Apple boosts location services controls with iOS 5 beta 3

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues ramping up for the fall rollout of iOS 5 with the operating system's third beta release, seeded to registered iOS developers Monday and available for download via the iOS Dev Center. Officially known as "Build 9A5259f," iOS 5 beta 3 is available for addressable devices including the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, iPad 2 and iPad, Apple TV and third and fourth-generation iPod touch units.

BGR has the complete iOS 5 change log here--highlights include enhanced location services controls, enabling users to specify whether functions like cell network searching, diagnostics, iAds, time zone setting and traffic information may leverage the device's location data. In addition, iOS 5 includes a new setup screen outlining how location services work.

The location tweaks are likely in response to controversy that erupted earlier this year after British researchers reported that Apple devices had recorded location and time-stamp data since the mid-2010 release of the iOS 4 software update, effectively creating a comprehensive log of all user movement and activities during that time. Apple later explained that iOS devices are gathering location information to maintain a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in the user's vicinity, enabling an iPhone to more rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested. The May release of iOS 4.3.3 reduced the size of the location database cache from up to a year to about a week, halting cache backup to iTunes and deleting the cache entirely when users disable their device's Location Services feature.

Initial user reports indicate the new iOS 5 beta additionally touts significant speed enhancements, with a dramatic reduction in performance lag. Also new: A "voice roaming" toggle allowing users to prevent their iPhone from connecting to networks outside of their carrier coverage, tools to clear cookies and data from Safari, a new Reminders app icon, an iTunes Store button in the Music app and mailbox creation within Mail. 

Apple first unveiled iOS 5 in June during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. iOS 5 heralds more than 200 new user features and brings 1,500 new APIs--it is first and foremost about seamless integration with Apple's free iCloud service, which replaces Apple's premium MobileMe offering. iCloud automatically syncs content on Apple servers for access across iOS devices as well as Macs and PCs--each day, iCloud Backup backs up all of the user's iOS devices over Wi-Fi, storing content including purchased music, apps and books as well as photos, videos, device settings and app data.

For more:
- read this MacRumors article

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