When the stable version of iOS 6.1 firmware will be out for download, we can expect a lot of happy faces, as this firmware will certainly fix many of the nagging issues visible on iOS 6.0 / 6.0.1 firmware. For now, Apple is still in the phase of revising 6.1 beta firmware with the help of developers, which means we (read: developers) have yet another “beta” update up for grabs.
The new iOS 6.1 beta 4 firmware is available for download on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. As usual, this firmware is limited to developers for testing and learning more about the OS.
Registered developers can always download iOS 6.1 beta 4 from Apple’s website.
The iOS 6.1 beta 1 brought improvements to Apple Maps and Passbook while the next iOS 6.1 beta 2 added Panorama feature back and fixed the iTunes Match mess. Since iOS 6.1 beta 4 is brand new, we don’t know if it packs in any new features or what bugs it fixes. At the moment, Apple says “[iOS 6.1 beta 4] contains bug fixes and improvements.”
Releasing iOS 6.0 firmware has done more harm than good for Apple. Users have started blaming iOS 6 for the massive cellular data consumption on iPhone and other iOS devices, for which LTE is to be blamed. Then we have a very common complaint related to WiFi connectivity — the new iOS 6.0 disables WiFi automatically.
In an effort to restore faith and keep its users happy, Apple quickly released iOS 6.0.1 update. Unfortunately, the new iOS 6.0.1 didn’t fix as many bugs as we thought, leaving some of the important issues — like the poor battery life on iPhone — untouched. Now, it’s all in the hands of Apple — we can only hope and pray that the stable version of iOS 6.1 fixes all these issues.
Despite the addition of over 200 new features in iOS 6.0, when we look at the bigger picture, this firmware barely scratches the surface. Sure, iOS 6.1 is a welcome addition, but Apple is working on fixing bugs rather than bringing anything new to the table. The issue is not with iOS 6.1 but with iOS 6 firmware that seem like a step backward in Apple’s history.
Can Apple bounce back with iOS 6.1? We don’t know, but we certainly know the new firmware lets you buy movie tickets through Siri, has a better Apple Maps that will not lock you in a deserted place, tweaks Safari browser among many other things. The ticket-buying experience, however, is limited to users in the US.
Looking at the previous iOS releases, don’t expect Apple to release iOS 6.1 this year. Next year, probably in the month of January, we should all have iOS 6.1 firmware on our devices.
The iOS 6.1 beta 4 (10B5126b) expires on January 28, 2013.