Apple releases iOS 9.1, complete with champagne and a hot dog

It's the most significant of the three updates so far to Apple's iOS 9 mobile software, but it's still relatively minor, unless you're really into fast food and bubbly -- emojis, that is.

Michelle Meyers
Michelle Meyers wrote and edited CNET News stories from 2005 to 2020 and is now a contributor to CNET.
Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Michelle Meyers
Shara Tibken
2 min read

New emojis
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New emojis
You know you were missing that taco and burrito emoji! Other new emojis in the iOS 9.1 update include the sign of the horns, aka "Rock on." Emojipedia.org/Screenshot by Michelle Meyers/CNET

Apple released on Wednesday the first significant update to its iOS 9 software for iPhones and iPads, though it might matter most to those who like to send emoji-laden messages about food.

The iOS 9.1 update is available now to all iOS 9 users. Outward facing changes include new emojis such as a taco, hot dog, champagne and a unicorn. Live Photos has also been fixed so that the camera stops recording if it detects that the iPhone has been lowered. It also fixes bugs in tools like CarPlay and the app switcher.

In other words, the fixes are fairly minor compared with the iOS 7.1 and iOS 8.1 updates in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Last year's update added support for Apple Pay, brought back the camera roll and launched the iCloud photo library. iOS 7.1 rolled out CarPlay and iTunes Radio, as well as tweaking the Siri digital voice assistant.

Apple, which updates iOS every year, needs to keep the system fresh to maintain customers' interest in its products and ensure that software developers keep making apps for its platform. The refreshes are also vital to keep Apple in step with competitors like Google, whose Google Now and Google Now On Tap features provide predictive capabilities to users of phones that run on the company's Android software.

As of Monday, 61 percent of people who use Apple's mobile gadgets had upgraded to iOS 9, according to Apple's developer site. Another 30 percent were still using iOS 8, and 9 percent were using older versions of Apple's mobile software.

The company released iOS 9 last month. The software includes changes designed to make iPhones and iPads far more able to predict an owner's needs and interests. Among some of the new features for iOS 9, it can automatically suggest apps to load or people to contact based on a person's usage patterns. iOS 9 also comes with updates to Siri to give the voice assistant a new interface and allow it to remind a user of appointments without being told to ahead of time.