Apple iOS 6.1 Expands LTE Support

Apple's mobile operating system update also allows Siri to accept spoken orders for movie tickets.
9 Bandwidth Hogs: Reality Vs. Myth
9 Bandwidth Hogs: Reality Vs. Myth
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Apple has updated its iOS mobile operating system to version 6.1 to expand iPhone LTE support around the world and to add privacy and e-commerce features.

iOS 6.1 extends LTE capabilities to Apple-friendly mobile carriers in various countries, providing carrier customers using iPhones and iPads with faster cellular wireless connectivity. Apple maintains a list of these carriers on its website.

Apple doesn't specify how fast LTE connections will be because wireless performance depends on factors outside the company's control. But speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 20 Mbps are common, with highs reported around 50 Mbps.

Apple suggests that speedy wireless connectivity can enhance Web browsing, FaceTime video calls, iCloud services and downloads from its iTunes App Store. Heavy LTE usage can also increase data bills.

[ Vendors need to be careful they don't run into privacy issues when they make changes. Read Google Faces Safari Privacy Claim In U.K. ]

iOS 6.1 adds the ability for Siri users in the U.S. to verbally order movie tickets, via Fandango. It also lets iTunes Match users download individual songs from iCloud.

In addition, Apple has added a Reset Advertising Identifier button to its Advertising preferences menu, which is buried within Settings control panel, behind the General/About menu. The Advertising Identifier is Apple's replacement for its discontinued UDID number, which was seen as a privacy risk. Resetting this identifier would presumably serve the same function as clearing one's browser cookies.

Almost 300 million iOS users have updated to iOS 6, a number that includes iPhones, iPads and iPods. The iOS 6.0 update was launched in September, 2012. Last June, Apple reported that its installed base, as of March 30, 2012, had reached 365 million iOS devices.

By reporting the 300 million figure, Apple is pointing out that most of its user base is running its most recent mobile operating system. In the Android world, a smaller percentage of the installed user base has the most current version of Google's mobile operating system.

In September, 2012, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that there were about 480 million Android users worldwide and that Android phones were being activated at a rate of 1.3 million per day. In the 145 days since then, the Android user count should have risen an additional 188.5 million, assuming the Android activation rate remains constant and that every activation represents a new user.

Of those estimated 668.5 million Android users worldwide, perhaps 10.2%, or 68.19 million can be expected to be using the latest Android versions (Jelly Bean 4.1 and 4.2), released in July 2012 and November 2012 respectively.

In any event, Apple's unspoken message to developers is that its operating system improvements matter more because of rapid uptake and audience size.

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