iOS 6.1 Beta 4 Release: Apple Seeds New iOS 6 Update To Focus Developers On Maps, Passbook, Safari

 @redletterdave on December 18 2012 11:25 AM

Apple is trying to work out the kinks in iOS 6, and on Tuesday, the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant released the fourth beta build of iOS 6.1 to its developers. The new beta comes two weeks after Apple released the third beta of iOS 6.1 on Dec. 3.

Developers are now free to download the fourth and newest iOS 6.1 beta, which has a build number of 10B5126b, directly onto their iPhones and iPads dating back to the iPhone 3GS and iPad 2, respectively.

The third beta of iOS 6.1 -- build number of 10B5126b -- arrived a few weeks after Apple seeded the second beta of iOS 6.1 on Nov. 12. The beta builds for iOS 6.1 have listed a number of "bug fixes and improvements" from iOS 6.0.1, particularly related to how developers can leverage Apple's new Maps service in their own third-party applications, giving them tools for simple integration.

Apple also released beta 3 of the Apple TV software, as well as Xcode 4.6 Developer Preview 4. Registered developers can download the betas via Apple's Developer page or via Software Update on iOS devices with a previous iOS 6.1 Beta already installed.

The release, build No. 10B5117b, can now be downloaded for iPhones and iPads dating back to the iPhone 3GS and iPad 2, respectively.

Apple seeded the second beta of iOS 6.1 on Nov. 12, and, less than a month later, the third beta lists a number of "bug fixes and improvements" from iOS 6.0.1, particularly related to how developers can leverage Apple's new Maps service in their own applications, giving them the tools for easy integration.

The iOS 6.1 update is also said to improve how boarding passes are handled in the new Passbook application introduced in iOS 6, but there are no details as to what is truly different -- whether it's a few tweaks or if a major design overhaul. Furthermore, the beta is said to include a few minor "changes to Safari."

Registered iOS developers can also download two new beta versions of Apple apps, including the third beta build for Apple TV software, and Xcode 4.6 Developer Preview 4. All betas are available to download via Apple's Developer page. Users that have any one of the prior iOS 6.1 builds can install the latest upgrades via Software Update.

iOS 6 adds more than 200 new features for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners, including a few new Apple-made apps like Passbook and the company's controversial in-house Maps application, as well as deep integration with Facebook and several major enhancements to Siri, Apple's virtual personal assistant.

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