Apple Announces iOS 5.1, iPhoto App, and Updates to GarageBand and iMovie Apps

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Yes, today we got the specs for “The iPad: iHarder,” but Apple also revealed some pretty intriguing software updates as well.

The entire iLife suite got an update, with each app available for $4.99 or as a free upgrade if you already have them.

(MORE: Apple Announces New iPad with ‘Retina’ Display, Same Old Name)

multi_touchFirst, iPhoto has finally made its way to the iPad and iPhone. It takes advantage of the iPad’s fancy new Retina display by supporting up to 19-megapixel photos and you can intuitively edit images with multi-touch gestures. The app lets you color balance a photo by simply touching someone’s skin and fix underexposed photos through a touch-and-drag motion. Edited photos can also be compared side-by-side with their unedited counterparts.

works_with_icloudGarageBand got an update, including the ability to push files directly to iCloud and, most impressively, something called “Jam Session” which lets up to four iPad owners virtually jam together via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It also includes a new instrument, Smart Strings, the virtual equivalent of a string orchestra. Indie acts will be glad to know that tracks can now be uploaded directly to SoundCloud.

share_webI hope you’ve practiced your “the world is ending” voice because iMovie now lets you create Hollywood-style movie trailers with nine templates and several ready-to-go cinematic soundtracks from composers such as Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer. Once you finish your trailer, you can instantly upload it to Facebook, Vimeo and YouTube.

Do you like charts? Good! Because iWork now lets you create 3D charts designed to stand out on the Retina display. Keynote also got updated with some new transitions.

And users in Japan will be glad to know that Siri now speaks their language, thanks to an iOS 5.1 update. It’s available now and also includes an updated Camera app with a new video stabilization feature and the ability to delete photos from your Photo Stream.

PHOTOS: Apple Announces New iPad