We have some interesting news to bring iPhone and iOS users now, as we’re hearing that Apple has recently released the iOS 5.1 beta for consumers subscribed to the company’s developer program. It was previously thought that iOS 5.0.2 would be coming out after iOS 5.0.1, but it looks like Apple may have other ideas.
If you have a developer’s account with Apple, you can go ahead and download the iOS 5.1 beta right now. Unlike iOS 5.0.1, you won’t be able to get the update via OTA, as Apple has put the download on their servers only.
There is no word from Apple on whether iOS 5.1 improves on battery life issues further, but we’re guessing that once the public version of iOS 5.1 goes live, Apple will be a bit more descriptive on what enhancements and improvements have been made. One change that we can tell you about is that Apple has stated that dictation has been enhanced to to allow text input on ‘supported devices’. This is interesting as it was only yesterday that we told you that a new jailbreak package had released on Cydia which allowed iPhone 4 and older iOS devices to use the Siri dictation feature which previously was restricted to the iPhone 4S – Could Apple now make this a universal feature for iOS 5.1?
On a side note, information cited at Apple Insider has revealed that the guys over at MacNN have discovered that the iOS 5.1 beta code contains information which could reveal plans for new hardware versions of the iPad 2. System files for the current iPad 2 can be identified as “iPad 2,1 iPad 2,2 and iPad 2,3”, but apparently the iOS 5.1 code contains a listing for the ”iPad 2,4.”
Again this is just expanding on this rumor further, but we may see Apple introduce a new version of the iPad 2 with updated hardware specs, to join a likely refresh of the company’s Macbook Air and Pro models, in which a new 15-inch Macbook Air is strongly tipped to appear around March 2012.
Hopefully we’ll have some more interesting information to share with you on iOS 5.1, but for now the testing is ongoing. Are you looking for a line to be drawn under the battery life issues for Apple’s next software update?