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Shortly after the iPhone 4S launched, customers began reporting about unexpectedly poor battery life. Those complaints escalated last week as various media outfits picked the story up, prompting more users to step forward about their experiences with Apple's latest handset and mobile operating system. Cupertino has kept quiet about the issue until today, when it confirmed the problem in a statement to AllThingsD.
The company acknowledged that a "small number of customers" are experiencing poor battery life on iOS 5 devices. Although Apple was vague about the root of the problem, it acknowledged that there are several bugs affecting the autonomy of its mobile hardware. Unfortunately, it didn't offer any tips on how you can mitigate the issue until a patch is released, but the update should arrive in the next few weeks.
Some users believe that iOS 5's location service is running when it's not supposed to be, while others blame the new notification system. Based on Apple's comment, both could be correct. Users report mixed success in boosting battery life after disabling iCloud, location services, as well as the weather and stock widgets on the notification screen. For whatever it's worth, I'm running iOS 5 on a 3GS with no discernible issues.
Alongside that announcement, Apple has released iOS 5.0.1 beta (build 9A402) for developers. The releases notes mention the upcoming battery life tweaks along with multitasking gestures for the original iPad, bug fixes for Documents in the Cloud, improved voice recognition for Australians using dictation as well as various security improvements. There's also a new way for developers to specify files that should remain on-device.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
The iPad 2 improves on the original in many ways, including a significantly faster dual-core CPU, improved graphics and a thinner footprint. The iPad 2 also manages to shave off 0.2 pounds for a total weight of 1.33 pounds on the Wi-Fi only model. Apple has included two cameras on the iPad 2 – a VGA-quality front facing lens for FaceTime and a rear-facing camera capable of recording 720p video.
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