Ahead of its original estimate, Apple released iOS 5.0.1 to users this morning. It’s the first update to the latest version of its mobile operating system, and one that promises to fix bugs that gave users poor battery life on their devices.
The updates comes a little more than a week after Apple first acknowledged that some users were, in fact, running into problems with battery life after upgrading to the newer version of iOS. In conjunction with that, the company released a beta version of the software for developers to test. A second beta of that software arrived a day and a half later.
Apple has not copped to any specific reason as to why some users were experiencing shorter than usual battery life as part of iOS 5. Originally it was believed to be related to some of the hardware changes with the iPhone 4S, including a move to a dual-core processor, though someiPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 users were experiencing issues as well.
There’s no telling how much of an improvement to battery life the fix will bring. Initial reports from users of the beta have been positive, with one going so far as to call it “nothing short of amazing.”
Besides tackling the battery life issue, one of iOS 5.0.1’s headlining features is that it brings multitasking gestures to original iPad owners. The feature lets iPad users take advantage of multi-finger gestures to navigate between apps, and access certain features–notably pinching together the screen to go back to the home screen. Apple originally included the feature in an earlier developer beta, though removed it entirely in the final version of the software that went out to users with the first-generation iPad.
The update also fixes a security issue with Apple’s Smart Cover for the iPad 2 that would let users gain access to whatever app the owner of that device was running, even if they didn’t know that user’s lockscreen password. That bug was discovered late last month, after iOS 5 was released.
Other fixes include a bug with documents in Apple’s iCloud service, and improvements to voice recognition accuracy for Australian users using Apple’s dictation feature on the iPhone 4S.
The new software is available as a free update through iTunes. This is also the first time users get to try out Apple’s built-in updating feature that’s new to iOS 5.
Not included in the update are two recently discovered, though for now inaccessible iOS features. They include a panorama mode in Apple’s camera application that’s able to take panoramic shots by sweeping the camera side to side, as well as a new auto-correct menu in the keyboard. Both of those features are tucked away within the depths of the software, but were pulled out by developers this week.