We’ve been waiting for what seems like ages, but iOS 4.1 is finally here and it brings along some greatly needed fixes and upgrades. The update is now available for your iPhone 3G, 3GS or 4 via iTunes. iOS 4.1 promises to fix performance issues with the iPhone 3G, proximity sensor issues with the iPhone 4 and Bluetooth bugs. In addition to these fixes, new features are included as well. Game Center is now a go, HDR photography is standard with the camera, HD videos can now be uploaded to YouTube over Wi-Fi and you can rent TV shows from iTunes right on your phone.
Game Center now allows you to play games against your friends in versus modes or multiplayer games. You’ll also be able to earn and track achievements as well as compare your high scores in games with others. We’ll be covering this more in depth a little later.
HDR photography stands for “High Dynamic Range” photography. This means you’ll be able to capture more details in areas where there is a very high range of light and dark spots. All you have to do is turn HDR on in the iPhone’s camera, and point and shoot like you normally would. We’ll have more on this later.
HD Video Uploads
Prior to iOS 4.1, you were able to capture 720p HD videos with the iPhone 4 but uploading them to YouTube or MobileMe would cause them to be seriously compressed. Now you can publish your HD videos to both services right over Wi-Fi and it works pretty quickly depending on your connection. I was able to get 20 seconds of video onto my MobileMe account over Wi-Fi in about 30 seconds. Not too shabby!
iTunes Rentals and Ping
With iOS 4.1, you’ll now be able to rent or purchase TV shows and movies on your device. Feeling bored at the coffee shop or on your flight? You can hop right onto iTunes (assuming there is Wi-Fi at the airport or on your plane, of course) and rent shows for $0.99 or purchase full seasons and episodes.
You’ll also be able to use your new Ping social network in the iTunes app on your iPhone. You can follow your friends’ favorite tunes or keep up with artists that you like, and share your music and favorites with others, too.
Overall, the new features and bug fixes in iOS 4.1 are a much needed update to the platform. The new iPod touch with the retina display will be shipping with the new OS as well, so you’ll get all these goodies right out of the box.
Be sure to stay tuned to check out our individual reviews of the new features in iOS 4.1!