Apple to Release iOS 4.1 Next Week, iOS 4.2 in November

At Apple’s keynote event today, Steve Jobs announced that iOS 4.1 will be available for the iPhone and iPod touch next week. iOS 4.1 will offer some new features, including High Dynamic Range photos, the ability to upload HD video over Wi-Fi, and TV show rentals. Apple’s Game Center will also make its official debut.

HDR photos are essentially composite photos created using separate photos (three in the case of iOS 4.1) taken at different exposure levels. iOS 4.1 will do this on the fly automatically on the iPhone, though it’s not clear yet if this feature will work on all iPhone models. Our guess is that it will work only on the iPhone 4 and possibly the iPhone 3GS.

Apple’s Game Center, which first came to light earlier this year when iOS 4.0 was announced, will appear in iOS 4.1. Game Center is a feature that game developers can incorporate into their apps, offering online leaderboards and allowing players to challenge each other to games and more.

iPad users will need to wait until November to their hands on iOS 4.2, which will also get more new features including wireless printing and AirPlay, a replacement for AirTunes that will stream video, music, and photos wirelessly.

Apple also introduced new iPod models today, along with the next iteration of its media management software, iTunes 10, that includes a social networking feature for music called Ping. The “one more thing” announcement was a revamped Apple TV that streams content (and has no internal storage) and offers movie and TV show rentals only, along with integration with Netflix’s movie streaming feature for subscribers.