Ina Fried

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Apple Releases Software Update Designed to Fix iOS 5 Battery Issues

Apple on Thursday issued a minor software update to the operating system that powers the iPhone, designed to fix several bugs that Apple says are to blame for the lower-than-expected battery life some users have been seeing.

In addition to trying to improve battery life, the 5.0.1 update adds a couple of features, including the ability for original iPad owners to use the multitasking gestures that Apple added with iOS 5. There’s no immediate word on whether the update adds the panoramic photo capacity or the improved autocorrect features that enthusiasts have uncovered hidden within the operating system. (Update: Neither feature is there.)

Apple had said it would release an update to fix the bugs, though on Nov. 2, the company noted that it might take a couple of weeks for the update to be ready.

The update appears as an option within iTunes but doesn’t appear to be an option yet for getting over the air. With iOS5, Apple has said that devices will now be able to be updated without needing to connect to a computer.

Users have reported decidedly mixed results with iOS 5 with some saying they are getting battery life as advertised but lots of folks taking to Twitter, Apple’s forums and elsewhere to tell tales of woe and seek suggestions on how to at least get through the day on a single charge.

Update: Apple is in the process of pushing out the update to its servers for over-the-air updating. Some are already seeing the update, and others should shortly. The download requires Wi-Fi.

The software also includes several security updates, including addressing a flaw, found by Accuvant’s Charlie Miller, that could allow apps to execute malicious code.

Here’s what the over-the-air download option looks like on an iPhone:

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”