iOS 4.1 hands-on look

CNET takes a closer look at high dynamic range photos and the other new features from iOS 4.1, the latest Apple operating system for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

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Just as promised , Apple's iOS 4.1 went live today for iPhone and iPod Touch users. As iOS updates go, this one is pretty small, but it offers a new camera feature and it finally brings the promised Game Center feature. I posted my initial take last week shortly after Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the update during Apple's music event , but now that it's live I've had a chance to poke around.

As a review, here are the update's highlights. For a closer look at these additions, check out the slideshow below.

  • High dynamic range (HDR) photos on iPhone 4 only.
  • Game Center is live. Users can send and receive friend requests; play multiplayer games and invite friends to join a game over the Internet; view leaderboards and achievements; and discover new games from friends.
  • Support for TV show rentals on iTunes.
  • FaceTime calling directly from Favorites menu in the phone book.
  • Upload HD videos to YouTube and MobileMe over Wi-Fi on the iPhone 4.
  • Additional support for AVRCP-supported accessories, including next and previous track control
  • After losing it with the iOS 4 update , we're glad to see that the Field test mode is back. By dialing *3001#12345#* on the phone keypad, you can see the signal strength in decibels. It's a negative number so the closer it is to zero, the better the signal.

The update also promised bug fixes for the iPhone 4 proximity sensor (some users were getting accidental dropped calls ), iPhone 3G performance (the device was very slow after the iOS 4 update ), the Nike+iPod feature, and Bluetooth connectivity. There may be additional bug fixes in the update, but Apple is not posting a full list.

We didn't notice problems with our iPhone 4 proximity sensor, though we did experience Bluetooth connectivity issues with some Bluetooth headsets the day the iPhone went on sale. Everything worked out eventually, but we heard from CNET readers who had trouble as well. Also, we certainly saw the iPhone 3G slow to a creep after the iOS 4 update. Initial reports from 3G users , however, report that the update has fixed the issue.

After you've downloaded iOS 4.1, be sure to tell us what you think of the update.

About the author

Senior Managing Editor Kent German leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he still writes about the wireless industry and occasionally his passion for commercial aviation.

 

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