Pre-orders start for the new iPad, iOS 5.1 now available to download

Wrapping up Apple’s big day today is the news that pre-orders for the new iPad have already started, and iOS 5.1 is now ready to be downloaded and installed onto existing iDevices.

The new iPad has gone up for pre-order in the countries that are part of the first wave of release on March 16 and have Apple online stores.

Here’s the pricing for the US:

  • 16 GB Wi-Fi $499
  • 32 GB Wi-Fi $599
  • 64 GB Wi-Fi $699
  • 16 GB Wi-Fi+4G $629
  • 32 GB Wi-Fi+4G $729
  • 64 GB Wi-Fi+4G $829

The prices in Canada:

  • 16 GB Wi-Fi $519
  • 32 GB Wi-Fi $619
  • 64 GB Wi-Fi $719
  • 16 GB Wi-Fi+4G $649
  • 32 GB Wi-Fi+4G $749
  • 64 GB Wi-Fi+4G $849

The UK Apple online store is down at the moment unfortunately, but it should be back up soon for those of you in Blighty who’d like to get your pre-order in. Shipping will obviously start on March 16, in all cases, and may take a few days longer depending on the number of pre-orders per territory.

Also announced today was iOS 5.1, the newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. It has now become available as an update for existing iDevices. iOS 5.1 brings many new features, although none is anything major.

Here’s a list of the new things inside iOS 5.1:

  • Japanese language support for Siri (iPhone 4S only)
  • the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream
  • new camera shortcut always visible on the lockscreen, which can be dragged for unlocking your device directly into the camera app (iPhones only)
  • the camera’s Face Detection now highlights all detected faces
  • the Camera app for the iPad has been redesigned
  • Genius mixes and Genius playlists are now available for iTunes Match subscribers
  • audio for TV shows and movies on iPad is now louder and clearer
  • podcast controls for playback speed and a 30 second rewind added back for the iPad
  • AT&T network indicator now shows 4G when in an HSPA+ area
  • battery life issues should have been fixed (again)
  • an issue that occasionally caused dropped audio for outgoing calls is now also fixed

So not the most important update of all time, but it still packs in some neat things. Which means you should probably apply it sooner rather than later.

The update can be installed either via iTunes on a computer, or over-the-air direct on your iDevice (a feature thankfully introduced by Apple with iOS 5). Trying to update right now may result in the procedure being unnecessarily slow or simply not working, as is usually the case when many people are trying to perform such an update at the same time. If it’s too slow, perhaps try again tomorrow. For what it’s worth, I’ve updated my iPod touch an hour ago without a hiccup, though the whole thing (from starting downloading and up until the new version was up and running) did take about 25 minutes.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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