Apple (s appl) had previously released iOS 5.0.1 to developers for beta testing, but as of Tuesday, a report claims it’s now extending that testing pool to include some ordinary end users, too. 9t05Mac received an invitation to download the pre-release software through Apple’s software seed program.
iOS 5.0.1 is reportedly designed to address battery issues users are experiencing under iOS 5, which affects multiple devices, though the most vocal group to date has been new iPhone 4S users. Users who have complained about these issues on Apple’s official support forms are the group that Apple appears to be targeting for this round of pre-release test invitations.
The emailed invitation comes with the same caveats attached to the developer software previews; specifically, “review and use” of the software in question is “strictly confidential,” and customers who do choose to upgrade to 5.0.1 will not be able to downgrade to 5.0, though upgrading to the full release version of 5.0.1 (and all later updates) is possible.
Other additions in 5.0.1 include the inclusion of multitasking gestures for first-generation iPads, as well as Siri voice recognition and dictation improvements for Australian iPhone users and a new way for developers to choose what does and doesn’t remain on a device for their apps to access, even when storage space is running low.
Apple has already released two betas of iOS 5.0.1 to developers, and told users on Nov. 2 to expect a public release within the next “few weeks.” 9to5Mac also says that Apple has issued a memo to retail store staff instructing them to tell customers to wait for the update if they come in complaining of battery problems.