Apple marches forward on iOS 5 beta 3, available now

The iOS 5 beta pot is still simmering, with Apple (s aapl) releasing the third edition of its mobile platform Monday. Registered Apple developers can now download iOS 5 beta 3, which is also known by its lesser known name of “build 9a5259f.” The newest version for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices also coincides with an updated beta version of iTunes 10.5. Among the notable new features, fixes and issues in the new version of iOS 5, according to the release notes:

  • Push and local notifications for apps appear in the new Notification Center in iOS 5. Notification Center displays notifications that are considered “unread.” In order to accommodate push and local notifications that have no “unread” status, developers can use their application badge count to trigger a clearing of notifications from Notification Center. When an application clears its badge count (by setting it to zero), iOS 5 will clear its notifications from Notification Center.
  • iMessage beta 3 will be unable to communicate with iMessage users on beta 1. It works between beta 3 and beta 2
  • Modal alerts don’t appear for iMessages.
  • When tweeting your location from Safari and exiting before the location can be established, the location arrow will stay in the status bar. The arrow can be removed by killing Safari from the task switcher.
  • FIXED: The Reminders application does not send notifications for reminders that are based upon the entry (and/or exit) of a location if there is no date associated with the reminder.
  • In this beta, the option of “Choosing a security question” is not working during an iCloud account setup.
  • FIXED: After creating a recurring event locally on the device, the device stops syncing after hitting an error on merge. Removing and re-adding the account acts as a workaround for this.
  • Restoring from a Seed 1 backup or earlier will cause MobileMe/iCloud calendars not to sync. Subscribed calendars will show up in Calendars but none of your event calendars will appear in MobileCal. To work around the problem please remove and re-add the account.

I’ve been using beta 2 for the past week on my 4th generation iPod touch and in my experience, the overall platform is looking pretty solid. Sure there are small bugs here and there, plus the software doesn’t yet appear to be performance-optimized: At times, I see some device lag and the battery appears to drain faster than with iOS 4.

But those are likely to be the last two items addressed in iOS. After all, if the core code is going to change due to new features and fixes, it makes more sense to optimize the final code one time, rather than try to optimize changing code many times.