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iOS 5.1 is out: Redesigned Camera app, battery optimizations, delete Photo Stream images

Apple said today at the new iPad unveiling that the device runs iOS 5.1, which is an unreleased version of its mobile operating system featuring Siri in Japanese, several camera app tweaks, and other little nice-to-haves. Interesting, this update also “addresses bugs affecting battery life.” Other features include new podcast controls for playback speed on iPad, the redesigned camera app on iPads, the always-visible camera shortcut on the lock screen, updated AT&T network indicator, Genius Mixes and Genius playlist for iTunes Match subscribers and more. We are guessing iCloud users will appreciate that they can finally remove photos from their Photo Stream directly on the device without having to go to on their computer.

Depending on your location, the update might not have hit iTunes, but you can always download the right firmware for your device using direct links here. Of course, you can also bring your device up to date over-the-air by hitting Software Update under the General section of the Settings app.

According to release notes accompanying the over-the-air download on my iPhone 4S, the iOS 5.1 update has “improvements and bug fixes.” However, the software also brings out a couple nice enhancements, including:

• Japanese language support for Siri (availability may be limited during initial rollout)
• Photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream
• Camera shortcuts now always visible on Lock Screen for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (fourth generation)
• Camera face detection now highlights all detected faces
• Redesigned Camera app for iPad
• Genius Mixes and Genius playlist for iTunes Match subscribers
• Audio for TV shows and movies on iPad optimized to sound louder and cleaner
• Podcast controls for playback speed and a 30 second rewind for iPad
• Updated AT&T network indicator
• Addresses bugs affecting battery life
• Fixes an issue that occasionally caused audio to drop for outgoing calls

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