Ads 468x60px

Apple Releases iOS 6.1 with New LTE Carriers and Fandango Siri Integration

Following this weekend's release of iOS 6.1 Beta 5 to developers, Apple has just released iOS 6.1 to the public. The update includes new LTE carrier support and Siri-based movie ticket purchases via Fandango, as well as iTunes Match individual song downloading and a new reset button for advertising tracking.
This update contains improvements and bug fixes, including:

- LTE support for more carriers (complete list of supported carriers at
- Purchase movie tickets through Fandango with Siri (USA only)
- iTunes Match subscribers can now download individual songs from iCloud
- New button to reset the Advertising Identifier
"iOS 6 is the world's most advanced mobile operating system, and with nearly 300 million iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices on iOS 6 in just five months, it may be the most popular new version of an OS in history," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "iOS 6.1 brings LTE support to more markets around the world, so even more users can enjoy ultrafast Safari browsing, FaceTime video calls, iCloud services, and iTunes and App Store downloads."
New LTE carriers for iPhone 5 supported in the update include:

- USA: Alaska Communications, Alaska GCI, Bluegrass Cellular, C Spire, Cellcom, Pioneer Cellular
- Canada: MTS, Sasktel
- Puerto Rico: Claro, Open Mobile
- Croatia: T-Mobile, VIPNet
- Denmark: 3, Telenor, Telia
- Finland: DNA, Elisa, Sonera
- Greece: Cosmote
- Hungary: T-Mobile
- Italy: 3, TIM, Vodafone
- Kuwait: Zain
- Luxembourg: Tango
- Philippines: Globe, SMART
- Portugal: Optimus, TMN, Vodafone
- Saudi Arabia: Mobily, Zain
- South Africa: Vodacom
- Switzerland: Swisscom
- UAE: DU, Etisalat

However, as Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge points out, the new LTE carriers are only supported by the 4th-generation iPad, the iPad mini, and the iPhone 5. Third-generation iPads do not support any of the new carriers.

WhatsApp Messenger Comes Under Scrutiny Over Privacy Practices [iOS Blog]

WhatsappWhatsApp Messenger, a popular cross-platform SMS and group chat replacement, is the subject of a joint report between Canadian and Dutch authorities. The report says the app violates the countries' privacy laws because users are required to give the company access to both users and non-users in its address book, reports Reuters.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and the Dutch Data Protection Authority, in a joint report released on Monday, said the app violated privacy laws because users have to provide access to all phone numbers in their address book, including both users and non-users of the app.

"This lack of choice contravenes (Canadian and Dutch) privacy law. Both users and non-users should have control over their personal data and users must be able to freely decide what contact details they wish to share with WhatsApp," said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Dutch Data Protection Authority.
The report revealed that WhatsApp stores the mobile numbers of non-users from users' contact lists, a violation of Dutch privacy laws. The Dutch Data Protection Authority said it could impose financial penalties if the violations continue.

In iOS 6, Apple introduced a new feature that required user permission before apps could access the users location, calendar, contacts, reminders and photos. However, the feature does not allow users to only give access to certain contacts -- instead, users are required to give apps access to their entire address book.

WhatsApp Messenger is available for $0.99 on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Nearly 300 Million Devices Running iOS 6, 60% of All iOS Devices Ever

In its iOS 6.1 press release today, Apple disclosed some impressive usage numbers for iOS 6 and the iOS platform. As of today, nearly 300 million iOS devices -- iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch -- are running iOS 6, with nine billion photos uploaded to Photo Stream, 450 billion iMessages sent and over four trillion notifications received.

Of these, perhaps the most impressive is that 300 million devices are currently running iOS 6. That is, as EdibleApple points out, roughly 60 percent of all iOS devices ever sold:
During Apple's most recent earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple to date has sold over 500 million iOS devices. If we put those pieces together we see that over half of every iOS device ever sold is now running the most recent version of Apple's mobile operating system. Contrast that of course to Android where a scant minority of users are ever caught running the most recent iteration of Android.
The Next Web notes that Apple sold some 75 million iOS devices in the December quarter alone, all of which are running iOS 6, plus 100 million upgrades to iOS 6 in its first week of availability back in September.

Apple has clearly been successful in keeping devices upgraded to the latest version of iOS, particularly through the over-the-air update feature that was introduced last year in iOS 5. This keeps iOS devices secure, and keeps users up to date with the latest new features to come out of Cupertino.

New Apple TV Has A5X Chip and Single WLAN + Bluetooth Antenna

AnandTech has found that new Apple TV will use the same WLAN+Bluetooth antenna/chip combo that the iPhone 5 uses as well as an A5X processor rather than the A5.

The unreleased Apple TV revision was first suggested by an iOS 6.1 firmware release for a previously unseen AppleTV3,2 model. Then, a new FCC application revealed that the new Apple TV would have slightly smaller dimensions than the currently shipping model.

AnandTech writes:
Instead of the A5R2 SoC (S5L8942) inside the Apple TV 3,1, this new device contains an A5X SoC (S5L8947) as shown in the screenshots I've taken of the Restore.plist file, though there are numerous others. It's entirely possible that Apple is again using different bins of the A5X, it's not possible to tell whether CPU or GPU cores are fused off at this point from my digging through the IPSW.
The A5X chip (with Quad-Core graphics) was originally introduced to power the new Retina Display screen of the iPad 3.

It was in the current Apple TV that Apple first used the 32-nm (die shrunk) A5 chip. It was believed at the time that Apple had used the Apple TV has a test platform to start ramping up that new 32-nm A5 processor before they started using it more broadly to power the still-for-sale iPad 2.

It seems likely that Apple will follow the same pattern with this new A5X -- first ramp up production in the Apple TV, and later extend its use to the new iPad mini. The next iPad mini is believed to include a Retina display. Apple will need to upgrade the iPad mini's CPU/GPU in order to be able to accommodate the extra pixels of such a display.