Those who are part of Apple's developers program received the third beta of iOS 6.1 today. This new version will likely be available to the public soon.
Developers report that there are no dramatic changes coming in iOS 6.1. Among the more notable changes: Apple is carrying out its promise to improve the Maps navigation software, there are small enhancements to the Safari web browser, and Passbook's system for handling boarding passes is getting new features.
Apple could release this update at any time it feels it has sufficiently de-bugged it. It's possible the company might wait until some big event, like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in early January, however.
Apple's usual practice is to introduce iOS updates for all supported devices at once, including iPhones and iPads.
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