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Report says iOS 5.0.2 may finally fix iOS 5, iPhone 4S battery issues

by Phil Hornshaw

Image from iFixit.comSince the launch of the iPhone 4S last month, one of the major issues users have been reporting is a short battery life in the device. However, a new report says Apple is working to fix it again.

It’s a big deal for Apple. The company prides itself on providing long battery life in its mobile devices as one of their selling points. But with the iPhone 4S specifically – and with devices running the newly released iOS 5 operating system in general – battery life seems to have diminished for many users, and Apple has blamed the mobile operating system.

Apple has responded to reports of shortened battery life for the iPhone 4S by trying to tweak iOS 5’s software with an update, marked as iOS 5.0.1. That update dropped last week, but things didn’t get better because of it. In fact, some users reported that battery life was made even worse on their devices. And while the issue seems to be most noticeable for iPhone 4S owners, it appears as though battery issues have become something of a more widespread problem as the software has gotten spread around to more of Apple’s mobile devices.

But Apple is still on the case, and is preparing another update, according to a story from PC World. Apparently, Apple is cracking away at another iOS 5 update (iOS 5.0.2) which is intended to really fix the battery life problem, for real this time.

In fact, according to German website Macerkopf, where the story originated, Apple is aiming for 40 hours of battery life when the iPhone 4S is in standby and 10 hours of active use. That sounds a lot more in line with Apple’s usual battery performance record, and it’s not at all far-fetched to expect that Apple really is currently working on another update, given that it has already acknowledged that battery issues remain.

More updates for Siri on the way?

The report also suggests that another new update is coming for iOS 5 that will include some specific new features for the iPhone 4S. Macerkopf reports that iOS 5.1, the first major iteration of the software, will include a few improvements to the iPhone 4S-specific Siri voice-activated personal assistant software. Already, Siri has APIs that allow it to interact with other services the iPhone includes, like maps and web searches.

In iOS 5.1, apparently, Siri will be able to control taking photos and shooting videos when prompted by your voice. It will also be able to do more simple things like switching on and off your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections.

But iOS 5.1 is probably a ways off yet. It likely won’t be released until the end of the year, Macerkopf says. In the meantime, Apple has that battery issue to deal with. Hopefully the fix works this time.