Siri is multilingualBefore announcing the new iPad, Apple today released iOS 5.1, the latest update to its mobile operating system for the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod Touch. Though the improvements are minimal, there are a couple of additions that users will find useful.
iPhone 4S users will now be able to speak to the Siri voice assistant feature in Japanese. That makes the fourth language that Siri can understand.
KonichiwaOf course, Siri will answer back in Japanese, as well. In the penultimate line we asked Siri for her name. She responded in kind.
Camera shortcutThe familiar camera shortcut that we got from iOS 5 now will appear on the lock screen at all times.
Slide it upAlso, instead of pressing the camera icon you must now slide up the lock screen to expose the camera app.
Face detectionWith iOS 5.1, the camera now will highlight all faces that it detects with a green rectangle.
iPad cameraIn the iPad's camera, the shutter control has moved from the menu at the bar at the bottom of the screen to the right side of the viewfinder.
Podcast controlsiPad users also get new controls for controlling the playback speed and rewinding in 30-second segments. We take assume no responsibility for the content of this podcast.
4G or no?AT&T iPhone 4S users will see a new "4G" icon when their phone is connecting to the carrier's HSPA+ network. Whether that really counts as 4G, however, is another question.
Better battery life?Apple's new iOS 5.1 seems to be getting better grades at preserving battery life. But not everyone is happy.
A glance at Apple's Support Communities uncovered a few threads on the topic.
Some posters found an improvement in the battery charge. One recounted a full day of activity using the phone and said "I've had days of not doing anything and lost more charge than this." Another reported positive results with a "significant improvement." A third poster said that the "iOS update seems to have really helped my iPhone battery drain issues."