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iOS 6.1 Expands Global LTE Support

Focused largely on expanding global LTE coverage, Apple has released iOS 6.1 for the iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, and iPod touch with an additional 36 carriers for the iPhone 5 and 23 carriers for LTE-enabled iPads. The big LTE switch is turned on for both the iPhone and iPads in markets such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, and Switzerland, while several Middle Eastern countries (including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates) get LTE just for the iPhone 5. You can find a full list of LTE markets and carriers for specific models of iPhone and iPad at Apple’s Web site.

Beyond LTE connectivity, the update adds the capability to use Siri to purchase movie tickets from Fandango (only in the United States), and it once again enables iTunes Match subscribers to download individual songs from iCloud (a previous iOS update had quietly removed this option). A Reset Advertising Identifier button is also added to the Advertising options (Settings > General > About > Advertising), enabling you to flush your current Advertising Identifier (much like deleting history from a Web browser) so that you’re hopefully served more relevant ads going forward. Of course, you can also turn on the Limit Ad Tracking option here, which not only reins in targeted advertising but can also help minimize cellular use (see more cellular data tips in Matt Neuburg’s “Mysterious iOS 6 Cellular Data Usage: A Deeper Look,” 24 October 2012).

Josh Lowensohn at CNET also notes several smaller changes not mentioned by Apple, including a reworking of the lock screen’s music playback controls. Now when you double-press the home button, the playback controls are pushed up to replace the current time display, giving you a better view of your lock screen wallpaper image. Plus, the controls are further apart, making it less likely that you’ll accidentally skip to the next episode of a podcast when attempting to pause playback, an annoying bit of bad interface in iOS 6.0.x. We’ve also heard one report that iOS 6.1 resolves a troubling bug with streaming media that resulted in streamed videos being downloaded in the background even after switching away from Safari. We fully expect that there are other changes — perhaps lots of them — with which Apple hasn’t seen fit to burden us weak-minded users. If you run across any, let us know in the comments.

As usual, we recommend going the over-the-air update route if you have Wi-Fi connectivity (Settings > General > Software Update) as this method downloads only the deltas that are much smaller and faster to install. The over-the-air deltas for the iPad and iPad mini weigh in at 76 MB and 83 MB respectively (compared to 1.08 GB if downloading the full update through iTunes), while the iPhone over-the-air update is 107 MB (compared to 989.5 MB in iTunes). The update is free, and it can be applied to the iPhone 3GS and later, iPad 2 and later, and fourth-generation iPod touch and later.

Be warned that when you update, some of your settings may be reset to defaults, so it’s worth walking through the Settings app and making sure everything is set the way you want. In particular, TidBITS staffers have noticed iCloud- and iMessage-related settings being reset.

In other iOS news, the Apple TV Software also received an update to version 5.2, which adds Bluetooth keyboard support, the capability to send audio to AirPlay-enabled speakers and devices, and support for iTunes in the Cloud — enabling you to stream purchased music directly through the Apple TV rather than stream it from a computer on your network. On the downside, at least some people are reporting that the iPad version of the iOS Remote app can no longer control the Apple TV; the iPhone version of Remote has no such problem. The update is available for second- and third-generation Apple TV models.


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Comments about iOS 6.1 Expands Global LTE Support
(Comments are closed.)

Roger D. Parish  2013-01-28 14:04
I like the new playback controls on the lock screen. I was always hitting the forward skip button when I meant to hit the pause. Now, they are farther apart, and I'm less likely to fat-finger them.
joecab  2013-01-28 14:52
Not only can you see more under the music player lock screen, but now the controls are further apart. It was SO easy before to hit one of those buttons by mistake and lose your place in whatever you were currently playing.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-01-28 16:53
There is a problem with the update to Apple TV: after it is applied, the iPad version of Apple's Remote app can see, but no longer connect, to an Apple TV that has been updated. The Apple TV does appear in the Remote app, but hangs when it attempts to connect.

However, the Remote app on an iPhone can both see and connect to an updated Apple TV. A discussion has already begun on Apple's site here - - but no resolution to the issue has yet appeared.

If you like to control your Apple TV from your iPad with the Remote app, I suggest you hold off on updating your Apple TV until this is resolved.
Nicholas Barnard  2013-01-28 20:50
Hrm, isn't deleting the "Advertising Identifier" more like deleting Cookies on a web browser? In my mind history and cookies are two different things in a web browser
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-01-28 21:42
Yes, you're probably right. Always tough writing and editing while we're in transit for Macworld Expo...
Why OTA vs. full iTunes upgrade? :)
Agen Schmitz  2013-01-29 07:28
By choosing the over-the-air option on your device, you're downloading about a tenth of the data, thus making the update process go faster as well as using less bandwidth. And you're getting the same update -- the over-the-air delta gives you just the bits that are changed rather than the whole kittenkaboodle.
daniel mao  2013-01-31 18:30
But writer is recommending full iTunes update/upgrade, not the quicker OTA method, right?
Agen Schmitz  2013-01-31 20:06
No. If you have Wi-Fi connectivity access, we *recommend* the quicker OTA method.
Tripp Frohlichstein  2013-01-29 07:19
I applied the AppleTV update to my Gen 2 Apple TV and it took 5 hours to complete...just a warning
Patrick McGough  2013-01-29 11:02
Just wondering: I came to this page by way of a link in the email, wanting to read the comments to the article (reading on a big iMac). At the bottom of the page I noticed the QR code and "read it" with a reader on my new iPhone - first time I've ever done that. All it did was take me to the same article in Safari on the iPhone. Uh - why would I want to do that? What am I missing about this process? Thanks!
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-01-29 12:52
Before mobile Safari began sharing URLs via iCloud with Safari on other devices, if you wanted the URL of an article that you read on your computer to be on your iPhone for later reference, you had to retype it manually on your iPhone or email the URL to yourself.

It's still useful if your computer's Web browser is not Safari, and you don't use iCloud.
Brian Caswell  2013-01-29 11:28
And as well as the facility enabling iTunes Match subscribers to download individual songs from iCloud, the facility for deleting songs from the device by right-swiping the title has been restored.
Al Woodcock  2013-01-29 12:22
I have been holding off updating my ios system 5.1.1(9B206) due to reported battery drain issues with 6.0.1. Does this update address this issue? Should I even worry about it?
Simon Poisson  2013-01-29 19:17
In Safari under iOS 6.1, a Reading List icon (spectacle frames) and small progress bar replace the tab bar's usual Bookmarks icon while the Reading List is synchronized.

(Can't confirm if this is brand new, but haven't noticed it before!)
barefootguru  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2013-01-30 12:04
There's a new version of the Remote app out now: 3.0.1 It may fix the Apple TV issue?
david cuddy  2013-02-01 07:02
I attempted to apply this update (5.2) to my ATV3. It failed. This is reminiscent of the update failures with the previous ATV update, as described here:

My ATV3 is connected via ethernet cable. The previous 'fix' was to disconnect the cable and use WiFi instead. I've not yet tried that workaround. I may just ignore 5.2 and wait for Apple to release something that works.
Just noticed a new icon at top of screen btwn BT logo and % of battery charge. It's a horizontal white bar with I little white half-circle above it to the right. Sorta looks like a lit cigarette. Any idea what it is? Nevermind... It's showing Im connected to my Big Jambox speaker.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-02-04 10:12
Another bug that seems to be fixed in iOS 6.1 is the annoying one that would cause paused audio in one app to resume when something else in iOS 6 played a sound. Thank goodness - it was bothering me every morning when I woke up to an alarm sound and then had to rush to shut off the iTunes U lecture from the previous night.