Apple might not be at the CES 2012 show in Vegas this week, but that doesn't mean the company is sitting around twiddling its thumbs.
Developers were still awaiting a full change log to see what is new in the third beta release, which follows a second beta release issued about a month ago.
The update includes bug fixes and improvements, including the reintroduction of the 3G toggle capability, which lets Apple device users easily switch from 3G to Wi-Fi access to save battery life.
Cam Bunton of the Apple watching blog Today's iPhone was effusive in his praise of this feature: "For those, like myself, who spend most of their time indoors or in an area with a WiFi connection available, 3G is a service that isn't required. Switching it off can increase your phone's standby by a huge amount. As an example, recently when I had the Galaxy Nexus it went from lasting one day to lasting 3 full days without charging. I'd expect the same or similar results from the iPhone 4S."
Separately, RIM did use CES to announce the rollout to carriers of its full-blown dot.one upgrade to the BlackBerry OS, Version 7.1. It supports a new near-field communications (NFC) enabled capability called BlackBerry Tag that lets users easily exchange info by tapping their phones together. Version 7.1 also lets users turn their BlackBerry into a mobile hotspot for up to five devices, including tablets and laptop computers.
RIM also previewed Version 2.0 of its PlayBook OS, which supports a unified inbox, new inbox management tools, and multitasking within email. RIM plans to make Version 2.0 of its PlayBook OS available for free next month.