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Apple’s iOS 6 may have been adopted in record numbers initially, but the release of the latest and greatest mobile software has been far from a smooth ride. Maps, which was meant to replace Google Maps at stock level, turned out to be as much use as a chocolate fire shield for many, and after a fair amount of controversy including a complaint from Australian Police suggesting its frailties potentially endanger lives, Maps has somewhat re-replaced Apple Maps following its App Store release last week. Meanwhile, iOS SVP Scott Forstall has gone the way of MobileMe, and with Apple is looking to turn a corner with its iOS software by bringing the updates at frequent intervals, iOS 6.1 Beta 4 is now available to developers.

The first beta of iOS 6.1 only dropped at the beginning of last month, but with many improvements being made behind the scenes, iOS 6.1 beta 4 is now available from the usual channels for those a part of Apple’s Developer Program.

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The easiest way to apply the update is by taking the OTA via Settings. This will, of course, only show if you’re a developer running a prior iOS 6.1 beta.

As well as the release of iOS 6.1 Beta 4, Apple has also seeded an updated preview of Xcode 4.6. The dev environment for the iOS SDK makes tailoring apps for the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch a great deal easier, and as well as that, a new Apple TV beta has been released to developers.

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These early beta builds usually begin cropping up on various channels shortly after they’re seeded, but we always advise taking the legitimate route in signing up as a developer. It equates to less than ten bucks a month, and allows you to view all pre-release software from the Cupertino company, including iOS, iTunes, and other goodies.

As far as the end-user goes, iOS 6.1 is expected to release sometime in January 2013, and as well as the obvious improvements to the Maps app, Passbook is expected to offer a more streamlined experience when dealing with boarding passes, along with a number of bug fixes.

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We’ll let you know as soon as it arrives, so stay tuned.

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