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11/13/2011
09:06 PM
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Apple Releases iOS 5.0.1; Users Disappointed

The controversy over battery life on the iPhone 4S does not seem to have been soothed by a software update which purports to address disappointing power management in the new phone.

On November 10 Apple released an update for the iOS operating system to version 5.0.1, just about a week after releasing the beta of that version. According to Apple's terse description of the update, it includes improvements and other bug fixes including:

  • Fixes bugs affecting battery life
  • Adds Multitasking Gestures for original iPad
  • Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud
  • Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation

The new version also addresses several security problems, described in greater detail below.

Like the initial iOS 5 version, the update applies to the iPhone 4S, 4 and 3GS; the iPad and iPad 2; and the 3rd and 4th generation iPod touch.

If Apple thought that controversy over the battery life in the 4S would end with the release of 5.0.1 they seem to have been mistaken. This discussions.apple.com thread has an endless stream of users claiming that the 5.0.1 update has made their battery life worse. There are also reports (e.g. this one) that iPad battery life is worse under 5.0.1 as well. There are those who report no apparent changes in battery life after the update, but it's hard to find anyone who is pleased with this aspect of the update.

There are mixed reports about iCloud synch fixes in 5.0.1. There are multiple reports of Bluetooth problems (such as this, this and this) that emerge after the update to 5.0.1. And the fix for multitasking gestures in 5.0.1 seems to work.

Several security issues are also addressed in 5.0.1. Some of these are quite serious, such as the kernel bug which allows an application to load and execute unsigned code, thereby bypassing all the verification processes of the Apple store. Charlie Miller, the researcher who discovered this vulnerability, had his iOS Developer Program account canceled by Apple for the way he disclosed the bug, but Apple properly credits him for reporting it.

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