Apple's engineering department is still working hard toward the summer release of iPhone OS 3.0. The difference now is that Apple's engineering team has hit warp 5--well, beta 5 actually--only 8 days after releasing beta 4. Talk about zippy. It is likely that the speed up is attributed to the rapidly approaching WWDC 2009.
Like most Apple updates, we suspect that the new beta 5 includes several stability and performance enhancements that might make the beta more pleasing to use, if you are testing it.
As previously reported, we've heard from some early beta testers complaining (see article comments) about the number of issues they were experiencing with the previous releases. Now betas 4 and 5 are being reported to us as being a lot more stable. All the complaints we've heard about appear to have been resolved. So it looks like Apple is on track for an early summer release of iPhone OS 3.0.
Unlike beta 4, reports are coming in about new enhancements in beta 5, and so far the following things have been discovered:
The iPhone Blog is reporting the addition of a feature in the iPod app that allows you to share Podcasts via emailed links sent to friends. They also reported on the addition of age-based restrictions in parental controls for the iTunes App Store.
Gizmodo reports that changes have been made to prevent the modification to the carrier files that were allowing some iPhone hackers to use MMS on their iPhones. They also reported that changes made to YouTube allow the playing of higher-resolution videos over 3G when previous versions would only allow that over Wi-Fi. This is probably allowed now in light of all the 3G network enhancements AT&T has been rolling out ahead of the next iPhone hardware and OS releases for the last several months.
Finally some minor changes in beta 5 reported to CNET include: swipe to delete in contacts for easy removal of old or outdated contact information and the loss of hacked tethering on iPhone OS 3.0. It was also reported that in the case of the missing MMS--it is now missing completely, as the buttons for it have all disappeared in the iPhone's Settings app.
Read CNET's additional coverage of iPhone OS 3.0:
Developers and beta testers, let us know about your experiences with this latest iPhone OS 3.0 beta in the comments.