Apple released the first developer-only beta of iOS 5.1 to developers Monday night. While it includes a number of unidentified bug fixes, it also adds some APIs that let developers better integrate Siri’s dictation input as well as offers a few clues to upcoming iOS devices.
Full release notes for iOS 5.1 were published by BGR, though those notes usually do not detail bug fixes or security patches—that information is usually not detailed until public release. However, it is expected that the update will further address reported battery life problems that seem to particularly affect the iPhone 4S. Apple released an iOS 5.0.1 patch recently in an effort to address those issues, but users have reported that it doesn’t fully address battery life problems.
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A source confirmed to Ars that a handful of the new iOS 5.1 APIs allow developers to specifically handle the response from Siri’s speech-recognition servers. these APIs don’t allow developers to integrate Siri support for controlling an app the way that Apple has with, say, Messages or Reminders. But it does open up the possibility to better handle text dictation input.
Nothing in the release notes or developer documentation supports rumors from a few weeks ago that iOS 5.1 would add additional capabilities to Siri, such as commands for activating an iPhone’s camera or turning WiFi or Bluetooth on and off. Our source was not able to confirm any new functionality, either.
Apple has done it again with the Apple iPhone 3GS. The company has constantly delivered when it comes to consumer electronics and Apple has yet to disappoint with its latest outings of laptops, tablets, and iPods.
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Finally, bits of code in the iOS 5 beta contain references to new iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV hardware. “iPhone5,1” refers to the next major hardware revision for the iPhone, undoubtedly set for release in the second half of 2012. “iPad2,4” refers to a minor hardware revision for the current iPad 2, which 9to5Mac believes may be a Sprint-compatible 3G-enabled iPad model. and finally, the codename “J33” appears to be the next-generation Apple TV hardware. little is known about what Apple may have in store for the Apple TV, though an upgrade to Apple’s dual-core A5 processor would allow 1080p playback. other rumors have suggested Apple may integrate Apple TV functionality into a standalone HDTV set sometime next year.