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Is Apple working overtime preparing iOS 5 ready for release? That would appear to be the case, as the company slipped out Beta 5 of the next mobile operating system on Saturday, a rare move that is likely to make for a few cranky developers this lazy August weekend.
If you’re an iOS developer, you might want to log in to your account on Apple’s website, because they have a rare and special treat for you this early August Saturday afternoon -- the company has posted the iOS 5 Beta 5, Build 9A5288d along with accompanying downloads for Xcode 4.2, iTunes 10.5 and Apple TV.
While iOS 5 Beta 4 featured the ability to update over the air -- a feature already advertised as part of the consumer release this fall -- Apple is recommending that developers first choose Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings prior to installing iOS 5 Beta 5, although early reports claim that this step isn’t actually necessary. (It was for a developer iPad 2 we had access to, which refused to offer the Beta 5 OTA update, simply report “iOS 5.0: Your software is up to date.”)
iOS 5 Beta 5 doesn’t appear to offer much in the way of new features, but MacRumors is reporting (via the NatesTechUpdate YouTube channel) that a new Hearing Aid Mode has been added under Settings > Accessibility which claims to improve compatibility “with hearing aids in some circumstances,” but “may reduce 2G cellular coverage.”
Those developers who have succeeded in doing the OTA update claim it’s around 128MB in size, versus more than 700MB for the restore images found on Apple’s iOS Dev Center, which is accessible only to developers who have ponied up the $99 per year to join that elite club. In addition to Beta 5, new builds of Xcode 4.2 Developer Preview 5, iTunes 10.5 Beta 5 and Apple TV Software Beta 4 are also available for download.
For the rest of us, at least iOS 5 Beta 5 is a sign that things are moving ever so slowly in the right direction for its fall release to consumers.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter