Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is rolling out the third beta release of its iOS 5.1 operating system to registered developers, highlighted by the return of the Enable 3G toggle absent from Settings since the fall release of the iPhone 4S. The feature enables users to switch from 3G data access to EDGE, maintaining connectivity while consuming reduced battery power. At present, iPhone 4S users are forced to choose between constant 3G connectivity (a major drain on battery life) or disabling their data connection altogether.
The iOS 5.1 beta 3 release is otherwise unremarkable, focusing on the usual bug fixes and related enhancements. 9to5 Mac reports that the beta also contains strings for a Japanese language version of Apple's Siri voice recognition software.
The latest iOS 5.1 beta follows less than a month after the second beta release, highlighted by a new and much-requested feature enabling users to delete individual photos synced to the iCloud Photo Stream. iOS 5.1 beta 2 also introduced a series of fake configuration files and other misleading references clearly designed to throw off tech bloggers digging for clues to future Apple products. While previous iOS beta releases contained data revealing forthcoming product releases and feature updates, iOS 5.1 beta 2 obscured Apple's roadmap, planting references to products like iPad"10,1," "iPhone11,3," "iPod11,1" and "AppleTV8,3" and making it far more difficult for forecasters to separate legitimate clues from red herrings.
Apple first released iOS 5 to consumers on Oct. 12, delivering 200 new features as well as backwards-compatibility with devices dating back to the iPhone 3GS. Highlights include iMessage (a free SMS alternative enabling users to send free text messages, photos and videos between all iOS devices), location-based Reminders, deep Twitter integration, Newsstand (an in-house distribution system for iPad magazine content), an improved Safari browser and PC-free activation.
- read this 9to5 Mac article
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