Apple Releases iOS 5.1 Beta to Developers

Apple released a beta version of iOS 5.1 to developers on Monday, giving them their first chance to test out the upcoming iPhone, iPad and iPod touch operating system before its official release in the coming months. Developers can also get their hands on a beta version of Xcode 4.3 so they can start compiling and testing their apps with the new iOS version.

iOS 5.1 beta available for developersiOS 5.1 beta available for developers

Like other iOS betas, 5.1 requires an Apple developer account and isn’t available to the public. Since the operating system is beta, is shouldn’t be used on mission-critical devices, either.

The beta release means Apple is inching closer to a public rollout, which is most likely coming in weeks or months instead of days.

According to 9to5 Mac, the beta also includes references to unreleased iPad and iPhone models, which shouldn’t come as any surprise since Apple is always working on the next versions of its product lineup.

Exactly when new iPhone and iPad models will hit store shelves is a mystery since Apple doesn’t share its product refresh schedule, and just because references to new models appear in the OS code doesn’t mean that new device launches are coming soon.

What we can tell from the iOS 5.1 beta, however, is that Apple thinks the operating system is ready for developer testing, but not for regular use.