The fifth and final beta release of iOS 6.1 will be seeded to developers within days. Apple has put the latest firmware though "extensive internal testing" according to a report cited by AppleInsider. This version is expected to be the golden master build, which means the public release is imminent.
Developers have been treated to an improved Map Kit framework that will make it possible for their apps to search for venues using terms such as "gas station" or "beer". The first beta build of iOS 6.1 was seeded to developers in November, with expectations that public release would come shortly after the new year.
Users will enjoy minor changes in iOS 6.1, including a new Siri feature that allows movie fans to purchase tickets using Fandango. Music control buttons will be spaced out differently to simplify access from the lock screen, and iTunes music will be downloadable via cellular data connection. Besides improving iCloud security and issuing several bug fixes and improvements, Apple will also include a simple way for stock Maps users to report problems.
No word on whether or not battery problems reported after the iOS 6.0.2 update have been resolved. The iOS 6.1 firmware will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS and later, iPod touch 4G and later, iPad 2 and later, and the iPad mini.