Apple seeds iOS 5 beta updates to fix iPhone battery life bugs

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) issued two updated beta versions of its iOS 5 mobile operating system to registered developers last week after multiple consumers reported battery life issues with the company's new iPhone 4S.

Some iPhone 4S owners began complaining about battery issues immediately after the smartphone's October release--AppleInsider reports that the problems span multiple settings, operators and usage patterns, making the fundamental flaws even more difficult to identify and address. Although the iPhone 4S touts a faster A5 processor with twice the graphics cores and a higher clock speed, Apple has said that average talk time, Wi-Fi browsing and multimedia playback should still match the A4-based iPhone 4, crediting technology enhancements as well as a slightly larger battery.

Apple released iOS 5.0.1 beta 1 (build 9A402) Wednesday following an investigation into the battery life reports. "We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life, and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks," Apple said in a statement. The new iOS 5.0.1 build also adds multitasking gestures for Apple's original iPad tablet, resolves bugs relating to Documents in the Cloud, improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation services and introduces new methods enabling developers to specify files that should remain on device, even in low storage situations. The update also brings security improvements.

Apple issued iOS 5.0.1 beta 2 (build 9A404) roughly 48 hours later, fixing some activation issues incurred with the previous beta. The iOS 5 beta 2 update may be installed as an OTA over-the-air update for across devices running the first beta.

Apple 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. The iOS 5 launch additionally heralds the introduction of voice recognition technologies acquired by Apple when it purchased startup Siri roughly 18 months ago. The Siri software enables iOS device users to employ natural spoken language to access and perform device tasks like mobile search, messaging and contacts.

On Wednesday Apple also rolled out its iTunes 10.5.1 beta 2 to developers, promising support for iTunes Match on the Apple TV set-top box alongside a series of stability and performance improvements. The iTunes Match service was supposed to launch to the public by the end of October--first announced in June, iTunes Match essentially mirrors music files downloaded from sources other than Apple's digital storefront with a 256 kbps AAC DRM-free version culled from the iTunes Store, offering consumers anytime/anywhere access to their music libraries via the iCloud digital media storage platform. Apple will offer iTunes Match at $24.99 per year.

For more:
- read this AppleInsider article

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