Apple has released another iOS 6.1 Beta, iOS 6.1 Beta 5, ahead of the highly anticipated iOS 6.1 release date for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners, a release date that while unknown, is likely close.
According to noted iOS hacker MuscleNerd, iOS 6.1 Beta 5 has been released to developers today, just ahead of the iOS 6.1 Beta 4′s expiration, set to arrive on Monday.
It was clear that Apple would need to release a new piece of software before Monday, either a new beta or the iOS 6.1 GM, and it now is confirmed that the new iOS 6.1 release is iOS 6.1 Beta 5 though that appears to just be in name.
As discovered by iOS hacker Winocm, the iOS 6.1 Beta 5 appears to activate without any kind of developer registration, meaning it can be installed by anyone. This means that the software is releasable to the public and that could mean that a release date is imminent. Apple never releases official release dates for its minor iOS software updates so when exactly it might roll out is still unknown.
In addition, according to Cydia creator Saurik, this iOS 6.1 Beta 5 could in fact be the iOS 6 GM and not a Beta. He theorizes that Apple may have released this as Beta 5 instead of GM by mistake, or, they seeded a GM called “Beta 5″ in an effort to give itself some more time before a public release. Whatever the case may be, it looks like a public release could be close.
iOS 6.1 isn’t going to be a massive upgrade from iOS 6 but it will be the biggest iOS update since Apple released iOS 6 back in September of last year alongside the iPhone 5.
The software, at least on the surface, includes a new look for the lock screen music controls, a more prominent way to report bugs in the controversial Apple Maps – an application that Apple has promised to improve in the months ahead, and the ability to order movie tickets through Fandango just by using Siri, the virtual personal assistant found on the iPhone and iPad.
We also imagine that there will be various bug fixes on board the software as well, fixes that should help to shore up issues that iDevice owners have been experiencing since the release of both iOS 6 and iOS 6.0.2.