iOS 6.1 Release Date & Feature Predictions

A couple of weeks after releasing iOS 6.1 Beta 3, Apple released iOS 6.1 Beta 4 to participants in its developer program. While that is certainly fantastic for those who are able to download the fourth beta of iOS 6.1, it’s also very good news for consumers who are awaiting the iOS 6.1 release date and the features that will be coming along to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. That being said, it’s time to make some predictions in regards to those two aspects of Apple’s largest iOS update since iOS 6.

iOS 6.1 is going to be the company’s biggest iOS update since iOS 6. iOS 6.0.1 was the first update since Apple rolled out its brand new operating system back in September, but it was just a minor bug fix update. And even then, it didn’t take care of all of the bugs that iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners saw come along with Apple’s original iOS 6 update to those devices.

Read: iOS 6.1 Release Date Inches Closer.

iOS 6.0.1 also did not bring any new features to the table. iOS 6.1 promises to bring at least a few features to the table along with bug fixes and enhancements that should help shore up the iOS 6 experience on Apple’s mobile devices.

As an iPhone 5 and iPad third-generation user myself, I am more than excited to get my hands on Apple’s upcoming update. And I’ve also been thinking quite a bit about what my iPhone 5 and what iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users around the globe can expect from Apple in terms of the iOS 6.1 release date and its features.

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Now though, it’s time to make some predictions in regards to features and the iOS 6.1 release date.

iOS 6.1 Release Date Predictions

Previous rumors suggested that the iOS 6.1 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch would be out at some point after the holidays. And given Apple’s past timing between beta releases and the releases of the final versions of its iOS software, we can make some educated predictions about when to expect the iOS 6.1 release date.

ios-6-logo-hi-res-460x460Mid-January Release

It’s clear, with the release of iOS 6.1 Beta 4, that Apple is getting very close to getting iOS 6.1 perfected and ready to roll out to owners of its mobile devices. The release of iOS 6.1 Beta 4 comes just a few short weeks after Apple released iOS 6.1 Beta 3 which we believed was the last Beta update for Apple’s new software. However, Apple, in a bit of a surprise, rolled out a fourth beta which was seemingly aimed at eradicating some of the bugs that came along with the last version.

So, assuming that the new Beta did just that, we should be well on our way to a Gold Master of iOS 6.1. But when might it arrive?

With iOS 5.1 Beta 3 and iOS 5.1, Apple took a little less than two months to roll out the update. That led us to believe that Apple might roll out iOS 6.1 at some point toward the end of January or in the early part of February. iOS 5.1 Beta 3 was the last Beta for iOS 5.1. Looking even further back though, with iOS 4.1, Apple released the last Beta for it, iOS 4.1 Beta 3, in the early part of August. It then rolled out iOS 4.1 on September 8th, 2010. So, a little over a month.

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Assuming Apple does something similar here, look for the release date to come no sooner than January 3rd and no later than mid-February. And if we had to predict, look for the update to roll out in mid to late January with the middle part looking especially good

iOS 6.1 Feature Predictions

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iOS 5.1 offered a host of features and fixes. iOS 6.1 should as well.

And what about the features? Well, we already know three of them thanks to the betas but there is likely going to be more to it then just a new addition to Siri, an improvement to Apple’s Maps and a new look for the music controls on the lock screen. Here is what we think could happen with the iOS 6.1 features.

At Least Two Key Bug Fixes

Owners of the iPhone and iPad have been dealing with two distinct issues since the release of iOS 6.0 and iOS 6.0.1. One of those issues is Wi-Fi connectivity. While many users, myself included, saw iOS 6.0.1 fix the Wi-Fi issues that came with iOS 6, others are still having problems.

There is a 166 page thread going on over on Apple’s forums that continues to this day, wherein users are complaining about problems with Wi-Fi on their mobile devices. There are some possible fixes on there that seem to have worked for some people but not for others. That being said, I think that Apple will further address this issue in the iOS 6.1 update. Way too many people complaining for it not to at least attempt to do something.

One other issue that iDevice owners have been emailing me about, especially owners on the iPad, is an issue with the time and date. Seems the time and date sometimes magically jumps up for some users. We heard about this issue with the Verizon iPhone 5 and it’s clear that some users are still having issues. Others, report is being resolved. Still, we think Apple will probably introduce a more permanent fix with the iOS 6.1 update. At least that’s our hope.

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I predict little relief for iPhone 5 owners experiencing reboots.

No Random Reboot Fix

One fix I don’t see coming along with iOS 6.1 is a fix for the one issue that is driving me mad. Since I bought the phone, I’ve been dealing with random reboots that happen a couple of times a week, sometimes a couple of times a day. So far, I can’t figure out what the problem is but I do know that others have been having the issue as well, a list that includes one of my colleagues, Josh Smith.

So far though, I’ve not discovered any fixes nor have I found any possible remedies through others experiencing the issue. I can only hope that Apple takes notice of the small group of people that are seemingly dealing with this issue but right now, I predict that we’ll be left in the cold by iOS 6.1

More Features Than Advertised

While many iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners may be resigned to the three advertised features from the Betas, I think there will be a couple of other features on board when iOS 6.1 arrives. I doubt that any of these features will be big, but Apple tends to include some smaller features in its .1 updates for iOS. For instance, last year with iOS 5.1, Apple included some tweaks to the camera in which it picked up all faces, optimized sound for TV shows and movies on the iPad, and some more minor features that weren’t heavily advertised or talked about prior to its release.

I expect some more of that with iOS 6.1.

It’d be great to see Apple add some small tweaks to Do Not Disturb, one feature in particular that we’d love to see is syncing a schedule across devices, but we may have to wait for iOS 7 for that.

Better Battery Life

With iOS 5.1, Apple made some tweaks that were aimed at making battery life better and I think that Apple will likely be doing something similar with iOS 6.1. There are many owners, iPhone 3GS in particular, who have complained about poor battery life with iOS 6.0.1 and Apple will likely try to appease them by fixing some issues, likely unnamed, that might be affecting battery life.

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I think iPhone 3GS owners should see improved battery life.

As a whole, I expect battery life for many users to improve once iOS 6.1 comes along.

What are you predicting for iOS 6.1?