According to 9to5Mac, Apple has seeded certain mobile carriers with a near-final build of iOS 5 and these builds are different from the developer seeds we have seen so far with the enabling of Nuance’s Speech to Text as a system-wide service. Carrier partners are now receiving near-final builds of iOS 5 for testing and in the carrier test build that isn’t in the latest beta 7 release is FaceTime 3G support. In regards to FaceTime 3G, Apple is heavily stressing the importance of the feature, though ultimately it will be up to carriers to allow the feature or not…………………
After a near-record seven beta releases, Apple seems to have finally begun to get the wheels in motion towards an official release and staff members from various carriers retailing iDevices have started training with the new and improved software in an identical sequence of events which led to the release of the iPhone 4 and iOS 4 just last year. Now Apple’s carrier partners have been seeded a near-final build of the iOS 5 software destined for the iPhone 5 when it launches later this year. The new build has several additional features enabled including Facetime over 3G and the speech-to-text features that we have previously talked about. The carrier partners have been instructed to test Facetime over 3G extensively, raising hopes that iPhone users will soon be able to use Facetime anywhere they have a data connection. This doesn’t mean that we will be seeing Facetime 3G in the final release, of course, but it does mean that carriers are at least being encouraged to test it on their networks. This build of iOS 5 is said to be a newer one than the one available to developers currently, which is beta 7. Facetime must be used over WiFi connections only, limiting its usage as you are normally around a computer when you’re on WiFi and can use higher quality services like Skype. Apple’s new speech-to-text feature is also said to be in the build as well and this feature allows users to tap a microphone button and speak into the iPhone, which will transcribe the voice into text passages. There is apparently a round of internal training going on that is preparing Apple Retail Store employees to answer questions about iOS 5 and iCloud. This training is being delivered, at least in part, to employees at the carrier partners as well, which is where this information originated. The training materials include detailed videos and PDFs that detail the features of the new OS and how it integrates with iCloud. iOS 5 is the next major revision to Apple’s software for iPhone, iPod, Apple TV and iPad devices. The new OS is slated for release in the fall of this year.
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