iOS 6.1 beta 4 given to developers ahead of release

Apple's given developers a fourth beta of its latest iOS software update, which is expected by the end of the year.

For those anticipating another iOS update before the end of 2012, there's a good sign -- Apple's given developers the fourth beta of the iOS 6.1 this morning.

The software, which Apple says simply "contains bug fixes and improvements," went out to registered developers today for testing on their applications and to work out any kinks.

All four beta versions have been light on new features. Apple typically saves such additions for major releases, but has historically added some new features along the way. So far,the list for iOS 6.1 includes new boarding pass behavior in Apple's Passbook software, tweaks to Safari, reworked music playback controls from the lock screen, ticket purchases through Fandango in Siri, and a back-end change in Apple's mapping software.

Apple's last update to iOS 6 was iOS 6.0.1 on November 1. That software fixed a handful of bugs, including one that kept iPhone 5 users from installing over-the-air software updates. It also fixed an issue with lines appearing on the software keyboard, and a bug that deleted meetings from calendars when accepting an invitation.

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