason to think it won’t.
And if that wasn’t enough, Apple has already announced the upcoming iOS 4.2 update primarily directed at the iPad and aims to bring multitasking, wireless printing and Airplay streaming to the tablet, plus everything announced in iOS 4.1. The ability to stream music and videos wirelessly will doubtless play a significant role in positioning the iPad as a multimedia hub and being able to print documents without having to email them to a computer will be welcomed by business users.
iOS 4.1 is set to hit iTunes next week. However, iPad users will be have to wait until November to enjoy the goods in iOS 4.2.