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Apple updates iOS, introduces social networking to iTunes

ping apple
ping apple

ping_appleUsers of the much-heralded iPhone will be able to get their hands on an update to the phone’s operating systems next week.

The OS, iOS 4.1, was confirmed by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at a special event at the YBCA Theatre in San Francisco.

Jobs said the new version would fix a range of bugs and add new features to the smartphone.

Among the new features would be high dynamic range photo capabilities, which would improve picture quality of photos by taking several images at once with various degrees of exposure and picking out the best details in each before recombining these into one picture.

It would also allow phones to upload HD vidoes and rent TV programmes from the iTunes store.

Gamers would get a piece of the action with the new Game Center which allows multi-player functionality on suitably equipped games.

Among the minor features coming to iOS 41 would be folders, wireless printing and content streaming over wireless.

Also confirmed was iOS 4.2, which would bring a similar level of features to the iPad. Both versions would be available form download via iTunes.

Jobs also announced a revamp of iTunes, bringing it up to version 10 of the popular media application. The application has now ditched the CD in its icon as Jobs explained that sales of iTunes tracks far exceeded those of CDs. It also offers a hybrid view that adds album art to the application’s list view.

It also now sports a social networking feature called Ping, which would allow users to follow other users and artists such as Lady Gaga and microblog about music. The new social network, which will rival Twitter and Facebook, is built into iTunes.

“It’s Facebook and Twitter meets iTunes. It’s a social network all about music,” said Jobs. The new social network will be available to the company 160 million iTunes users.

The new version of iTunes 10 is available to download from the Apple website.