With Apple’s next-generation iPad expected to be unveiled in the first week of March, developers at the company’s Cupertino HQ are also expected to make available a new version of its mobile operating system, iOS 5.1.
The team over at BGR have managed to get their hands on what they believe is a Gold Master (the final developer release before it is made available to the public) copy of the iOS 5.1 firmware, and it appears that Japanese Siri support and a new lockscreen will be included.
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Judging by the screenshots they have provided, the lockscreen has been tweaked slightly to sport a fixed camera button, which will launch the camera app, but will now also support a swipe-up gesture to access the camera finder. For those that want to be able to snap photos quickly and easily, the new feature will definitely help.
Siri’s will include support for Japanese iPhone 4S owners, as shown in the Settings screenshot. It was speculated that support for Russian would also be incorporated into the OS, but that doesn’t seem to have made the cut (at least in this release).
A commenter on the BGR report noted that Portuguese website BlogDoiPhone grabbed similar screenshots yesterday, leading us to believe that the Gold Master is indeed the real deal.
It is not known whether Apple will add regional features to Siri for users in the UK, France, Germany and Japan, allowing them to search for directions and local businesses. We will find out on March 7, if reports of an Apple event are correct.