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Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 03:36 pm PT (06:36 pm ET)

Apple releases iOS 5 beta 7 to developers along with new Xcode, iTunes, Apple TV software

Apple has made available a seventh beta release of iOS 5 to developers, focusing on bug fixes and improvements. The update is available alongside a new Xcode 4.2 Preview 7, iTunes 10.5 beta 7, and Apple TV software beta 6.

The new iOS 5 beta release is again available as an over the air update through Settings / Software Update on iOS 5 devices. Apple recommends backing up devices using iTunes 10.5 beta 7 or via iCloud backup before performing the software update.

The new update focuses on support for iCloud, including tighter requirements for apps using iCloud Documents & Data to identify their cloud-stored documents securely.

The new iOS 5 SDK also introduces new a API validation feature to "extract APIs used by an application and have them checked for private APIs usage," something that should streamline developers' efforts to get their apps approved for sale in the App Store.

Devices that enable iCloud Backup will now automatically disable backup through iTunes, accelerating the iTunes sync process.

Apple continues to refine iOS 5, iTunes, Apple TV, and Mac OS X Lion and Snow Leopard releases to launch its full iCloud service smoothly, apparently taking care not to repeat the rushed, problematic and very embarrassing launch fiascos of MobileMe back in 2008.