Apple Fans Await Rumored iOS 4.1 Release

Apple's much-anticipated release of iOS 4.1 is going to happen sooner than later, according to postings on a variety of Apple-centric blogs and websites.

Looking to put the iPhone 4's so-called "death grip" debacle behind it, an AppleInsider report claims that Apple's next refresh of its mobile operating system is "coming soon" and will feature a number of fixes.

However, it's unclear whether that includes improvements that will help address the signal-loss issue that reportedly can result from being held a certain way.

If rumors are to be believed, though, iPhone users can expect at least some fixes in the next installment of iOS, which powers Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. AppleInsider reports that "time spent with the latest beta build shows a marked improvement" in the proximity sensor functionality, which deactivates the phone's touchscreen while in use as a phone, avoiding erroneous keypresses.

In its third beta release, iOS 4.1 purportedly will also address problems connecting via Bluetooth as well as offer a new API that will make it easier to access and view thumbnail images.

Assuming iOS 4.1 does ship, it will mark the third latest update to version 4 of the company's mobile OS. Previously, Apple pushed out updates to iOS 4 to resolve issues with the way signal bars are calculated (iOS 4.0.1) and then, later, another (iOS 4.0.2) that fixed a PDF security flaw that had enabled those inclined to jailbreak the smartphones to do so simply by visiting by the website JailbreakMe.com.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) officials were not immediately available to comment on the eventual iOS 4.1 release.

Apple's institutional reluctance -- and CEO Steve Jobs's personal aversion -- to commenting publicly about products and upgrades in the pipeline makes it difficult to ascertain exactly what iPhone fans can expect or precisely what kind of timeline it's maintaining for delivering an update to iOS.

After absorbing a pounding in the tech and mainstream press over the iPhone 4's "death grip" issue less than a month after the latest version of the wildly popular smartphone was released, Jobs cut short a Hawaii vacation to placate critics with free bumpers that mitigated the problem and, Apple hoped, would effectively put an end to the so-called "Antennagate" controversy.

Still, Apple is clearly feeling the heat from Android-based devices, which are coming on strong and, by and large, have thus far yet to endure the negative publicity that it dealt with shortly after the iPhone 4's release.

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


iPhone, smartphones, Apple, death grip, iOS 4.1