updated 04:05 pm EST, Wed March 7, 2012
iOS 5.1 posted quickly
As promised, Apple has posted iOS 5.1. The update adds both the promised Japanese support for Siri and the new iPad's voice dictation as well as features that had previously been leaked, such as the new lock screen that provides an always-available shortcut to the camera. Users now just have to swipe upwards from the home screen to launch the camera instead of double-tapping the home button and pressing once more.
iPad owners get the redesigned camera app for the new iPad.
In a sign of carrier pressure, Apple has decided to agree to call HSPA+ 4G on AT&T. The company had resisted during the iPhone 4S launch, arguing that it wasn't concerned whether or not the 14.4Mbps speed was considered 4G. Technically, the spec is 3G, as are the 21Mbps and 42Mbps HSPA+ networks Apple will support on the new iPad.
Other carriers, such as Canadian providers, still show the more accurate 3G.
Everyone gets the ability to delete individual photos from the Photo Stream in iCloud, as well as Genius mixes and playlists for iTunes Match members. Battery life is also said to be improved, although for which devices isn't immediately clear. iPad owners get podcast speed and skip-back controls, and iPhone owners get a fix for audio drops on calls. It's not yet known if promised permissions changes relating to contacts and photos have filtered into iOS 5.1.
iOS 5.1 works on any device that supports iOS 5.0 and is required for iPhoto for iPad.