Apple’s software updates are like a workday lunch: perfunctory and predictable, but nonetheless appreciated. Especially appreciated, in this case, because of a few notable emoji additions: tacos, places of worship, and … well, a disembodied hand flipping the bird. In upgrades rolling out for the iPhone (iOS 9.1), the Apple Watch (watchOS 2.0.1), Apple’s introduced new graphics, fixed bugs, and laid the groundwork for the soon-to-be released iPad Pro and new Apple TV.
The new emoji, which in addition to the aforementioned characters include a bag of popcorn, a scorpion and other animals, sports equipment, an unhappily bandaged smiley, and over 150 others, aren’t exactly unexpected. The Unicode Consortium, and industry body devoted to developing standards for computer characters, approved a whopping 250 new emoji last September and early June as part of Unicode 7.0 and 8.0. Apple introduced some of the new iconography, including new skin tones, in April, but held off on much of the rest until now.
The new emoji may be the most visible change in iOS 9.1, but there’s more to the upgrade than a middle finger. It contains a fix for Live Photos, Apple’s camera tool for creating GIF-like animated images from photos. Previously, starting a Live Photo capture would snap a string of pics indiscriminately, but the default behavior in iOS 9.1 is to stop recording when the iPhone’s oriented horizontally — presumably to reduce the unintentional floor and ground shots that frequently bookend Live Photos.
What else is new? There’s support for the fourth-generation Apple TV and new iPad Pro, and a new setting for Messages that lets you disable contact photos. CarPlay, Music, Photos, Safari, and Search are a bit more stable. Performance while multitasking is better. And a bevy of miscellaneous apps and features have been fixed, enhanced, or otherwise improved:
- Fixes an issue that could cause Calendar to become unresponsive in Month view
- Fixes an issue that prevented Game Center from launching for some users
- Resolves an issue that zoomed content of some apps
- Resolves an issue that could cause an incorrect unread mail count for POP mail accounts
- Fixes an issue that prevented users from removing recent contacts from new mail or messages
- Fixes an issue that caused some messages to not appear in Mail search results
- Resolves an issue that left a gray bar in the body of an Audio Message
- Fixes an issue that caused activation errors on some carriers
- Fixes an issue that prevented some apps from updating from the App Store
Eager beavers can grab the update by heading to Settings > General > Software update on a supported iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The update weighs in at around 313MB, so you might want to ensure your connection is both stable and unmetered.
The iPhone isn’t the only Apple product getting love. Practically on the heels of the Apple Watch’s massive September update, Apple’s rolling out watchOS 2.0.1. It’s a little less substantive than, say, iOS 9.1, but contains welcome tweaks aimed at resolving an issue with stalled software updates, poor battery performance, app syncing between the Watch and a paired iPhone, and other irksome miscellany.
Here’s the full changelog:
- Fixes an issue that could cause software updates to stall
- Fixes issues that were impacting battery performance
- Resolves an issue that prevented a managed iPhone from syncing iOS Calendar events to Apple Watch
- Addresses an issue that could prevent location information from properly updated
- Fixes an issue that could cause Digital Touch to send from an email address instead of a phone number
- Addresses an issue that could cause instability when using a Live Photo as a watch face
- Resolves an issue that allows the sensors to stay on indefinitely when using Siri to measure heart rate
You can grab the update by opening the Apple Watch app on your phone and navigating to General > Software Update. WatchOS 2.0.1 is a 30MB download.
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