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Apple iOS 6.1 released with new Siri features and better 4G support

Apple has finally launched iOS 6.1, the latest version of its mobile-centric operating system designed for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch families of portable gadgets along with the Apple TV set-top box.

The software, released late yesterday in the US, upgrades the iOS operating system to version 6.1 following a prolonged bout of beta testing. As well as numerous bug fixes for various flaws discovered since the release of iOS 6.0, the latest version adds new functionality to the platform - much of which, sadly, is only available to US users at present.

Chief among these is a new feature for the Siri voice-activated personal assistant app. In addition to the usual Siri features, including reading and responding to emails, making calls, setting reminders and searching for information, the software can also now buy cinema tickets through a partnership with Fandango - but only works in the US, Fandango's native market.

Features of more interest to users outside the US include extended support for Long Term Evolution (LTE) high-speed mobile networks, although still lagging behind the wide-ranging support of Nokia's rival Lumia 920, along with a privacy-enhancing button in the settings menu that allows a user to reset their Advertising Identifier, a unique code used to track an iOS device for the purposes of targeted advertising.

Additional new features include the ability for iTunes Match users to download songs one at a time rather than by album, and support for connecting a Bluetooth keyboard to Apple TV devices.

Currently, however, there is no iOS 6.1 jailbreak - although teams are claiming to be close to a breakthrough in that regard for those who prefer more control over their handsets. If jailbreaking isn't on your list of must-haves, you can update to iOS 6.1 now through iTunes or directly on your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad in the Settings menu, under General and Software Update.

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