Apple released the iOS 6 operating system for its mobile devices in September 2012. But multiple issues, including Wi-Fi connectivity, battery life and of course the notorious Maps app, have been dogging the OS since then.

In a bid to come up with possible fixes for the bugs, Apple seeded the first beta of iOS 6.1 in November last year, and since then as many as four betas of the mobile OS have been issued by the company to its registered developers. And now, if the latest rumor is to be believed, the fifth and probably the last beta of iOS 6.1 is currently in the final testing phase and will be released to the developers soon.

German blog iFun reported Friday, citing a “reliable source,” that Apple was currently testing the fifth beta of iOS 6.1 for developers. This beta version of the mobile OS has reportedly gone through "extensive internal testing” and if everything goes as expected, this will be the Golden Master build of iOS 6.1.

As Redmond Pie has noted, the Golden Master or GM build means the software is in its complete form and is ready to be released for the end user. Given that, “the public release of iOS 6.1 may not be too far away now,” said the report.

The iFun report has said that modifications in iOS 6.1 are mostly minor, with key changes mainly dealing “with bug fixes and optimizations in the areas of connectivity and interface.”

“In the last pre-release, Apple turns according to our information only gently to the fine adjustments. We think it is quite possible that Apple today or on Monday evening, the next development version releases,” the report added.

Another report from Apple Insider has said that the most significant additions in iOS 6.1 include “the ability to purchase movie tickets through Fandango with Siri and a new prompt that asks users to enter security questions for iCloud when setting up their device for the first time.”

In addition, the new iOS version also includes an improved Map Kit framework, allowing third-party applications to look for map-based addresses based on users’ interest. “For example, a user could search the term ‘coffee’ and the new framework would return the location of local coffee bars along with information about each one,” the report added.

Concerns for Jailbreaking

If the reports turn out to be true, the iOS 6.1 Golden Master would be released to the developers next week, most probably Monday. Based on all the previous beta builds, the firmware update is likely to be compatible with a number of iOS devices including iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS; fourth, third and second generation iPad; iPad mini; and of course the fifth and fourth generation iPod touch.

The users who are not used to jailbreaks should go for installing iOS 6.1 on their devices without a second thought. But for those waiting for an iOS 6 untethered jailbreak, it’s highly recommended to stick with the firmware they currently have.

Renowned iOS hacker Planetbeing recently announced that he had an untethered iOS 6.0.2 jailbreak running on his own iPhone 5. He also reportedly intended to work on a jailbreak solution for the impending iOS 6.1.

Moreover, those who are waiting for an iOS 6 untethered jailbreak should also save their SHSH blobs since Apple generally closes the signing windows when new firmware updates are released.

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