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Apple pushes out sixth beta of iOS 7 to developers

Apple's pushed out another beta version of iOS 7 to developers, potentially the last before the software is finalized for consumers.

James Martin/CNET

Apple has given developers a sixth beta of iOS 7, its upcoming software update for iPhones, iPods, and iPads.

The update went out late Thursday, which is unusual timing given that past releases went out in the morning.

iOS 7 brings an overhauled design for every part of the operating system, while remaining largely the same in terms of functionality. Onlookers are expecting a few more changes before it's finalized. As usual, Apple's only saying the software "contains bug fixes and improvements," though 9to5Mac notes that the update fixes an issue with iTunes in the Cloud, Apple's service that lets users stream and re-download items from multiple devices.

It's the norm for iOS to undergo several beta versions before it's ready for public consumption. For iOS 6 it was five betas, whereas with iOS 5 it was eight separate releases. The "golden master" version represents the final release that goes out to consumers, and what has historically shipped on Apple's new iPhone. Apple's last iOS 7 beta arrived early last week, and came about a week after the one before it.

An earlierreport from BGR claimed that iOS 7 beta 6 would be the last beta release ahead of the gold master. That software is expected to be finalized in time for the release of Apple's next iPhone, which is widely rumoredto be announced on September 10.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. PT with additional update details.