With the release of the iOS 6.1 Beta 3 less than two weeks ago, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad owners are wondering when Apple might release its next update for its current mobile operating system. And while a specific date is currently unknown, we can make some educated guesses about what to expect from Apple and the iOS 6.1 release for Apple’s mobile devices.
In September, Apple released iOS 6, its brand new operating system for its mobile device lineup that features more than 200 new features from the previous version, iOS 5. From Passbook, to Do Not Disturb, to the new Apple Maps application that now has to compete with Google Maps, iOS 6 brought a lot of new to the table for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad owners.
On November 1st, Apple rolled out the first update to iOS 6.0.1, a bug fixer that took care of some of the issues that had plagued device owners since the first launch of iOS 6. iOS 6.0.1 however doesn’t represent the first big update that owners will see between now and the presumed release of iOS 7 sometime next year. Instead, that honor will be taken by iOS 6.1 which is already in the third stage of its beta.
iOS 6.1 will be the biggest update to iOS 6 since its arrival and while it won’t be a massive overhaul it will offer some nifty features, some of which have already been unearthed through its beta releases. So far, two of the biggest changes include a more prominent ‘Report a Bug’ feature in Apple Maps which should help Apple improve the Maps service and the ability to order movie tickets through Fandango using Siri.
The lock screen music controls will also get some cosmetic changes and there also should be a hefty dose of bug fixes and quite possibly, some surprises that Apple has hidden from view.
Needless to say, iDevice owners, especially those that are suffering from bugs, are wondering when this iOS 6.1 update might be out. With that, it’s now time to take a look at what we expect from the iOS 6.1 release date from Apple.
Stop Checking for iOS 6.1
Previous iOS releases point to the iOS 6.1 update rolling out for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch at some point during the first quarter of 2013. Given Apple’s past, January or February seem to be the most likely months for a roll out of iOS 6.1. Earlier this year, on January 9th, Apple released iOS 5.1 Beta 3. On March 7th, Apple released iOS 5.1 to the public. That’s approximately two months of time.
Assuming Apple follows a similar route with iOS 6.1, and it could, the fact that iOS 6.1 Beta 3 was released on December 3rd means that a release in late January or early February seem to be the most likely candidates for an iOS 6.1 release date.
Apple could definitely accelerate things, but at this point, we recommend that owners stop checking for updates in their device settings, at least until 2013.
Unannounced Release Date
iPhone and iPad owners should expect the iOS 6.1 release date to come unannounced. Apple never publicly announces its minor software updates and quite often, there is little warning before their arrive. So, expect to sit in silence with very few rumors leading up to the software’s eventual arrival for Apple’s devices.
Pain Free Installation
One of the hassles of downloading iOS updates in the past was the fact that Apple’s servers would get hammered by iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners trying to download the update. Fortunately, the last couple of releases have been relatively pain free with users able to seamlessly download and install the software without having to deal with unexpected errors.
Once the release date does arrive, device owners should be able to get the update through either iTunes or Over-the-Air through the device settings without a hitch. Owners of older devices, like the iPhone 3GS, should expect longer installation times however.
Whenever an iOS release date comes around, there are always device owners who express apprehension about installing the update. Word of advice: Those with newer devices should not be afraid to install the update on day one. That means that iPhone 5 owners, iPhone 4S owners, iPhone 4 users, owners of the iPad third-generation and iPad fourth-generation and owners of the latest iPod touch really have nothing to worry about. Apple’s updates for the most part do more good than harm.
Those with older devices, like the iPhone 3GS, will want to be a bit more cautious as occasionally, these updates can cause a drop in performance. We saw it with the iOS 5.0.1 update on the iPhone 3GS previously.
That being said, owners of older devices – that might even include the iPhone 4 at this point – will want to do their home work before installing iOS 6.1 on its release date.
Still Could Be Bugs
With any update, it’s the user’s hope that it will squash all issues of the earlier version while introducing no issues of its own. That, more often than not, does not happen. For example, iOS 6.0.1 was supposed to fix Wi-Fi issues with the iPhone but users are still experiencing issues with it in the new update.
Expect iOS 6.1 to tackle most bugs but also expect some to linger, especially the more minor ones like the random reboot issue that some iPhone 5 owners, like myself, are dealing with.
Also, something else to note. There are always cries of poor battery life on the release dates of these iOS updates. Our advice is to wait a few days, typically, things settle down after awhile.
iOS 6.1 Jailbreak
Yesterday’s untethered Dream Jailbreak turned out to be a fake and now, it’s unclear about when iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S owners on iOS 6 will be able to jailbreak their devices. An iOS 6.1 jailbreak for both devices is possible though we don’t imagine it will arrive on its release date.
That doesn’t mean that everyone is out in the cold though. Owners of older devices like iPhone 4 likely will be able to jailbreak with Redsn0w either on iOS 6.1′s release date or shortly afterwards.