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Apple Enhances Siri, LTE Capabilities of iPhones, iPads on iOS 6.1

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By Erik Pineda | January 29, 2013 11:59 AM EST

Apple's iOS 6.1 is out beta stage following updates from the tech giant that shoved its mobile platform into full version a few days after developers were first given a taste of software fixes deployed with the patch.

Chief of the upgrades provided by Apple is the expansion of LTE capabilities that come with the iPhone and the iPad, specifically adding up 59 more carriers support for the gadgets around the world.

With the latest fix more Apple engineers, "iOS 6.1 brings LTE support to more markets around the world, so even more users can enjoy ultrafast Safari browsing, FaceTime video calls, iCloud services, and iTunes and App Store downloads," Apple global marketing chief Philip Schiller was reported by MacRumors as saying.

Pushed out over-the-air (OTA), the update will further enhance the superior capabilities that were already supplied with Apple devices running on iOS 6, which according to Mr Schiller now numbers to over 300 million units, scattered around the globe.

Apple noted too of the following improvements:

-          Purchase movie tickets through Fandango with Siri (USA only)

-          iTunes Match subscribers can now download individual songs from iCloud

-          New button to reset the Advertising Identifier

Apart from these major improvements, iOS 6.1 brings in minor tweaks, according to CNET, among them "tweaks to Safari, reworked music playback controls from the lock screen, and a back-end change in Apple's mapping software."

These changes serve as Apple's major dispatch for its latest platform that experts said is mostly now in equal terms with Google's Android.

In the past years, iOS has been regarded as way ahead of Android. That perception changed considerably, with a number of former Apple fans now attesting that the battle between the two mobile OS has become more interesting.

To date, iOS still dominates the tablet market but it has ceded it smartphone supremacy to Android - a shift represented by the rise of Samsung early last year as the biggest mobile phone maker in the world.

But Apple intends to restore its lead this year, according to experts, with the likely release of iOS 7 by Q2 2013, coinciding with the much speculated refresh of the iPhone 5, said to become iPhone 5S powered by A7 chips, and iPhone Mini.

The latter, analysts said, is Apple's direct answers to Samsung's cheaper Galaxy smartphones that experts said propelled the South Korean firm to its current market status. Part of the company gunshot approach in selling gadgets is the release of affordable handsets that amply support its main sellers in 2012 - the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2.

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