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Apple gives developers iOS 5.0.1 to test battery fix

Apple's pushed out a beta of iOS 5 to developers that features the battery life fix it plans to debut to users in the next few weeks. Besides fixing bugs, the update also adds features.

iOS 5 logo

Apple has given developers a new version of iOS 5 to test that promises to squash bugs that affect battery life.

This afternoon the company seeded a beta of iOS 5.0.1, which represents the first revision to the software since its public release on October 12.

According to BGR, which spotted the update on Apple's developer site, the new software fixes a handful of bugs, and even brings new features to the iPad.

The new beta coincides with Apple's acknowledgement that some users are, in fact, having battery life issues with iOS 5. In a statement issued earlier today, the company said that it would be delivering a patch to fix the issue "in a few weeks."

In the meantime, here's the full change log of adjustments that come with iOS 5.0.1, which should be the same as when the software gets delivered to users:

iOS 5.0.1 beta contains 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

    Contains security improvements

    iOS 5.0.1 beta introduces a new way for developers to specify files that should remain on device, even in low storage situations.

While the battery life fix is of big interest to iPhone users, the re-inclusion of multitasking gestures to original iPad owners is noteworthy on its own. The feature lets iPad users take advantage of multi-finger gestures to navigate between apps, and access certain features--notably pinching together the screen to go back to the home screen. Apple originally included the feature in an earlier developer beta, though removed it entirely in the final version of the software that went out to consumers.

Not mentioned in the change log is an echo that'saffecting some iPhone 4S owners who use a wired headset when making phone calls. CNET has been unable to reproduce this issue, however a 13-page thread on Apple's support discussion site chronicles numerous users running into the issue. Also not mentioned are any performance improvements for original iPad users who have complained about the iOS 5 update making their devices slower.

Update at 5:30 p.m. PT: 9to5mac notes that 5.0.1 also fixes a security issue with Apple's Smart Cover for the iPad 2 that would let users gain access to whatever app the owner of that device was running, even if they didn't know that user's lockscreen password. That could be what's only noted as "security improvements" in the list of fixes.