The iOS update expected to resolve problems in the battery consumption observed on devices such as the newly launched iPhone 4S was released last night. iOS 5.0.1 arrives slightly earlier than expected; when Apple admitted earlier this month to "a few bugs" affecting battery life, the company had pegged the timeframe for a fix at "a few weeks."
The iOS 5.0.1 update can be installed over-the-air, a new capability found only in iOS 5. To initiate it, just go to the Settings App, ‘General' à ‘Software Update'. The update process worked seamlessly for me, completing in about five minutes. The software update will automatically reboot your iOS device when done.
Unfortunately, the battery issue does not appear to be fixed for some. Already, a number of disgruntled users have logged on at the Apple Support Communities to complain that their battery is draining at the same rate.
On other hand, reports from other users say the improvement in the battery life of their iPhone has been significant. Reader Donald Kuntzman – who had an early preview of iOS 5.0.1, told Wired that:
"Frankly, the difference is nothing short of amazing… To go almost an entire day without a change in the meter reading seems unbelievable. Where before I could almost watch the battery drain, now it doesn't move at all."
Battery fix aside, the update also patched five security vulnerabilities, including one revealed by prominent security researcher Charlie Miller earlier in the week. Miller had released an app onto the App Store which exploited an undisclosed flaw to ‘sideload' arbitrary and unauthorized code from external sites.
Such a vulnerability would have far-reaching ramifications to the walled-garden security of the App Store, allowing hackers to circumvent Apple's strict approval process with Trojan apps. As it is, Miller's stunt swiftly earned him the ire of Apple, and the company has since banned Miller from its developer's program.
Other improvements in iOS 5.0.1 include multitasking gestures added to the first-gen iPad, improved voice recognition for Australian users using dictation, and tweaks to resolve "some issues with Documents in the Cloud."