May 07

iOS 5.1.1 UpdateIt’s been a while since Apple has released a new iOS 5.x update, but today one has been made available.  A relatively minor update, iOS 5.1.1 addresses a 2G/3G network problem on the new 3rd Gen iPad, bugs in AirPlay video playback, and other minor issues.

On our test iPhones and iPads, the update was under 50MB when updating from the device, but you can also update via iTunes.  The update is available for compatible iPhones and iPod touch models, and all iPads.

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Feb 16

Messages Beta for Mac OS XOne feature of Mac OS X Mountain Lion users won’t have to wait for is Messages, Apple’s replacement for iChat.  Messages allows users to send and receive free SMS and MMS style iMessage texts to and from iOS 5 devices on a Mac. 

iMessage, introduced in iOS 5, is an Apple-only messaging service powered that bypasses carrier text message systems and allows free and direct text, photo, and video messaging between iOS 5 devices.  Messages on the Mac makes it easy to do the same from your iMac or MacBook.

A beta of the app is now available for download

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Jan 11

Will the iPad 2 Get Siri in iOS 5.1?

Siri, as we all know, is currently available only on the iPhone 4S, and is labeled – in very unusual Apple fashion – as a beta feature, or work in progress. But Siri’s sequestration won’t last forever. So the question is: when will we see Siri on other iOS devices?

Well, it looks like it’s at least possible that the day when Siri expands beyond the iPhone 4S may come sooner than we thought.  9to5Mac.com is reporting that there’s new language buried in the Settings menu in the iOS 5.1 beta 3 that suggests Siri, at least in part, may be included in iOS 5.1 for the iPad.

“Sonny Dickson was looking through the iOS 5.1 beta 3 settings application on the iPad and discovered a new section in the keyboard menu called “About Privacy and Dictation.” When opened … the iPad provides the user with the standard legal literature and feature information for Siri Dictation… On the iPhone 4S, Apple does not have a specific menu related to “Dictation and Privacy” in the keyboard settings panel, [which] may weaken concerns that this new iPad Dictation menu is simply carried over code from the iPhone 4S.”

Perhaps only the dictation aspect of Siri’s functionality – the ability to convert speech to text for emails, notes, etc. – will be included, or perhaps iPad 2 users will get full-featured Siri.  Or perhaps this is much ado about nothing. 

Why No Siri on the iPad Already?

Some have speculated that the more powerful A5 chip in the iPhone 4S is required for Siri to work well, which is why it wasn’t included in the iPhone 4’s iOS 5 upgrade; others say that’s ridiculous, that Apple kept Siri 4S-only because other than the improved camera, there wasn’t much reason for iPhone 4 users to upgrade unless Siri was limited to the new model.  We’ve got one foot and two hands in the latter camp, but if the former is true, there’s absolutely no technical reason Siri can’t come to the iPad 2 because it, too, has an A5 SoC with 512MB of RAM and a powerful GPU.

Siri on the iPad 3

Whether Siri is added to the iPad 2 or not, you can bet that it’ll be part of the iPad 3, which is widely expected to be announced later this quarter, likely March.  And, of course, the iPhone 5 will have Siri, as we imagine all iOS devices going forward will.

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Nov 10

iOS 5.0.1 Update Screen Apple’s first update for their latest mobile OS, iOS 5, is now live.  The update is supposed to address battery life issues as well as various other bugs in the first release.  In addition the update adds gesture support for the 1st Generation iPad.

You can update via iTunes, of course, over a USB cable, but you can also now update over the air, as iOS 5 supports PC-free updating.  To get the update directly on your iPhone 3GS, 4 or 4S, iPad, or iPod touch 3rd and 4th Gen, connect to a Wi-Fi network and tap Settings > General > Software Update.

This is the first time an OTA update has been publically released for an iOS device, so it’ll be interesting to see if it goes off without a hitch…

For more information on iOS 5.0.1, check out this article at Apple’s support site.

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Nov 02

Low Battery Under iOS 5A few weeks ago I posted a list of steps to help with decreased battery life on an iPhone 4 after upgrading to iOS 5.  I’ve received emails from users who’ve done one or more of the easier steps on the list with significant improvement – but my iOS 5 upgraded iPhone 4 continued to suffer strangely fast battery drains even after completing these steps.

So, late last week I bit the bullet and performed a hard reset of my iPhone 4, known in iOS parlance as a restore.  And this did fix my battery issue completely.

Performing a restore on an iPhone, particularly one you’ve used for a long while, can be an aggravating experience since you lose your apps, settings, media, etc.  But if you’re having problems with your iPhone after updating to iOS 5, it may be the only solution. 

You can use an existing backup to put your phone back the way it was prior to the restore as much as is possible, but doing so my also recreate whatever issue was causing the battery drain in the first place.  I recommend that you do a full restore rather than opting to restore from a backup, and manually put your phone back the way it was.  It’s a last resort, but it seems to work for just about everyone who’s having trouble, including me.

Apple is working on an iOS update, v.5.1, that is said to help with the iOS 5 battery issue. No word yet on when the update will be released, though it will likely be sometime in November. 

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