The wait for iOS 4.1 is over for iPod touch and iPhone users. Apple (s aapl) released the update around 2PM EDT today, and you can get it now by plugging your device into iTunes and clicking the “Check for Update” button if it doesn’t prompt you automatically.
The release of the update is in keeping with the timeline Apple announced last week during its press conference on Wednesday. 4.1 was slated for sometime this week, while 4.2, which brings iOS 4 features and more to the iPad, will be coming in November.
4.1 brings numerous improvements to the platform for iPod touches and iPhones, though only later generation devices will be able to enjoy a number of those. Among the new features are Game Center, HDR photos (iPhone 4 only), TV show rentals, HD uploads to YouTube (iPhone 4 only), additional AVRCP support (including “next” and “previous” buttons), FaceTime calling from favorites and bug fixes, including the proximity sensor bug affecting iPhone 4 customers.
It also promises to remedy performance issues plaguing iPhone 3G users who are running iOS 4 and later. The last major update to iOS seems to have significantly slowed the performance of the 3G during a number of tasks, including Spotlight and photo navigation.
The HDR photos and the improved Bluetooth support are what I’m most looking forward to (will it finally work with all the features of my Motorola S9-HD headphones?), but I’m also curious to see how the introduction of Game Center affects my iPhone gaming. What are the highlights of iOS 4.1 for you?