Apple Releases iOS 5.0.1 Beta; Targets Battery Life, Security

iOS 5 Beta 5.0.1

Apple released a Beta build of iOS, numbered 5.0.1, to developers Wednesday afternoon. The build, 9A402, “fixes bugs affecting battery life, adds multitasking gestures for the original iPad, resolves bugs with documents in iCloud, improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation, and contains security improvements,” according to the release notes.

As TMO reported previously, iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S have been linked to several categories of complaints over battery life and power usage. Apple is aware of the issue and released a statement confirming the issue and promising a fix within “a few weeks.” The iOS 5.0.1 Beta appears to be the first step by the Cupertino-based company to resolve the issues via software.

Being only a few hours old, it is still too soon to determine the overall effect of 5.0.1 on battery life; we will update this article once we have more feedback from users.

iPad 2 Smart Cover Unlock Bug

One thing that is for certain, however, is that iOS 5.0.1 resolves a strange bug, first reported by 9to5Mac, that allowed anyone with a Smart Cover to unlock a passcode-locked iPad and gain access to the last-running application.

9to5Mac now reports that 5.0.1 fixes this issue. Specifically, with the new build, an iPad will not be able to go to sleep using a Smart Cover while the Power Off screen is displayed, a prerequisite of the former security flaw.

As with all developer builds, Apple’s timetable for general release is unknown. It’s a safe bet, however, with complaints about iOS 5 and iPhone 4S battery life mounting, that the company is aiming for release as soon as possible.