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According to a new report, Apple is preparing the final beta seed of iOS 5, which is beta 8, before the Golden Master Candidate eventually drops for developers. This is the eighth developer-only release of iOS 5, which will likely be used to squash a few last-minute bugs before Golden Master is released.

iOS 5 Beta 8 comes on the heels of last week’s unexpected release of iTunes 10.5 Beta 8, which contained no apparent changes other than bug fixes. This new report of a new iOS 5 Beta seed comes from an allegedly “trusted source” who has been reliable in the past, at least according to BGR, which managed to obtain secret information from Apple in the past.

According to this new report, iOS 5 Beta 8 will be released on Friday (September 16th), although it’s not yet clear what the new build will contain other than a few more squashed bugs. The same source is also reporting that iOS 5 Golden Master Candidate will finally be seeded to developers roughly one week later, “on or around September 23rd“, and then sent to Apple’s suppliers if no major issues with it are detected.

On Monday, we reported on another rumor which pointed to an imminent Golden Master release. “Golden Master” is Apple’s designation for the final release of a product that all users will be able to get their hands on. According to Monday’s report, and confirmed today, once iOS 5 is finalized, it will be sent to suppliers and be built right into the next iPhone, currently known as the iPhone 5. In addition, users of current iOS devices, such as the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, the iPad and iPod touch models from 2009 onwards will be able to upgrade to iOS 5 from within iTunes.

In order to get your hands on iOS 5 Beta 8 legally, and the Golden Master Candidate once its available, you must have an Apple developer account. A developer subscription with Apple gives all subscribers access to developer-oriented tools and documentation, as well as pre-release seeds of iOS. While aimed at developers, every iOS enthusiast will be able to reap the benefits of this $99-per-year-subscription, so why don’t you get yours today from Apple’s developer website?

iOS 5 was first unveiled publicly back in June at WWDC, Apple’s annual developer conference, with promises of a fall release. The system’s general availability is on track and is expected to happen later this month or next month.

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