With the expiration of the iOS 6.1 Beta 4 update only days away, owners of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are wondering if Apple might release a iOS 6.1 Gold Master or release a new beta of the software, likely dubbed iOS 6.1 Beta 5. Well, according to one well-known iOS hacker, it could be that Apple releases the fifth beta of iOS 6.1, a release that would likely push the GM release beyond January.
For the past several weeks, after the release of iOS 6.1 Beta 4, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners have anxiously been awaiting Apple’s next move. Rumors have been flying about a possible release of an iOS 6.1 Gold Master but thus far, nothing has panned out, leaving iDevice owners on iOS 6.0.2, the latest version of Apple’s software. But, as we’ve mentioned, the clock is ticking.
On Monday, the iOS 6 Beta 4 software will expire, and at that point, those using the software will be unable to use their devices. That said, Apple is likely going to release something in the next few minutes, hours or days to remedy the situation. The question is, what exactly will it be releasing?
Well, according to note iOS hacker Stefan Esser, known as i0n1c, it could be that Apple releases an iOS 6.1 Beta 5 to developers before releasing the iOS 6.1 update to the public.
Esser is predicting that Apple release iOS 6.1 Beta 5 to developers and after two to three weeks, release the iOS 6.1 Gold Master which would translate into a release in late February or early March.
That said I believe there should be beta 5 and in 2-3 weeks a GM for a late Feb early March 6.1
— Stefan Esser (@i0n1c) January 24, 2013
It’s unclear what exactly has swayed him to think this way, but a possibility is the fact that Apple has, in the past, released new versions of iOS either right before or during the CanSecWest security conference. Last year, CanSecWest took place in early March, kicking off at on March 7th, and Apple released iOS 5.1 on March 7th. At the conference, there is an event dubbed ‘pwn2own’ which is an annual hacking contest and in the past, iOS has been target.
While Esser is a reliable source, it should be noted that at this point, anything is possible. However, by the end of January 28th, we should have our answer from Apple whether its a iOS 6.1 GM or a new Beta 5.
OS 6.1 isn’t expected to be a big update but it should provide a couple of new features to iPhone and iPad owners including a different looking music control on the lock screen, a more prominent place to report bugs in Apple Maps, and a new feature in Siri that allows users to purchase movie tickets using the virtual assistant and Fandango.
It’s also possible that Apple has hidden some features out of sight of developers as well.