A full 1 month and 27 days since iOS 5.1 B3 was posted for Apple Developers to try out, iOS 5.1 final has posted online for download and installation. The final build is 9B179, up from 9B5141a on iOS 5.1B3. Download links are available and live through iTunes and for OTA on devices already running iOS 5.0, or check e-lite for direct links to the Apple-hosted IPSW files based on itunes.com/version. Users running the beta don't have an OTA update path and instead have to update tethered to iTunes.

Among the changes are a boost to the maximum cellular download size for App store applications to 50 MB from 20 MB, new Japanese language support for Siri, a new camera shortcut from the lock screen, improved face detection, improved battery life, fixed audio call drop issue, and perhaps most ominously an "updated AT&T network indicator" among others. Hopefully the 3G disconnect bug which plagued iOS 5.1 B2 and B3 has been fixed as well. We're downloading the update right now for install and will post back with impressions.

Update: The 5.1 update indeed changes the "3G" network status indicator to "4G" on AT&T HSPA+, which means that AT&T is now consistent across iOS and Android with its HSDPA 14.4 as "4G" lie marketing. The "4G" badge reportedly also carries over to the iPhone 4, (no "4G" indicator on our iPhone 4 or 3GS)  a device based on an Infineon X-Gold 618 baseband with HSDPA 7.2 and HSUPA 5.76 and not implementing any HSPA+ features. We're also updating our 3GS to see if that is also affected, the 3GS as a reminder includes an X-Gold 608 with HSDPA 7.2 and no HSUPA, instead WCDMA 384 kbps upstream.

The update also bumps the baseband firmware version up to 2.0.10 on the iPhone 4S, which hopefully is enough of a boost to have bucked the 3G (or is it 4G now?) disconnect bug. 

To top everything off, the 3G toggle has also been re-removed on iOS 5.1, which was previously present on iOS 5.1B3. No doubt the 3G toggle has been removed in no small part becuase of AT&T's ongoing efforts to refarm GSM/EDGE on PCS 1900 MHz - the carrier has been slowly removing the 2G toggle on subsidized Android devices as well. There's another big contributing factor for why the 3G toggle has been re-removed as well on the iPhone 4S - lack of Rx diversity on GSM/EDGE. 

More in the gallery with the updated lock screen photo shortcut. 

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  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    ...That hardly had any attention at all :( Reply
  • Omega215D - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    There's a lot of attention towards Windows 8 on MaximumPC. Considering that most people want to follow the trends I guess Apple will get the most coverage.

    Plus MS is a big bad evil company. (you should really watch Cult of Mac, so many delusional idiots).
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    We're planning a *lot* of Windows 8 coverage. Andrew Cunningham is working on a big piece for it.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    A BIG piece. We're aiming for Friday. Don't worry, we've got it covered! Reply
  • faizoff - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    ooh cant wait for the windows article. I love me some windows 8 Reply
  • sprockkets - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    "To top everything off, the 3G toggle has also been re-removed on iOS 5.1, which was previously present on iOS 5.1B3. No doubt the 3G toggle has been removed in no small part becuase of AT&T's ongoing efforts to refarm GSM/EDGE on PCS 1900 MHz - the carrier has been slowly removing the 2G toggle on subsidized Android devices as well. There's another big contributing factor for why the 3G toggle has been re-removed as well on the iPhone 4S - lack of Rx diversity on GSM/EDGE. "

    I didn't think Att had that level of control over Apple. Then again, both are dochebags so they can agree from time to time.
    And no, I will never buy a carrier phone and never use Att ever again. They can DIAF.
    Reply
  • name99 - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    "The 5.1 update indeed changes the "3G" network status indicator to "4G" on AT&T HSPA+, which means that AT&T is now consistent across iOS and Android with its HSDPA 14.4 as "4G" lie marketing."

    Oh for fsck's sake, Brian, grow up. It's bad enough that we have childish commenters going on about this, we don't need the journalists doing so as well.

    The terms 2G, 3G and 4G became meaningless long ago.
    Does 2G refer to the first versions of EDGE, running at around 58kbps, or to the newest EDGE Evolved running at 1Mbps+? Does 3G refer to WCDMA (maxing at 384kbps, so substantially slower than EDGE Evolved), or does it refer to HSPA? And which HSPA --- Rel4, Rel5, Rel6, Rel 7, Rel 8,.... These are not trivial differences --- there are factors of 2 or so in the speed of HSPA at different releases.

    if you care about the technical details, you don't use the term 3 --- you refer to HSPA rel6, or whatever specifically it is you are talking about. If you don't care about the technical details, then what you care about is the speed. And HSPA Rel7 or higher speeds are high enough that they ARE qualitatively different from WCDMA (ie the original 3G).

    Complaining about this puts you in the same league as complaining about whether the iPad has a "real" retina display --- it marks a person as a wannabe, someone who knows a few buzzwords and thinks that makes them an expert. Real engineers care about details like the modulation schemes being used, or the FEC algorithms, or whether the MIMO engine uses zero-forcing as opposed to maximum likelihood. They don't waste time on moronic arguments about whether a marketing terms is being used "correctly" by the very people who defined that damn term.
    Reply
  • name99 - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    That should be
    "if you care about the technical details, you don't use the term 3G"
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    So on the comment down below, I want to point out that spectral efficiency of GSM/EDGE is not what I'm getting at, at all, actually.

    As for the 3G -> 4G change, you don't think that's worth talking about? Obviously I would love to see H, H+ for example (which is how things are done on Android) but it's disingenuous for Apple to cooperate with AT&T here and update the indicator exclusively for the device when attached to AT&T WCDMA.

    I do care about the technical details (and obviously nothing has actually changed on the 4S cellular side at all, it's the same MDM6610 with 14.4 Mbps 16QAM as always).

    -Brian
    Reply
  • name99 - Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - link

    Brian, do you consider WCDMA to be 3G?

    You don't consider the difference between 384kbps and 14.4Mbps (a factor of 20) to be more significant than the difference between 384kbps and EDGE (a factor of around 6)?

    I just don't see what the outrage here is all about. Marketing terms belongs to marketers. If Coke want to call some new Vanilla flavored product Coca Cola they are welcome to do so --- Coca Cola means what the Coca Cola company wants it to mean.

    You are trying to suggest that the naive user is somehow being confused and bamboozled here, butI think that's bullshit. HSPA+ really IS a lot faster than WCDMA (old-school 3G) --- to the extent that 4G means "substantially faster than what went before" ATT is not lying. If anything the new indicators provide more useful summary information to the naive user.

    The bottom line, as I see it, is that 3GPP has adopted an interesting tactic with respect to standards by continually ramping up the bar with annual releases, rather than the once-every-five years or so big-bang releases of, eg, 802.11
    This is to the advantage of everyone. But certain people seem stuck in the past, unable to get their minds around the fact that this means that terms change their meaning.
    What was 3G (ie WCDMA) is very different from HSPA rel 5 which in turn is very different from HSPA rel 10. Complaining that they are all "3G" because you insist that 3G means (what exactly? A 5MHz channel? A certain set of frequencies? The use of CDMA underlying the rest of the spec?) is ridiculous --- it is the fetishizing of something that is completely unimportant.

    Seriously, think about what I have said. What do you think is the essential meaning of 3G? And why do you think that technical point is of any importance to the average user, as opposed to what ATT have done, which is essentially to switch to a speed indicator.
    Reply

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